25 Books Boston Booksellers Are Looking Forward to This Fall

It’s time for blankets, candles, and a stack of fresh reads.

person removing book from shelf

Photo via Cavan Images/Getty Images

The days are getting shorter, the evenings are getting cooler, and you’re probably already too late to score one of the best Airbnbs for leaf peeping. It’s just about time to transition into fall mode, and if you haven’t finished that beach read you started back in May, get to page-turning—because a flurry of autumn new releases are just around the corner.

We asked booksellers from All She Wrote Books, Porter Square Books, Harvard Book Store, and Trident Booksellers to tell us what books they’re most looking forward to diving into this fall. Below, peruse their 25 picks, from Celeste Ng’s latest novel, to a scientific memoir about puppies, to the latest translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Contemporary Fiction

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

August 30

Fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid will not be disappointed by her latest novel. The story centers on Carrie Soto, who some may recall as a minor character in Malibu Rising, as she wages a comeback in elite tennis. Readers will both root for and be exasperated by the great Carrie Soto, and won’t be able to put the book down until the end. –Courtney Flynn, Trident Booksellers

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

September 13

I inhaled this book in a day and I think I’m about to go and reread it right now. People Person is Candice Carty-Williams’ sophomore novel and I truly enjoyed the experience of her taking us into the lives of the Penningtons. Dimple Pennington, an influencer who isn’t really an influencer, is also an only child who isn’t technically an only child. Five children born of four different mothers meet as half-siblings about ten years ago, and they never had much contact until Dimple needs them and they all come crashing into her life all at once. If you read and loved My Sister The Serial Killer and Mr. Loverman, I am almost sure you will thoroughly enjoy Williams’s latest book. –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Sign Here by Claudia Lux

October 25

A darkly humorous, surprisingly poignant, and utterly gripping debut novel about a guy who works in Hell (literally) and is on the cusp of a big promotion if only he can get one more member of a wealthy family to sell their soul. This is dark comedy meets murder mystery alongside some dysfunctional family drama—the kind of book you will want to start over as soon as you finish reading it! –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Kiss Her Once for Me: A Novel by Alison Cochrun

November 1

This book was so much fun! It’s a holiday retelling of the rom-com While You Were Sleeping that has great aromantic, nonbinary, and queer representation. This is one that I could easily re-read every holiday season or when I’m needing something set in the winter. –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books


House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson

September 27

Gorgeously atmospheric, this was everything I wanted from a gothic not-vampire vampire novel—the decaying decadence, the brutal and hypnotic tenderness. Absolutely breathtaking. –Porter Square Books

Self-Portrait with Nothing by Aimee Pokwatka

October 18

One part detective story and two parts solemn literary reflection, Self-Portrait with Nothing will leave you in throes of existential dread. We all daydream about the tangents of our lives that never materialize, but this novel gently and insistently asks its readers to reckon with the despair that a person can incur with these preoccupations. The story manages to keep you wildly entertained while also cautioning that while your roots are important, the only way to live meaningfully is to stay present in your own journey. –Melissa Sagendorph, Harvard Book Store

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

November 1

An urban native woman who loves metal music and dive bars is confronted by the spirit of her mother, and must solve her mysterious disappearance from twenty years earlier. A taut, tight ghost story with lots of scares but not a lot of gore. –Brad Lennon, Harvard Book Store

Historical Fiction

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

September 6

One of the best books I’ve read recently, The Marriage Portrait is one part tense thriller, one part historical fiction, and a third part literary triumph.  Set in Renaissance Italy, the story follows young and cunning duchess Lucrezia. Maggie O’Farrell is a master of detail and description and you will get swept away. –Courtney Flynn, Trident Booksellers

Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong 

September 27

Rendered in a freshly cinematic hand that carries you through the hopeful and the heartbreaking, Lady Fortune and her crew will make you think you’re safe from the havoc, just as they reach in and gouge your heart straight out from your chest. This book is genuinely, in every sense of the word, an absolute marvel. –Porter Square Books

Dystopian Fiction and Fantasy

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

October 4

A devastating economic collapse has brought the United States to its knees and the xenophobic PACT (Protect American Culture and Traditions) protocols are passed.  Anyone who protests, especially Asian-Americans, risks imprisonment and having their children removed.  A young boy from Cambridge must risk everything to find his mother, who might or might not be the leader of the resistance. –Brad Lennon, Harvard Book Store

If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang 

October 11

Ann Liang’s debut is a poignant coming-of-age novel recounting the pains of growing up, set against the backdrop of an elite academy in Beijing. Following two overachieving students and their plights with a secret-selling business, this is a story about class, privilege, and what it means to fall in love with a world and people that are not yours to keep. –Porter Square Books

Short Stories

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery

September 6

A deeply engrossing saga about a Jamaican-American immigrant family, this collection grips you with a ferocity that never once falters. The ebb and flow of the stories carry you through some of the harshest social landscapes that the characters must endure, including racism, classism, and the ugliness of  poverty. While always keeping the vulnerability of humanity at center stage, this is ultimately a story about buoyancy, resilience, and the passion it takes to stay alive. –Melissa Sagendorph, Harvard Book Store

Bliss Montage by Ling Ma

September 13

A new collection of weird tales from the author of Severance. In these stories a woman lives with her husband and her hundred ex-boyfriends, another woman has a one night stand with a yeti, and a mother and daughter realize that they view the same event in completely different ways. –Brad Lennon, Harvard Book Store

The Perfect Crime by Vaseem Khan

November 1

A collection of excellent short stories by mystery writers of color from around the world. The one by Oyinkan Braithwaite (“My Sister the Serial Killer”) is amazing. –Porter Square Books


The Year of the Puppy by Alexandra Horowitz

September 20

As the owner of a 7-month-old tri-color Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Ruby (she is also the bookstore’s mascot), I have been reading a lot of nonfiction recently about dogs. But The Year of the Puppy has to be the most delightful, engrossing, and compelling ones I’ve read thus far! From the moment puppy Quid is born to the completion of his first year, Horowitz tracks his development, both physical and emotional. This book was super fascinating and an utter joy to read. –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Fen, Bog & Swamp by Annie Proulx

September 27

The author of Barkskins and The Shipping News focuses on wetlands to explore mankind’s historical exploitation of the natural world. The reclamation, or further destruction, of such places could make the difference between life or death. –Brad Lennon, Harvard Book Store

A Horse at Night by Amina Cain

October 11

A smart person writing smart things about smart books. An intellectual delight for passionate readers. –Porter Square Books


It Came from the Closet by Joe Vallese

October 4

Honestly, grab your popcorn for this book, as it features a myriad of queer writers showcasing their findings and relations to horror movies, like Jordan Peele’s US and Get Out, Halloween, The Exorcist, and my favorite, Jennifer’s Body. The essays featured in this book span the LGBTQIA spectrum, and the diversity of voices we hear is fantastic. Pick this book up for spooky Halloween season—you will be in for one hell of a treat! –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Inciting Joy by Ross Gay

October 25

This new collection is a radical defense of joy! Inciting Joy is a love letter to celebration and wonder. I feel held and seen and inspired by this work. That love and beauty and hope are possible in a world that seems to lack any of those things. A triumph. –Hannah Wolfe, Harvard Book Store 


Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong

September 6

Illuminating and eye-opening, this book challenges all able-bodied people to face how inaccessible this world is for disabled people. Told through mixed media of pictures, essays and interviews, Alice Wong, with humor, describes how the world is not accommodating to those who aren’t fully able-bodied, despite the ADA and “best” intentions. I’m very grateful to Alice Wong and her fellow troublemakers for the work they’re doing in protecting themselves and future generations of disabled people, while still honoring the names of those who came before them. –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Faltas by Cecilia Gentili

October 4

A uniquely intimate and powerful story of reclaiming and rebuilding from childhood trauma. This will be a tough read for many people, but Gentili rewards readers with a perspective on becoming your true self that is valuable for any identity. –Porter Square Books


Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones

September 13

I first came to know Saeed Jones’s writing with his memoir How We Fight for Our Lives and instantly fell in love with him. Saeed’s prose doesn’t disappoint in his newest book of poetry that tackles current topics, grief, and Black legends. It’s all here. –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Find her. Keep her. by Renaada Williams

September 27

Similar to Rupi Kaur’s poetry, Renaada Williams delivers a poignant, raw and sophisticated take on the world through her poems. I could not put this book down, and found myself within the pages of this book. –Christina Pascucci-Ciampa, All She Wrote Books

Metamorphoses by Ovid (translated by Stephanie McCarter)

October 25

The perfect excuse to revisit Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Stephanie McCarter’s translation is lush and gorgeous, keeping the poetic bones of Ovid’s epic without falling into the clunky pitfalls that come from translating a classic poem to English. McCarter takes a frank look at the power dynamics of the Metamorphoses, making this the perfect companion to Emily Wilson’s The Odyssey and Caroline Alexander’s The Iliad. –Porter Square Books

The World Keeps Ending and the World Goes On by Franny Choi

November 1

Choi’s kaleidoscopic gaze unravels catastrophe after catastrophe, putting into context our unprecedented times. Considering the fractal immensity of the disasters we’re all somehow expected to survive is like trying to hold a globe of molten glass in your bare hands. And to be a fully alive human in this world, you have to. There’s no option not to hold the glass. Choi’s work in this book doesn’t cool the glass, but it provides you with oven mitts: for now, at least, you may hold it and behold. –Porter Square Books