As fall is upon us, nothing sounds better than cozying up with a good book. Whether you’re looking for a tear-jerker or a fast-moving thriller, we’ve gathered a list of 10 perfect books to get your fall reading list started.
The Other Year by Rea Frey
While on a two-week beach vacation, working mother Kate Baker experiences a heart-stopping moment when her nine-year-old daughter, Olivia, vanishes in the waves, only to joyously resurface a few moments later. The incident leaves a terrifying thought in Kate’s mind: What if Olivia hadn’t returned? Told in two parallel timelines, Kate lives different lives; one where Olivia survives and another where she doesn’t. In the reality without Olivia, Kate grapples with unimaginable grief and seeks purpose in a world without her daughter. In the timeline where Olivia lives, Kate navigates a fragile romance with her best friend, Jason, while also dealing with her estranged ex-husband. As Olivia grows more distant, the boundaries between joy and loss blur. “The Other Year” sheds light on the truths of love and loss, and the unexpected turns life can take in the blink of an eye.
The Stockwell Letters by Jacqueline Friedland
At the forefront of abolitionism from a young age, Ann’s activism takes a backseat when illness strikes just before her twenty-fourth birthday. Despite her husband, renowned abolitionist Wendell Phillips, keeping her from anti-slavery outings to prioritize her health, Ann’s resolve remains unshaken. When fugitive slave Anthony Burns is captured in Boston, Ann is determined to help him, regardless of what it costs. Centered on the struggles of 19th-century women striving for change within societal confines, “The Stockwell Letters” immerses readers in the challenging conditions of the antebellum South and the hurdles faced by tireless abolitionists.
Beneath the Surface by Kaira Rouda
An invitation to Catalina Island from billionaire CEO Richard Kingsley is a valuable opportunity for his sons, Ted and John, and their spouses. This overnight voyage becomes a battleground for succession in the Kingsley empire. Richard’s controlling nature mixed with his enigmatic new wife pits family members against each other, and the unexpected arrival of estranged daughter Sibley, though least of the night’s surprises, only amplifies tensions. As the battle for the family’s vast wealth intensifies, the tranquil Pacific waters look more like a menacing illusion. At the end of this trip, one family member will rise as heir, while another will lose everything. But plans don’t always work out, especially with an impending storm threatening to ruin it all.
Trouble the Living by Francesca McDonnell Capossela
Bríd and her sister Ina are working to maintain a stable life in the final years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. After a family tragedy and her mother’s fanaticism, Bríd joins the IRA and flees to America, leaving behind her family and home. As years pass, Bríd buries her tragic history and becomes an overprotective mother to her daughter, Bernie, in Southern California. Bernie’s need for independence and exploration of her sexuality drive a wedge between the mother and daughter. But when they are forced to return to Northern Ireland, they must face the past, the present, and the women they’ve become. As they explore their turbulent past, the mother and daughter uncover the thread of love, violence and secrets that formed them.
With Regrets by Lee Kelly
In an attempt to reconnect with her distant husband who is eager to join the elitist social circle, NYC newcomer Liz Brinkley reluctantly attends an exclusive party hosted by her obnoxious neighbor. They’ve barely sipped champagne when an ominous alert sweeps their phones and screens – mysterious glimmering clouds spreading across U.S. cities prove lethal on contact. Panic grips the party, with many guests being parents frantic to reach their children. Forced into survival mode, the group seeks refuge in their host’s wine cellar, each harboring different survival strategies. As the deadly clouds persist outside, Liz’s determination to reunite with her kids intensifies, and the tensions among the party guests continue to rise.
Kill for Love by Laura Picklesimer
Tiffany, a privileged sorority sister in Los Angeles, grapples with sadistic urges and haunting nightmares of destruction. After a violent incident stemming from a frat party hookup, Tiffany awakens an insatiable desire to murder attractive young men. As her bloodlust intensifies and the body count rises, Tiffany faces increasing legal scrutiny, a competition of social media-fueled murders, and a budding relationship with Weston, who she believes could be the perfect boyfriend. This female-driven, modern-day American Psycho reveals the toxic plasticity of modern society through dark humor and a gripping plot.
The Intern by Michele Campbell
Madison Rivera secures a life-changing internship with Judge Kathryn Conroy, but she harbors a secret that could ruin her career: her troubled younger brother Danny stands accused before the very judge she works for. When Danny vanishes following accusations of corruption against Conroy, Madison embarks on a journey for answers that brings her into the judge’s dazzling world. Uncertainty surrounds Madison. Is Conroy a mentor, victim, or criminal? Is she an ally or manipulator? In a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game, the two women navigate treacherous waters, questioning who will save whom, and whether betrayal will leave one of them dead.
The Location Shoot by Patricia Leavy
Controversial filmmaker Jean Mercier is shooting a film in Sweden. While working on his latest work of art, Mercier spends the summer living with his lead actors Albie Hughes, Charlotte Reed, Michael Hennesey, Willow Barnes, and Finn Forrester. When Mercier invites his philosopher friend, Ella Sinclair, to join them for the summer, a passionate romance sparks between Ella and Finn. As the film delves into life’s profound questions, the actors find themselves reflecting on their personal crossroads. Months later, the cast and crew reunite on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet. Their revelations promise an unforgettable night that blurs the lines between art and reality.
Always Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende
Phoenix Walker’s life takes a profound turn after a heroic act alters him permanently. Nine months later, he vows never to harm Orchid Paige again. Orchid, ready to forgive and determined to reaffirm her love, embarks on a journey to rebuild their connection despite Phoenix’s injuries. But as they relocate to her family’s ancestral country, they are confronted with China’s deep-seated superstitions against individuals with disabilities, creating unexpected challenges. Worse, their friend’s life has been disrupted by these prejudices, leaving Phoenix and Orchid to wonder if there is a way to beat the odds and turn discrimination into acceptance.
This Time Could Be Different by Khristin Wierman
Madeline, a driven overachiever in her late forties, has achieved tremendous professional success. She’s a senior vice president at a prominent bank, sticks to a demanding skincare regimen and is within a foot of her phone at all times. Madison works alongside her best friend Emma, who effortlessly manages a career, marriage, and teenage daughter. Both of their paths are brimming with opportunity, yet Madison is miserable. Desperate for change and purpose, Madeline reluctantly embarks on a journey of yoga, meditation and self-discovery. Guided by her unconventional therapist’s advice, Madison risks everything to get out of her comfort zone and unlock a world more fulfilling than she could have imagined.