The Best Books to Read for Fall

As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, there’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book and a warm cup of tea or coffee. Fall is the perfect time to dive into some new reads and explore different genres. Whether you’re looking for a spooky thriller to get you in the Halloween spirit, a heartwarming romance to cozy up with, or to learn something new from non-fiction, there’s something for everyone this season. Here are some of the best books to read for fall to add to your reading list. I found all of these books via AWSL reader recommendations, so please continue to add more books I should check out in the comments.

Jennifer Connolly reading with Cashmere wrap over her legs

If you’re looking for more book recommendations, check out these posts:

The Best Books to Read for Fall

“Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver

This Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Barbara Kingsolver came highly recommended by multiple AWSL readers. “Demon Copperhead” is the tale of a boy born into poverty in the southern Appalachia mountains, navigating a harsh life marked by foster care, child labor, addiction, and heartbreak. The novel parallels Dickens’ “David Copperfield,” drawing inspiration from Dickens’ social commentary. Barbara Kingsolver brings Dickens’ compassion and belief in storytelling’s transformative abilities to the contemporary American South, highlighting the struggles of a new generation in rural settings they can’t escape.

“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

AWSL reader Carole says, “One of the best books I’ve read was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I’ve loaned it out many times, and everyone raved about it. I read several books a month and belong to several book clubs, so when I facilitate a book, it has to be a great read.” Entertainment Weekly calls this “An unforgettable―and Hollywood-bound―new thriller… A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.”

“A Woman is No Man” by Etaf Rum

This book came highly recommended by AWSL reader Missy. She says, “It’s a story about 3 Arab-American women living in Brooklyn and Palestine, and it’s by no means a light-hearted, happy summer read, but I can’t stop listening. I feel like I’m with them –in their homes, as the story is being read.”

“News of the World” by Paulette Jiles

This one was recommended by AWSL reader Terry. This historical novel by Paulette Jiles is set in post-Civil War Texas. The story follows Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a war veteran turned itinerant newsreader, as he embarks on a dangerous journey to return a young orphan girl, Johanna, to her surviving family. As they traverse the rugged and perilous landscape, the novel explores themes of resilience, cultural clash, and the bond that develops between the unlikely pair. Fun fact: this novel was made into a film in 2020 featuring Tom Hanks!

“West with Giraffes” by Lynda Rutledge

“West with Giraffes” by Lynda Rutledge is a historical novel that follows the remarkable true story of two giraffes and their journey from Africa to America during the Great Depression. It’s a heartwarming and adventurous tale of hope, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between humans and animals. AWSL reader Linda said she couldn’t put it down!

“The Measure” by Nikki Erlick

One AWSL reader says, “My book club read it this past January, and I still think about it. SO good!” In “The Measure,” eight ordinary people from around the world receive mysterious wooden boxes that reveal the exact number of years they have left to live. As this revelation triggers a global frenzy, individuals grapple with the choice of whether to open their boxes and learn their fate. What do you think, ladies… Would you open your box?

“The Lonely Hearts Book Club” by Lucy Gilmore

Sloane Parker leads a quiet life as a librarian in her close-knit town, never admitting to herself that she might be lonely. However, her daily banter with the cantankerous Arthur McLachlan, who visits the library to tease her good-naturedly, is a cherished highlight. When Arthur suddenly stops coming, Sloane’s concern grows, leading her to discover he’s unwell but elated to see her. To brighten Arthur’s life, Sloane forms an impromptu book club that brings together the town’s misfits, showing them the joy of unexpected friendships, each discovering the magic of a cherished book and the solace it offers within its pages. Thanks to Joanna for recommending this one!

“Killers of a Certain Age” by Deanna Raybourn

After four decades of service as elite assassins in the Museum, Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie find themselves outdated in an era favoring technology over their unique skills. Sent on a retirement vacation, they’re suddenly targeted by one of their own, a move only the Board, the Museum’s top members, can authorize. To survive, they must unite against their own organization, leveraging their experience and teamwork to outwit the Board, proving that being women and killers of a certain age is a force to be reckoned with. AWSL reader Arpita, says she is loving this one!

Other Great Books to Read for Fall

Here are some other wonderful options, all recommended by AWSL readers:

Shop More of the Best Books to Read for Fall:

What’s the latest book you have read that you could not put down?


  1. Thanks for this. I’ve added a number of books to be Goodreads want to read list
    I’m going to recommend The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris. I read it 4 weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it. It’s about representation and being your authentic self. But it’s got a little mystery and for me at least a huge twist that I didn’t see coming
    I’m assuming everyone’s already read
    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. Fun and entertaining, with some Hollywood glamour & some real life strife,
    And The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton. How far would you go for fame and fortune. It’s about r rock and roll, race, culture and everything in between

    1. The Other Black Girl sounds wonderful! I did read The seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and really enjoyed it.

  2. Thank you for this amazing book list! My reading list just got longer! I read several historical books by Jon Meachem earlier this year. Now I am listening to the Sister Jane series by Rita Mae Brown. I am into cozy murder mysteries right now.

    1. I used to read a lot of cozy mysteries. It’s a great time of year for them.

  3. I was a teacher for 40 years, and I read too many bad student papers. Every. Stinking. Day. Now I’m retired and I read only what I want, and that’s only historical fiction. I’m moving through the Viking world right now.

  4. Thanks for the great book list and all the books suggested in the comments! Got to write some of theses down for future reads. Life has been busy right now and I haven’t had time to read, but looking forward to when I can make time.

    1. I’m hoping to find more time to read some of these too.

  5. I have been working my way down the list of Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction. Let me tell you, it is soul crushingly depressing. Evidently a requirement to be considered award worthy. One book that was entertaining and had a happy ending was “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer. It’s part travelogue, part comedy, part love story. The main character is Less, a hapless, gay, aging, marginal author. I just finished the sequel “Less is Lost”.

  6. Thanks for the list! Another great read is “Good Night, Irene” by Luis Alberto Urrea. It’s about a group of Donut Dollies who served during WWII, inspired by the life of the author’s mother.

  7. Just love this great list of books❤️

  8. Was able to get a copy of The Measure from my local library and an ebook. So excited to read it!! Don’t know if I would open the box😱

      1. Started The Measure, got through the prologue and two chapters and I am hooked! So good 😊

  9. I love Louise Penny’s books! I actually bought the next Inspector Gamache book to read on our flight to Japan this weekend! My favorite fall read is Little Women. It’s so cozy! Thanks for putting together this list!

    1. Have a safe flight and a great trip. I love Japan.

  10. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – those of us of a certain age remember what is was like for women in the workplace in the 60’s. Apple TV movie coming in late Oct.

    Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See, I like any of Lisa See books.

    Happy reading 📚

    1. D'O Dillard says:

      My book club is reading The Island of Sea Women in November.

  11. Anything by Kristen Hannah is worth staying up all night to finish.

    1. I agree, she’s a great read.

  12. Thanks for this post, I can’t wait to check some of these books out.

  13. Thanks for all the book suggestions. I am reading a very good book at the moment. ” In Someone Else’s Shoes”, by Jo Jo Moyes. The book came out this year. Great writer, and the characters well developed. This writer has written other best sellers.

  14. Linda Shearer says:

    Thank You for all the great suggestions. Several I wrote down to bring up at book club. We already have read Remarkably Bright Creatures and Demon Copper Head. Both great books!

  15. C Kritzer says:

    I can also recommend two books, best read back-to-back, in either order. Both are fictional books based upon historical facts. “Jackie’s Girl”, by Kathy McKeon is about the personal maid/nanny to Jackie Kennedy and her experiences with that family. I know its fiction, but knowing the family history, you wonder how much is actually true!! A must read for those who love all things KENNEDY. Next book to read in the same genre is “Saints for All Occasions” by J. Courtney Sullivan. It is about the Irish young gals who immigrated in the 40’s-50’s to the US in search a better life as nannies/maids to the wealthy families of the US. You get the maid/nanny perspective from both sides…from the maid/nanny and from the hiring families. I would read Saints first, then move onto Jackie’s Girl. Enjoy!

    1. These sound right up my alley! I love to read all things “Kennedy”.

  16. I recommend Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See. It is based on the life of a doctor in fifteenth century China named Lady Tan. Lisa See masterfully shows the hardships and friendships of women of that era in China. I read this very quickly and was sad when the book came to an end. ( I may have to read it again.😀)

    1. I love the sound of this book!

  17. Diane Ban says:

    Verity by Coleen Hoover – it is a little racy, but definitely a page turner. Suspense thriller!

  18. I became very engrossed in Dan Jones (British historian), ‘Power and Thrones’, an overview about the Middle Ages, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Reformation. It led me to my current book, ‘The Mongol Storm’, about the rise of Ghinggis Khan and the Mongolian Empire – which I usually linked to yurts and yak milk. For a bit of light reading, I am waiting for Jilly Cooper’s latest bonk buster, ‘Tackle’. Hope you had a great time in Portugal, despite the travails of flying.

    1. These sound great Susan!

  19. Can’t wait to curl up with one of these!

  20. Oh my goodness, my To Read book list just got a whole lot longer! Please don’t forget to support your local library! Our libraries here in CT will bring in books from other libraries for you if they don’t have them on their shelves and my local one has no overdue fees anymore, the best bargain in town!!

    1. Yes, and you can rent audible books for free with Libby.

  21. Thank you for this WONDERFUL and unexpected blog entry! I have read and loved a number of the ones mentioned and adding all the rest to my must read list. I keep a “have read” and “recommended to read” list on my phone because there have been many times I get started on a book, read for a while and realize that I have already read it!😳😤😂. Thanks, too, to everyone who contributed.

    1. LOL, I have done that too Terry, and it’s so frustrating when I realize it.

  22. I’ve read several of these titles from both lists- all were very interesting stories and well written too.
    Hoping to find a new book when I take a longer look at your suggestions a bit later today. Heading off to Tai Chi class soon!

    1. Have fun at class, Paulette. I have been curious to try Tai Chi

  23. I have another vote for Mad Honey. The protagonist is a single mother and victim of domestic abuse, who has returned to her diseased parents’ home with her teenage son. Her occupation is to manage the family honey business. There is a murder. Could her beloved son share the same dark side as his father? Plenty of secrets are revealed.
    It amazed me that Jody Picoult and Jennifer Boulanger co wrote the book because the voices are seemless.

    1. I also loved this book. So much food for thought about the difference between privacy and secrets; as well as questions about does our identity define what we are or who we are… I learned so much from this novel… and not just about bee keeping!!

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