Autumn is a great time to cozy up at home and get to all the reading you missed out on during the summer. The barbecues are over, the holidays aren't here yet, and your friends will probably believe you if you say you're "busy" this weekend. Sure, there's plenty of television to watch, too, but you can always DVR it, right?
Fall is also traditionally the time when tons and tons of new books are published. This fall is extremely packed with books that readers of The Verge are likely to be enthralled by. There are new books from megastars like Margaret Atwood, Thomas Pynchon, and Stephen King, as well as ones from Donna Tartt, Dave Eggers, and Jonathan Lethem.
by Margaret Atwood
available now, Nan A. Talese
Why we’re reading it: Margaret Atwood has a way with words, and her stories are usually a wonderful combination of touching, terrifying, and devastatingly funny. MaddAddam is the last book in her trilogy, the first two of which are 2003’s Oryx and Crake, and 2009’s The Year of the Flood. If you’ve already read those two, you likely don’t want to miss this one, but if you haven’t, fear not: Atwood gives you a summary at the beginning of MaddAdam to catch you up.
Our favorite Atwood: Alias Grace (1996). Unlike much of Atwood’s speculative fiction, Alias Grace pulls you into the past, retelling the true-ish story of two murders in Canada in 1843.
by Jonathan Lethem
available now, Doubleday
Jonathan Lethem loves to play with genre conventions, from the noir detective tale in Gun, with Occasional Music to the sci-fi Western of Girl in Landscape. His latest follows three generations of political radicals growing up in New York, Lethem’s much-beloved city. They’re utopian believers, and Lethem makes poignant art of their inevitable confrontations with reality and the limits of their own power to change the world. You can read our recent interview with Lethem here.
Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City
by Choire Sicha
available now, Harper
Why we’re reading it: Interested in first-hand accounts of post Wall Street-meltdown New York City? Love The Awl? Very Recent History is funny, sad, poignant and a breezy read. You can read more about the book and author Choire Sicha in our short Q&A with him here.
by Marisha Pessl
available now, Random House
Why we’re reading it: Night Film comes with an interesting easter egg — install a companion app, and you can scan pages to find extra images or video. Like the app, the book is about finding secrets, and about the dangers of interpreting them. It’s a dark interplay between a disgraced journalist and the man who has become his defining obsession: a Kubrick-esque filmmaker whose work seems to have an almost supernatural effect on its devotees.
by Thomas Pynchon
September 17th, Penguin
Why we’re reading it: Bleeding Edge sees the master of the paranoid style directing his polymath imagination towards New York startups in the months before 9/11. It starts with Hashslingrz, a flashy dot-com with sketchy accounting practices, but before the end, we’ve followed the noirish trail of clues through Russian mob hideouts and into a surreal Second Life pastiche called DeepArcher, chasing a CIA plot that’s always just out of reach. Pynchon doesn’t trust the web — but then again, he doesn’t trust anything.
by Stephen King
September 24th, Scribner
Why we’re reading it: First, it’s Stephen King! A followup to his much-beloved classic The Shining, Doctor Sleep tells the story of Danny Torrance, the now grown protagonist of the first book. Devotees of King have probably dreamed of this follow-up more fervently than they’ve waited for a new installment of The Dark Tower Series, and the aforementioned Margaret Atwood called it a “very good specimen of the quintessential King blend” in her New York Times review.
Our favorite King: It’s not easy to just pick one, so let’s go with two: King’s recent 11/22/63 is a gripping, time travelling novel which revolves around the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But if you are really looking for something to keep you awake all night, King’s Dark Tower Series, which begins with 1982’s The Gunslinger, is considered rightly to be his best and most epic work.
by Dave Eggers
October 8th, McSweeney’s
Why we’re reading it: Eggers’s work, it’s fair to say, is a bit divisive. The Circle is the story of a woman working at an increasingly powerful and dystopic internet company in California (think Google, Facebook, and Twitter all rolled into one). The novel, which has yet to be published, widely reviewed, or read, has been the topic of recent conversation led by Katherine Losse, a former Facebook employee who wrote her own, non-fiction account (2012's The Boy Kings) of life at an internet startup and has argued that there are some details of her story which Eggers might have lifted for his own work.
by Donna Tartt
October 22nd, Little, Brown
Why we’re reading it: If you’ve read any of Tartt’s other work, you’re likely aware of the epic, literary nature of it. The Goldfinch, Tartt’s first novel in 11 years, is a nearly 1,000 page read which promises no less. Expect lots of sophisticated mystery in what is one of the most hotly anticipated books of the year.
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
October 1st, Simon & Schuster
Why we’re reading it: You’ve likely seen at least part of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult classic, The Room, the film called the Citizen Kane of bad movies” by Entertainment Weekly. The Disaster Artist is a new non-fiction book by Greg Sestero, co-star of The Room, and journalist Tom Bissell. It tells of Greg’s experience making the movie and about his relationship with the very mysterious Wiseau.
Adi Robertson, Russell Brandom, and Jesse Hicks contributed to this report.