As the days grow shorter, our reading habits follow suit, heading indoors from the beach and the pool to the cozy nook and the comfy couch. Light your lamp, pour a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and curl up with a selection from our pile of 13 fantastic fall books, curated with Long Island readers in mind. All of the novels are available in excellent audio productions as well, for those who prefer to take their fiction aurally.

CHENNEVILLE by Paulette Jiles

Credit: William Morrow

The Civil War's been over for a year by the time Union soldier John Chenneville is well enough to head home to St. Louis, where he gets terrible news — his sister and her family have been brutally murdered. Now nothing matters except vengeance. A frontier thriller with gorgeous writing and unforgettable characters. (Morrow, out already)


Credit: Dutton

Posnanski's collection of famous and lesser-known feats on the diamond is sure to be catnip for fans, whether he's reliving Hank Aaron's 715th home run, remembering Willy Mays' impossible catch, relishing the time a woman struck out Babe Ruth or recalling the 15-year-old pitcher who saved the Cincinnati Reds during World War II. (Dutton, out already)

WELLNESS by Nathan Hill

Credit: Knopf

In an afterword to this brilliant novel about modern marriage, the author thanks "all the psychologists, sociologists, neurologists, evolutionary biologists, economists, sexologists, therapists, philosophers, doctors, data scientists and everyone else working so hard to understand our strange, unruly, miraculous and messy minds." We thank Hill for shaping these ideas into such a great story. (Knopf, Tuesday)

MR. TEXAS by Lawrence Wright

Credit: Knopf

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist has poured everything he knows and loves about his home state into this sharp, funny novel about a struggling cattle rancher who goes into politics. From the moment Sonny Lamb saves a little girl's horse from a burning barn, we see him for the hero he is, as do the voters who send him to the state house. (Knopf, Tuesday9/19)

THE UNSETTLED by Ayana Mathis

Credit: Knopf

As this powerful follow-up to “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” opens, Ava is seeking refuge in a Philadelphia homeless shelter. Having fled a Southern homeplace where her father was murdered, then escaping from an abusive partner in New Jersey, she lands in a Black political commune led by her young son's charismatic father. Uncompromising and engrossing. (Simon & Schuster, Sept. 26)


Credit: Flatiron

Off to Haiti for another big, juicy novel from the author of “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.” Following the 1991 coup, Matt's idyllic dive spot, which the expat American co-owns with his island-born best friend, Alix, is commandeered by the military. Everyone says he should go home, but he's in love … with both Alix's brilliant sister Misha, and her troubled island. (Flatiron, Sept. 26)

DEATH VALLEY by Melissa Broder

Credit: Scribner

The narrator of this unusual and unforgettable novel is literally walking in the valley of the shadow of death — escaping the stress of her father's hospitalization and her husband's chronic illness by checking into a desert Best Western and taking a hike. Broder is a genius at combining hilarious absurdity with poignant emotion. (Scribner, Oct. 3)

HOW TO SAY BABYLON by Safiya Sinclair

Credit: 37 Ink

In prose of sinuous beauty, a young Jamaican poet recounts the story of her girlhood, coming of age in a Rastafarian family of the slenderest means, cruelly limited by ingrained sexism. Despite all the difficulties she faces, it is a tribute to family and culture, absolutely gorgeous when read by the author in audio. (37 Ink, Oct. 3)

BLOOD LINES by Nelson and Alex DeMille

Our favorite local father-and-son operation is back with another international thriller featuring Army intelligence agents Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor from their 2019 bestseller “The Deserter.” This time, they're in Berlin investigating the grisly murder of a fellow agent, suspected to be the work of Islamic terrorists. Complexities ensue. (Scribner, Oct. 10)


Credit: Bloomsbury

The first exception in history to the rule that nothing is more boring than other people's dreams is here, courtesy of great New Yorker cartoonist Chast. From being a naked mannequin in wheeled stilettos being pushed around by Jon Hamm to serving wine and cheese at the apocalypse, her dreams are delightful and inspiring. (Bloomsbury, Oct. 24)

ABSOLUTION by Alice McDermott

Credit: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The much-awarded Elmont-raised author of “Charming Billy” and “Someone” has outdone herself with this terrific novel set in Vietnam before the war. At its center is a young wife, Patricia; a little girl, Rainey; and a doll named … Barbie! Dressed in a tiny áo dài, she becomes the linchpin of a story about all the harm done in the name of good. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 31)

ANA TURNS, Lisa Gornick

Credit: Keylight

Part-time Long Islander Gornick gives us 24 hours with a dazzling woman and her complicated life on the day she turns 60. All the key players — her pot-addicted doctor husband, her greedy brother, her nasty mother, her longtime lover and his wife, her newly transitioned daughter, her longtime best friend — put in bravura appearances. (Keylight, Nov. 7)

THE BOOK OF AYN by Lexi Freiman

Credit: Catapult

The last place we expected to find Ayn Rand is in a millennial satire, but Freiman has taken that idea to its fullest and most hilarious expression. Trashed in The New York Times for a comic novel about the opioid epidemic, Anna moves to Los Angeles, where she is soothed but bewildered by the viral success of her animal avatar: Ayn Ram. (Catapult, Nov. 14)

Credit: Getty Images/Westend61/Westend61

Woman sitting on log by bicycle reading book in autumn forest

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