The 10 best books to read this Autumn
From hilarious rom-coms to thought-provoking essays, here’s the best books to read this Autumn
image Call Me By Your Name / Sony Pictures Classics
words Rhys Thomas
Yes, it’s getting into cosy szn. The leaves are falling off the trees quicker than cardigans are coming off hangers. We’re clutching warm coffees and taking brisk walks, remembering how not too long ago we were watching ice melt in the drinks we sipped under the shade of a tree, and long sprawling nights outside are of course being replaced with cosier nights curled up with a book, just in time for the transition to winter.
And if you’re wondering what to read right now, we’ve plenty of great ideas for you. From Arlo Parks, to a new Dolly Alderton novel, here are ten top books to consider adding to the pile this Autumn.
A very original and ambitious work receiving a lot of acclaim (including The Guardian mentioning that there’s a “Nabokovian intrigue to this thrilling tale”. The Variations is the story of a famously reclusive composer found dead on a snowy field near her home. She learned to tune into the voices and sounds of the past, and has passed her talents on to her grandson, who we see try to make sense of her legacy and his new abilities. OUT NOW
Award-winning comedian, writer, and actor Sara Pascoe’s debut novel is here! Weirdo follows Sophie, a wonderful main character who is working hard to be happy; even if anxiety and life generally try to get in the way. Of course, it’s funny, but it’s sharp and clever too. OUT NOW
Following on from 2011’s Open City, which follows a Nigerian immigrant in New York and was praised heavily for its prose and for capturing the vibes of the big apple, Cole is back with Tremor. This novel looks into what constitutes a meaningful life in a world of violence and wonder. The novel does so through Tunde, who is reflecting on his West African upbringing through to his current work as a teacher of photography on a renowned New England campus. The idea of joy is seen throughout the inspiring story. OUT 19 OCTOBER
Empire of Normality
In Empire of Normality, Robert Chapman blows apart outdated and oppressive understandings of mental functioning by arguing that a bright future for neurodivergent communities could be achieved by challenging the deepest logics of capitalism. If you’re looking for a groundbreaking book assessing and considering the huge lack of discourse around neurodiversity, and what constitutes ‘normal’, then this is for you. OUT 20 NOVEMBER
That’s right, there’s a new Dolly on the way! The bestselling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love’s new novel is a funny and relatable story of navigating heartbreak and friendship. For a book on contemporary, messy, love, quite simply who else would you turn to? OUT 09 NOVEMBER
The Magic Border: Poetry and fragments from My Soft Machine
In the build-up to this collection of poetry, song lyrics and images being released, Arlo Parks said: “Poetry was my place, my little clearing in the forest, where I could quietly put everything I was holding. I’m not sure what gave me the courage to open up that space to you, but here I am, doing it.” There’s twenty original poems, an exclusive artist’s statement and the complete lyrics from her sophomore album My Soft Machine to pour into. OUT NOW
This Spells Love
Autumn In New York, When Harry Met Sally, The Proposal, Autumn is an iconic time for romantic comedy. This Spells Love is another to add to your hearty collection. This starts with a couple of margaritas, and a mystical aunt reading out a drunken spell, the protagonist, Gemma, wakes up in a parallel world where she didn't give years of her life to the wrong man. OUT 07 DECEMBER
Sonic Life: A Memoir
Everyone’s got a story to tell, but few are as immersed in the world of alternative and indie music as Thurston Moore’s. The Sonic Youth frontman details his life in this book, from the moment he found rock and roll as a child through to his formative experiences with punk in New York, to the present day. Anecdotes and tales featuring the likes of Velvet Underground, Stooges, Patti Smith, Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring are a’plenty. Enjoy. OUT 26 OCTOBER
One for the foodies among you, specifically, those of you who just love food. This life through the lens of food from the award-winning stand-up comedian, writer and podcaster (yes, it’s that Ed, from Off Menu) is a feast for the eyes as well as the imagination. You’ll laugh as much as your mouth will water. Delicious. OUT 26 OCTOBER
For something a little less cuddly, Antwi’s On Cuddling is a combination of essay and poetry that contends with how racial violence is enacted through intimacy. Informed by Black feminist and queer poetics, Phanuel Antwi focuses his lens on the suffering of Black people at the hands of state violence and racial capitalism. This is a book that’ll change the way you think. OUT 20 NOVEMBER
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