Get your fall reading list ready because I have the best books to read this Fall 2021 with all the top choices of great books to read.
Hallelujah, Fall is just around the corner!
With back-to-school season and cooler weather come some of the best fall reads I’ve seen in a while. All summer long, I’ve been reading advance copies and perusing the upcoming release lists. I’ve wrestled over which books to include and which to leave out.
Here for your reading pleasure is my list of the best books of Fall 2021. I’ve got book club favorites, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and some nonfiction books. Some I’ve read and some I can’t wait to read, but all of them are perfect for my Fall 2021 Reading Guide.
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Best Fall Books for Book Clubs
After a car accident caused by her drunk driving, Sunday Brennan returns to her large Irish family in New York. Five years earlier, she had abandoned them and her high school sweetheart with no explanation. Determined to rebuild her relationships, Sunday is startled when a man threatens the family’s business and forces the family to confront painful mistakes. A brilliant book club book that is one of the best books to read this Fall.
From the author of All the Light We Cannot See comes an ambitious work of literary fiction. Doerr’s novel toggles between three timelines – the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, present-day Idaho, and interstellar ship far in the future. Each piece explores the power of stories as a fictional ancient Greek comedy weaves throughout the entire book. The awe-inspiring power of the written word that Doerr evokes in every sentence will be appreciated by literary fiction lovers.
It should be the golden years for Stan and Joy Delaney now that they’ve sold their tennis academy and settled into retirement, so why aren’t they happy? When they welcome a bleeding stranger into their home, her arrival begins a cascade of events. Now Joy is missing, and the four grown Delaney children wonder if their father might have done it. Liane Moriarty’s books always make for exciting reads, so you’ll want to keep your eye out for her latest novel this fall.
Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with one purpose – to reintroduce gray wolves into the highlands despite the fierce resistance from the local population. When a farmer is mauled to death, Inti buries the evidence, terrified the locals will accuse her beloved wolves. But if the wolves aren’t to blame, who caused his death? And will it happen again? One of the best books to read this fall, this hauntingly beautiful novel about healing from trauma – in people and in nature – will hook you from the beginning.
Richard Powers, the author of the bestseller The Overstory, contemplates the world we are leaving for our children in his newest book release. As widowed astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life on other planets, he struggles with raising his nine-year son. Sweet nature-loving Robin is on the verge of being expelled from third grade. Robin’s teachers and doctors tell Theo that Robin needs drugs to help him be normal, but Theo refuses, leaning on the love of the natural world to help Robin cope.
Best Fall Reads: Historical Fiction
In 1960s Harlem, Ray Carney has a reputation as an upstanding used furniture salesman. Although Ray strives to live up to what he knows he can be, times aren’t like they used to be, and he occasionally supplements his income with a side gig fencing items for the underworld of Harlem. When Ray’s cousin ropes him into being the fence for a heist gone wrong, Ray finds himself caught up with shady cops and local gangsters.
After spending a year at a prison work farm for involuntary manslaughter, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson returns to his Nebraska hometown. With his mother gone and his father recently deceased, Emmett plans to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head West. But his plans are derailed when two friends from the work farm suddenly appear with a scheme of their own.
In 1929, three brides are married to three brothers in a single ceremony in rural Punjab. As Mehar tries to discover which of the three brothers is her husband, a misunderstanding causes lasting consequences. Years later, Mehar’s great-grandson returns to India hoping to recover from his drug addiction. As the two main characters struggle to find freedom in two different time periods, Sahota’s novel (based somewhat on his family’s history) uses sparse descriptions and limited glances, letting the reader fill in the gaps.
In the conclusion of her bestselling Tattooist of Auschwitz trilogy, Heather Morris tells the true story of three Slovakian sisters who promised to stay together, no matter what. When fifteen-year-old Livia is sent to Auschwitz, her oldest sister Cibi volunteers to join her to protect her. Later, Magda is also sent to Auschwitz, where they fight to survive the unbearable horrors and eventually move to Israel hoping to find freedom.
As the Civil War comes to an end, George and Isabelle Walker hire two newly freed slaves, brothers Landry and Prentiss, to work on their farm. The brothers hope to earn enough money to go North to find their mother while the Walkers hope this unlikely friendship will assuage the grief at the death of their son. When two returned Confederate soldiers’ forbidden romance is revealed, chaos breaks out and Isabelle emerges as a leader with an inspiring vision for their Southern town.
See the Complete List of Upcoming Releases!
Mystery & Thriller Books for Fall
When a young man is murdered on a London houseboat, police investigate three women: his one-night stand Laura, his grieving aunt Carla, and his nosy neighbor Miriam. Even though Miriam spotted Laura leaving the houseboat that night covered in blood, she is loath to say anything. For Miriam knows exactly what it’s like to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One night in 2017, a teen mom has her mother watch her baby boy so she can attend a party in the nearby woods, only to disappear without a trace. Two years later, mystery novelist Sophie is wandering the woods near her new house when she finds a note attached to a tree saying, “Dig Here.” Lisa Jewell’s dark thrillers are always my favorites, displaying the harrowing lengths to which humans can descend. The Night She Disappeared is a slow-burn mystery that is one of the best books to read this fall.
On their annual girls’ trip, Emily and Kristen are having the time of their lives in Chile. On the last night, Emily comes back to the hotel to find Kristen in the room with a dead body. Kristen claims that the cute backpacker she picked up attacked her and she killed him in self-defense. Except, the same thing happened last year. As Emily’s guilt over the cover-up reaches a boiling point, Kristen makes a surprise trip to visit her and Emily has serious doubts about their friendship.
Wren met Adam on a dating app. But what starts as a quick hook-up quickly turns to something more. Which is why Wren is shocked when Adam ghosts her. As Wren investigates, she learns that she is not the only woman Adam has ghosted. The more she digs the more obsessive she becomes, blurring the lines between predator and prey.
After winning a trip to a remote Scotland getaway for the weekend, Adam and Amelia try one last-ditch effort to save their marriage. Amelia is tired of Adam putting his work as a screenwriter before her and Adam is just tired of Amelia. As things start to unravel and their past is revealed through secret anniversary letters Adam has never read, you find that someone is lying and someone doesn’t want them to end happily ever after.
Nonfiction Fall 2021 Reading List
Created by Nikole Hannah-Jones
In 1619, a ship arrived in the Virginia colony with the first enslaved people from Africa. Thus began the unprecedented system of slavery that has shaped America ever since. Based on The New York Times Magazine‘s Pulitizer Prize-winning articles, The 1619 Project combines essays, poems, and works of fiction to chronicle how the legacy of slavery impacts America today.
Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey
Instead of asking What’s wrong with you?, we should be asking What happened to you? Oprah Winfrey teams up with neuroscientist Bruce D. Perry to discuss how understanding the trauma we faced at a young age can impact our behaviors now. By understanding our past, we can shift our viewpoint and see a clear path to healing.
Qian Julie Wang
When Qian was seven years old, her family immigrated to the United States. As her parents struggled to cope with the transition from respected professors to “illegal” sweatshop laborers, Qian finds herself an outcast at school and seeks comfort in the library. When her mother becomes ill, Qian’s fears multiply in this moving coming-of-age memoir about the immigrant experience in the US.
Patrick Radden Keefe
In a brilliant piece of investigative reporting, Patrick Radden Keefe chronicles the life of three generations of the Sackler family. One of the richest families in the world, their name adorns some of the most storied institutions. Yet, the source of their wealth has long remained hidden: the making and marketing of OxyContin, the painkiller that sparked the current opioid crisis.
After graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was excited to enter “the real world” as a war correspondent in Paris. But an itch turned to exhaustion and a diagnosis of leukemia with only a 35% chance of survival. Jaouad spent the next four years in the hospital battling cancer and writing about it for The New York Times. Yet, once she was cured, she felt even more lost than ever. So she embarked on a road trip across the country to find herself in this bestselling memoir that is one of the best books to read this fall.
Best Books to Read This Fall
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny
In one of the best books to read this fall, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton teams up with acclaimed mystery novelist Louise Penny. Years of American withdrawal from the world stage have left a power vacuum that its enemies have been more than happy to fill. After a series of terrorist attacks, novice Secretary of State Ellen Adams, under the administration of her rival, must unravel a deadly global conspiracy.
Before Owen Michaels disappeared, he smuggled a note to his new wife Hannah: Protect her. Hannah knows he’s referring to his sixteen-year-old daughter Bailey, but Bailey doesn’t want anything to do with Hannah. As Owen’s boss gets arrested and the FBI comes knocking, Hannah and Bailey must come together to discover Owen’s secrets.
Pauline Green, the United States’s first female President, tries to avoid war when an act of aggression escalates and the world’s greatest powers are caught up in a tangled web of alliances. With the aid of a young intelligence officer, an undercover spy, and a Chinese spymaster, Green must use all her political savvy to save the world in this epic political thriller that lands a spot among the best books to read this fall.
When the reaper comes to collect him at his funeral, Wallace Price realizes he is dead. Instead of the Afterlife, the reaper takes Wallace to a small village tucked into the mountains. There, Wallace befriends the tea shop owner. When the Manager gives Wallace one week to pass on, Wallace decides to live as much as he can in the next seven days.
What do you think are the best books to read this Fall 2021?