Our most anticipated books of fall 2023

The Fraud book cover

The Fraud by Zadie Smith

Penguin Press | September 5

We haven’t had a novel from Zadie Smith since her 2016 bestseller, Swing Time, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize. In the interim, she’s been busy with plays and arguably the only good COVID-19-related literature to be published during the pandemic’s first year, Intimations. With The Fraud, Smith takes us to 1873 for the story of a Scottish housekeeper, a formerly enslaved man from Jamaica and the ways their lives intersect via the real-life “Tichborne Trial,” in which an Australian butcher claims he’s the heir of a sizable estate.

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff

Riverhead | September 12

Calling all admirers of moss, devotees of fungus and fans of wilderness fiction: The next novel from Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies, Matrix) is a Colonial-era adventure story following a girl who leaves behind her village in Jamestown, Virginia, to live in the woods. Groff is a three-time finalist for the National Book Award, so all we’re saying is, it’s about time she won it.

Land of Milk and Honey book cover

Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang

Riverhead | September 26

The strength of the reimagined Westerns trend can, in part, be attributed to the originality and unforgettable voice of C Pam Zhang’s first novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold. With her second novel, Zhang dips into another popular arena: the realm of climate change fiction and “eat the rich” narratives. Land of Milk and Honey is the story of a young chef living in a world where food is rapidly disappearing whose life changes dramatically when she takes a job atop an elite mountaintop colony. We’d love a place at Zhang’s table, please.

The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis

Knopf | September 26

Ayana Mathis kicked in the door with her bestselling first novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2012), which earned her comparisons to Toni Morrison. We’re finally getting her follow-up, a multigenerational family saga that’s divided between small-town Alabama and Philadelphia caught amid racial turmoil. Bonds between mothers and daughters are at the heart of The Unsettled, but part of the story is inspired by real history involving a group that split off from the Black Panthers and the 1985 bombing of Philadelphia’s Cobbs Creek neighborhood.

Let Us Descend book cover

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

Scribner | October 24

Jesmyn Ward is a two-time National Book Award winner, the youngest winner of the Library of Congress Prize for Fiction and a MacArthur Fellow, but before now, she’s never published a work of historical fiction. Let Us Descend draws on Dante’s Inferno for the story of an enslaved teenage girl who, after being sold by her white father, journeys from a rice plantation in the Carolinas to a New Orleans slave market and finally to a Louisiana sugar plantation. It also opens with an absolute knockout of a first line: “The first weapon I ever held was my mother’s hand.”

The Maniac by Benjamín Labatut

Penguin Press | October 3

Chilean author Benjamín Labatut’s novel When We Cease to Understand the World was a Booker Prize and National Book Award finalist. With The Maniac, the first book that Labatut has written in English, he continues to explore questions of genius, physics and mathematics through the tale of real-life Hungarian American polymath John von Neumann, inventor of game theory and the first programmable computer. A chorus of friends, family and rivals traces von Neumann’s story and how he paved the way for AI.

Blackouts book cover

Blackouts by Justin Torres

FSG | October 10

Twelve years after his bestselling debut, We the Animals (which was adapted for film in 2018), Justin Torres is back with a second novel, in which a young man cares for an important figure who, from their deathbed, has much to share. Torres was inspired by the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman, the first all-Black production of Macbeth (known as “Voodoo Macbeth”), the film Pedro Páramo and the 20th-century book Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns, the latter of which factors into the novel in a major way.

America Fantastica by Tim O’Brien

Mariner | October 24

The author of The Things They Carried (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize) hasn’t published a new novel in 20 years, though he’s dabbled in nonfiction in the interim. Tim O’Brien’s grand return to fiction sounds like a classic dark-descent road trip novel, with a disgraced journalist’s bank robbery leading to a cross-country saga that explores an American landscape amid the Trump administration of 2019.

The Future book cover

The Future by Naomi Alderman

Simon & Schuster | November 7

Naomi Alderman’s speculative 2017 novel, The Power, was a bestseller, won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and was adapted for an Amazon Prime original series. With that novel, Alderman imagined a sudden female superpower that could reverse the patriarchal world order, and with The Future, she envisions another tale of radical disruption. This time, a group of friends conspire to take down the tech billionaires who are destroying our world.

The Liberators by E.J. Koh

Tin House | November 7

E.J. Koh is a poet, memoirist (her debut, The Magical Language of Others, won the Washington State Book Award), MacDowell Fellow and a writer on the Apple TV+ adaptation of Pachinko. This fall, she publishes her first novel, an epic saga that moves among two families, four generations and two continents. Newlyweds Insuk and Sungho leave South Korea for a new home in San Jose, California, along with their son, Henry, and Sungho’s mother-in-law. Their dramatic experiences unfold alongside flashbacks to key moments in recent South Korean history, from the 1980 Gwangju Uprising to the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster, and eventually, all of their lives are changed when Henry falls in love with a North Korean defector.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

We may say some version of this every year, but we promise: This fall’s lineup really is one of the most exciting we’ve seen in a while. These are the 10 works of fiction we’re most dying to read this season.

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron

Soho Crime | September 12

Mick Herron’s marvelous Slough House espionage novels acquired a whole new fan base when the Apple TV+ adaptation premiered to critical raves. In a very canny move by Herron, his latest book, The Secret Hours, will function as both an entry point for newcomers and a treat for longtime readers. A standalone prequel to the Slough House series, The Secret Hours tracks a seemingly stalled inquiry into misconduct in the British intelligence service, an investigation that gets a shot of rocket fuel when a mysterious file resurrects a Cold War-era operation gone horribly wrong. Apparently, somewhere in all the mayhem that unfolds, Herron will reveal the backstory of a key Slough House player . . .

The Golden Gate by Amy Chua

Minotaur | September 19

The author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother revealing that she’s penned a hard-boiled mystery certainly wasn’t on our 2023 bingo card! Amy Chua’s fiction debut is a 1940s-set mystery in the Raymond Chandler mode, following a lone-wolf detective through the shadowy, underground world of San Francisco’s rich and powerful as he hunts a murderer in their midst.

The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman

Pamela Dorman | September 19

Richard Osman’s blockbuster cozy mystery series (what a wonderful world, in which such a phrase can be written) returns, and while plot details are scarce, the Coopers Chase gang’s fourth case seems to involve a smuggling scheme gone wrong, ruining Boxing Day—the day after Christmas, which the British typically celebrate with TV marathons and leftovers galore—for everyone.

The Bell in the Fog by Lev AC Rosen

Forge | October 10

Lev AC Rosen’s first Andy Mills mystery, Lavender House, was one of the best mysteries of 2022, and we can’t wait to see where Rosen takes his cop-turned-PI next. The Bell in the Fog will further explore the gay underground of 1950s San Francisco as Andy hunts down a blackmailer targeting one of his old flames from the Navy.

Bluebeard’s Castle by Anna Biller

Verso | October 10

In 2016, Anna Biller made the instant cult classic film The Love Witch, but “made” doesn’t really encapsulate the totality of her accomplishment. Biller (deep breath) not only directed, wrote, produced and edited the movie, she also oversaw the music and designed the entire look of the film, from the sets to the iconic costumes. Apparently, there’s nothing Biller can’t do, because she’s bringing her gothic-meets-midcentury-camp aesthetic to the page with Bluebeard’s Castle, a retelling of the famous fairy tale that also seems to be in conversation with Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

The Exchange by John Grisham

Doubleday | October 17

Once upon a time, a lawyer and lawmaker named John Grisham released his second novel, The Firm, and the rest is publishing history. Forty-eight bestselling novels later, Grisham is finally returning to the world of the one that started it all with The Exchange, which catches up with The Firm’s Mitch and Abby 15 years later. Now a high-powered Manhattan lawyer, Mitch becomes embroiled in another powerful conspiracy, but this time with a global reach.

Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock by Emily J. Edwards

Crooked Lane | November 7

The His Girl Friday mysteries couldn’t be more aptly named: Emily J. Edwards’ midcentury mystery series has all the snappy brio and Rosie the Riveter feminism of the classic rom-com starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. In her third outing, the titular sleuth’s Times Square-set New Year’s Eve celebration is ruined when she witnesses a murder en route. 

Murder in Williamstown by Kerry Greenwood

Poisoned Pen | November 7

With a TV series, movie, spinoff TV series and spinoff book series inspired by said spinoff TV series, the Miss Fisher universe only continues to expand—and we couldn’t be happier. Phryne Fisher returns in Kerry Greenwood’s 22nd mystery starring the glamorous detective, who will be investigating a murder that seems to be connected to her lover Lin Chung’s family.

The Fourth Rule by Jeff Lindsay

Dutton | December 5

Do you love the Mission: Impossible movies? Do you wish that they starred characters with . . . more flexible senses of morality? Then hie thee to Jeff Lindsay’s Riley Wolfe series. The thrillers starring the dashing thief (Just Watch Me, Fool Me Twice and Three-Edged Sword) are delightful globe-trotting adventures that provide plenty of escapist fun while never talking down to their audience, just like Tom Cruise’s joyously go-for-broke action blockbusters.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

This autumn, we’re excited to reunite with some of our favorite sleuths (The Thursday Murder Club! Slough House!) and read intriguing mystery debuts from Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother author Amy Chua and The Love Witch director Anna Biller.

A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel by KJ Charles

Sourcebooks Casablanca | September 19

KJ Charles will conclude her Doomsday Books duology with A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel, which takes place 13 years after The Secret Lives of Country Gentleman. Nobleman’s Guide will follow Luke Doomsday, all grown up after the traumatic events of Secret Lives, as he becomes the secretary to Major Rufus d’Aumesty, the new Earl of Oxney. Luke has an ulterior motive for working at the earl’s seat at Stone Manor, a motive that makes his growing feelings for Rufus highly inconvenient . . .

The Wake-Up Call by Beth O’Leary

Berkley | September 26

And now the holiday portion of this list begins, as a whole host of romance’s biggest stars are taking a swing at the seasonal rom-com this year. First up, The Flatshare and The No-Show author Beth O’Leary, whose latest novel will follow dueling receptionists as they try to stop their hotel from shutting down.

Three Holidays and a Wedding by Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley

Putnam | September 26 

Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley’s first collaboration may be the most ambitious undertaking on this list. The duo will be attempting the always tricky “two love stories in one romance” plot in a book that will also depict three beloved winter celebrations: Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid. It’s all set in an adorable Canadian town where a movie is being filmed and a bridal party has been snowed in for the holidays, so if you’re looking to play holiday romance bingo, this will be the book for you! 

Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey

Avon | October 3

Tessa Bailey, one of BookTok’s favorite authors, will be giving a gift to fans of musician and celebrity romances this holiday season. Wreck the Halls follows Melody and Beat, the adult children of two legendary rock stars who team up to convince their estranged mothers to perform a concert together on Christmas Eve. 

A Winter in New York by Josie Silver

Dell | October 3

Josie Silver’s One Day in December has been a perennial favorite on holiday reading lists ever since its release in 2018, and fans of her emotional romances will be thrilled to know that she’s returning with another wintry love story. As will people who defiantly eat frozen treats in colder months, as this story follows a chef who discovers that her secret family gelato recipe is, somehow, exactly the same as the one used by an adorable New York City gelateria. 

A Holly Jolly Ever After by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

Avon | October 10

Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone’s A Merry Little Meet Cute was a delightfully bawdy entry in the holiday rom-com canon, so we’re thrilled they’re returning with a new book in the Christmas Notch series. Kallum Lieberman, who was once “the funny one” in popular boy band INK (the same group to which a Merry Little’s Nolan once belonged), finds himself falling for former child star turned squeaky-clean actor Winnie Baker on the set of their new movie, which the book’s marketing copy describes as “a sexy Santa biopic.” We have so many questions, and we cannot wait to have them answered.

Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender

Forever | October 10

Kacen Callender seems to be on a mission to prove that there is no genre or category they can’t conquer. From YA fiction and romance to adult fantasy, their work is consistently thoughtful and idiosyncratic. Now, Callender will bring their unique voice to the world of adult romance for the first time with Stars in Your Eyes, a celebrity romance between two actors who embark on a fake-dating scheme to change the publicity narrative surrounding their film after one of them says the other has no talent.  

10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall

Sourcebooks Casablanca | October 17

With his London Calling and Winner Bakes All series, Alexis Hall has established himself as the romance connoisseur’s go-to pick for witty, sexy rom-coms. 10 Things That Never Happened will thrill fans of Hall’s London Calling novels, as it’s set in the same universe, while also presenting an intriguing challenge for the talented author: Can he make a character who lies about having amnesia sympathetic?

Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date by Ashley Herring Blake

Berkley | October 24

The titular character of Ashley Herring Blake’s Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date has been a scene-stealing supporting character in the two previous Bright Falls romances, so it’s high time that Iris gets a happily ever after of her very own! She meets her match in Stevie, a subpar one-night stand who is cast alongside Iris in a local production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Hunt on Dark Waters by Katee Robert

Berkley | November 7

Katee Robert, of Greek myth reimaginings and monster romance fame, has turned her attention to a once wildly popular but now sadly neglected corner of the genre: the pirate romance. Never afraid of bucking tradition, Robert has added a fantasy spin by sparking romance between a witch on the run and a telekinetic pirate captain.

Silver Lady by Mary Jo Putney

Kensington | November 28

Mary Jo Putney is one of historical romance’s most acclaimed and beloved authors, and her new duology will take place at what seems to be the subgenre’s current hot location: Cornwall. (Thank you, “Poldark”!) The first book, Silver Lady, will follow dutiful Bran Tremayne, who reluctantly travels to the region to survey his new inheritance. But once he’s there, he feels bound to protect Merryn, a mysterious woman with amnesia who seems to be at the center of a web of political intrigue.

Housebroke by Jaci Burton

Berkley | December 12

Jaci Burton is the latest author to make the switch from series to standalone rom-coms, and the summary for her new novel, Housebroke, sounds like trope heaven. A secret millionaire! House-flipping! Rescue dogs! Forced proximity! Burton may make herself a whole host of new fans with the tale of Hazel Bristow, who’s staying in her friend’s home after getting dumped, only to find that her friend has just sold the house to millionaire Linc Kennedy. When Linc arrives at his new property, he’s shocked to find Hazel and her crew of rescue dogs already present, but he lets her stay while he renovates the place.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

This fall, we’ll be cozying up to Katee Robert’s pirate romance, Alexis Hall’s most ambitious love story yet and an entire sleigh’s worth of holiday rom-coms.

Starter Villain by John Scalzi

Tor | September 19

John Scalzi returns with another sci-fi romp after last year’s The Kaiju Preservation Society, and the plot sounds like a Tumblr thread come to life—which we mean as the highest of compliments. When Charlie unexpectedly inherits his uncle Jake’s supervillain business (complete with “unionized dolphins” and “hyper-intelligent talking spy cats”), he also inherits his uncle’s feud with a group of even more terrifying bad guys: ruthless corporate overlords.

The Fragile Threads of Power by V. E. Schwab

Tor | September 26

There are many wonderful entry points to the work of V. E. Schwab, and fantasy fans swear by her Shades of Magic trilogy, which travels between four alternate versions of Regency London. Schwab completed the trilogy in 2017 and ventured to other genres and categories, writing the popular Cassidy Blake middle grade horror series, a young adult fantasy and a little book called The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. But now, Schwab will check back in with the heroes of the Shades of Magic trilogy in The Fragile Threads of Power, which takes place seven years later as new threats rise in two of the four Londons they call home.

Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig

Del Rey | September 26

The vibe of Chuck Wendig’s latest horror novel sounds like cottagecore, but make it terrifying, and we are very much here for that. The picturesque small town of Harrow is forever changed when its inhabitants become obsessed with some mysterious, beautiful and powerful apples that transform them into better versions of themselves. But as harvest draws closer, the true nature of the apples and the town’s bloody history will be revealed. 

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

Tor | October 3

Alix E. Harrow’s third novel appears to be a dark echo of her debut, The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Opal is another young woman in a mysterious house, but she’s not trying to escape like January Scaller. Rather, Opal is determined to make a home in Starling House, no matter what dark and terrifying forces lurk within it.

The Dead Take the A Train by Cassandra Khaw and Richard Kadrey

Tor Nightfire | October 3

Cassandra Khaw made a name for themself with the ambitious and creative horror novellas Nothing But Blackened Teeth and The Salt Grows Heavy. Next, they’ll be teaming up with urban fantasy writer Richard Kadrey for a duology following a burnt-out New York City magician who accidentally puts the world in jeopardy while trying to save her best friend.

Throne of the Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco

Little, Brown | October 3

YA powerhouse Kerri Maniscalco’s adult debut, Throne of the Fallen, follows a prince of hell who falls in love with a painter. In a canny move, the novel is set in the same world as Maniscalco’s Kingdom of the Wicked series, which will thrill the books’ many adult fans who have been hoping for more mature content.  

The Night House by Jo Nesbo jacket

The Night House by Jo Nesbø, translated by Neil Smith

Knopf | October 3

There are complicated setups and then there are hooks like the one iconic Norwegian mystery writer Jo Nesbø employs in his first horror novel: What if you saw somebody die by getting sucked into a phone? That’s what happens to 14-year-old Richard in Nesbø’s The Night House and since no one believes him, Richard embarks on a quest to try and figure out why dark forces are targeting his small-town home.

Sword Catcher by Cassandra Clare

Del Rey | October 10

With the end of her iconic, megabestselling and wildly popular Shadowhunter Chronicles in sight (one more trilogy, then it’s curtains!), Cassandra Clare is making the leap to adult fiction after 16 years as one of the reigning queens of YA. Sword Catcher will follow Kel, a nobleman’s body double, and Lin, a physician with magical abilities, as they uncover a conspiracy at the very heart of the powerful city-state of Castellane.

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

Saga | October 31

Iconic speculative fiction author Tananarive Due returns with The Reformatory, which is based on the same horrifying real school as Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys—a school to which Due has a family connection. It’s 1950, and 12-year-old Robbie Stephens Jr. has just been sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys. But since Robbie can see ghosts, he begins to realize that something terrible is happening to the boys of Gracetown.

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Tor | November 7

Travis Baldree’s Legends & Lattes was a major hit last year, delighting readers in search of low-stakes cozy fantasies. His next book will move from a coffee shop setting to one just as soothing: a bookshop in a seaside town. As it turns out, Legends & Lattes’ Viv once spent a summer recovering from a wound in the tiny beach town of Murk—and what happened to her there set her on the path to becoming the aspiring coffee shop owner with whom readers fell in love.

A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

Tordotcom | November 7

Freya Marske’s beloved Edwardian historical fantasy series comes to an end with A Power Unbound, which tells the love story of privileged Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, and cynical writer and thief Alan Ross. The two men have the sort of enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract dynamic that thrills romance fans, and if Markse’s previous novels are any indication, A Power Unbound will be another perfect combination of love story and grand fantasy adventure. 

System Collapse by Martha Wells

Tordotcom | November 14

Martha Wells’ beloved Murderbot is back for another smart and hilarious adventure in System Collapse, only this time, there’s something wrong with our stalwart hero’s programming! Murderbot will have to fix its internal bugs and figure out what exactly is going wrong inside itself before it can save the day.

Inheritance by Nora Roberts

St. Martin’s | November 21

The legendary Nora Roberts begins a new fantasy romance series with Inheritance, which will explore the haunted history of the Poole family. Sonya McTavish didn’t know her father had a brother until her uncle died and left her a beautiful Victorian house on the coast of Maine. She has to live in the house for three years to claim it, but once she’s there, she realizes the house may be haunted by the spirit of Astrid, a woman who was murdered after marrying into the Poole family in 1806. 

The Kingdom of Sweets by Erika Johansen

Dutton | November 28

The Kingdom of Sweets is YA author Erika Johansen’s first novel for adults and her first novel outside of the bestselling Queen of the Tearling fantasy series. A new take on The Nutcracker, The Kingdom of Sweets follows Natasha, a young girl who enters the Land of the Sweets and strikes a dangerous bargain with the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

This season, we can’t wait to read the adult debuts of iconic YA authors like Cassandra Clare and see what new delights rising stars like Freya Marske have cooked up. All that, and a new Murderbot novel too!
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Impossible Escape by Steve Sheinkin

Roaring Brook | August 29

Steve Sheinkin’s meticulously researched young adult nonfiction books (Fallout, Undefeated, The Port Chicago 50) have won him countless accolades, and he’s been a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature three times. His latest offering tells the incredible true story of Rudolph Vrba, who was only a teenager when he escaped Auschwitz-Birkenau and warned the rest of the world about the atrocities being committed by the Nazis in the concentration camps. Sheinkin weaves Vrba’s tale with that of his Jewish friend Gerta Sidonová, whose family concealed their identities and fled to Hungary.

I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me by Jamison Shea

Henry Holt | August 29

With the success of films such as Black Swan and Suspiria, it’s fair to say that there’s something about the rigorous life of a ballerina that lends itself particularly well to horror. Naturally, we’re eager for more—and debut author Jamison Shea promises just that with I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me, which follows Laure Mesny, who will do anything to succeed in the Paris Ballet. But even perfection is not enough to stop the elite Parisen ballet world from overlooking a Black ballerina—until she makes a deal with a sinister entity in the depths of the Catacombs.

House of Marionne by J. Elle

Razorbill | August 29

After the New York Times bestselling Wings of Ebony series, readers have been eagerly waiting for J. Elle’s next YA offering. The author, who was a 2022 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth and Teens, is sure to delight fans with House of Marionne. Facing constant danger due to the magic she possesses, 17-year-old Quell seeks shelter with her grandmother—headmistress of a magical boarding school—and enters the mysterious world of an elite debutante society.

Midnight at the Houdini by Delilah S. Dawson

Delacorte | September 5

Delilah S. Dawson’s latest contemporary YA fantasy is a retelling of The Tempest that takes place in a strange Las Vegas hotel. Anna enters the Houdini in order to take refuge from a tornado. Inside, she meets an intriguing boy named Max. But now she can’t find a way out of these enchanted hallways—and at midnight, she’ll be trapped in the Houdini forever. One would expect nothing less fascinating from an author as prolific as Dawson, whose previous works include Star Wars tie-in novels, steampunk paranormal romances and comic books.

The Spirit Bares its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White

Peachtree | September 5

Andrew Joseph White’s debut novel, Hell Followed Us, was a smashing success, both with critics and on the bestseller lists. He’s back with a gothic horror set in an alternate Victorian London, where people born with violet eyes possess the ability to reach through the Veil and commune with spirits. But society refuses to see violet-eyed Silas, who is an autistic trans boy, as anything other than a potential wife for one of the Speakers who govern all of the mediums. An attempt to escape gets him sent to a finishing school, where he’ll have to survive abusive attempts to “cure” him.

Champion of Fate by Kendare Blake

Quill Tree | September 19

Kendare Blake has captivated audiences everywhere with her bestselling horror and dark fantasy novels, which include All These Bodies and the Three Dark Crowns series. She kicks off a new duology with Champion of Fate, a sweeping epic about an orphan girl named Reed who is raised by the Order of the Aristene, a group of legendary female warriors who guide heroes to glory. Now, in order to be officially initiated into the Order, Reed has to complete her Hero’s Trial and bring her first hero to victory. But Hestion is not at all what she expected.

A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid

HarperTeen | September 19

We’ve all been waiting to see what Ava Reid would do next after The Wolf and the Woodsman and Juniper & Thorn. In A Study in Drowning, architecture student Effy Sayre is prevented from pursuing her true passion, as her university doesn’t allow women to study literature. So she jumps at the chance to redesign the estate of her favorite author, whose famous books gave her solace throughout a childhood haunted by dreams of the Fairy King.

The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker

Inkyard | October 3

Kylie Lee Baker’s new historical fantasy duology promises to be just as entrancing as her Keeper of Night series. In an alternate Tang dynasty China, orphaned Fan Zilan helps her family get enough to eat by performing illegal alchemy for others in her small Guangzhou village. Her one chance to break free from this life of struggle is to become a royal court alchemist by passing the civil service exams. But by the time she makes it to the capital of Chang’an for the second and third exam rounds, Zilan discovers that her reputation precedes her: Somehow, she’s captured the attention of the Crown Prince.

Charming Young Man by Eliot Schrefer

Katherine Tegen | October 10

Two-time National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer will undoubtedly bring the same engaging flair from his last book, Queer Ducks (and Other Animals), to Charming Young Man, which takes inspiration from real historical figures such as Léon Delafosse and Marcel Proust. In this coming-of-age story, 16-year-old Léon is a brilliant pianist from an impoverished background who—accompanied by a young Marcel—climbs his way into high society. In real life, Proust eventually used Delafosse as the basis for a character in his classic novel, Remembrance of Things Past.

Pritty by Keith F. Miller, Jr.

HarperTeen | November 14

Pritty already took the world by storm once, in the form of a viral Kickstarter campaign to fund Pritty: The Animation, a short film whose goal (according to the Kickstarter) is to “bring Hayao Miyazaki to the hood.” When Keith F. Miller, Jr. shared the unpublished manuscript for Pritty with his friend Terrance Daye, Daye immediately recognized the beauty of this queer coming-of-age story about a Black teenage boy finding hope and community. Clearly, others did too: Pritty: The Animation raised almost $115,000. Now, readers will get to experience the story of Jay and Leroy in its original written form.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

YA readers will be thrilled with these fall releases, which include historical novels by Steve Sheinkin and Eliot Schrefer as well as dark fantasies by J. Elle and Kendare Blake.

Chinese Menu by Grace Lin

Little, Brown | September 12

Chinese American food—General Tso’s Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken—is just as quintessentially American as hot dogs or apple pie (which originated from German and Dutch cuisine, respectively). Our mouths all water when we imagine a steaming takeout box of lo mein . . . but have you ever put your chopsticks down and stopped to wonder about the history behind your favorite Chinese American dishes? Acclaimed author Grace Lin—who won the American Library Association’s prestigious Children’s Literature Legacy Award in 2022—promises to whisk readers off into the origin stories of their favorite foods with Chinese Menu, a veritable feast of exciting folktales and rich illustrations. 

Dogtown by Katherine Applegate and Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Wallace West

Feiwel & Friends | September 19

Katherine Applegate (Animorphs series, The One and Only Ivan) and Gennifer Choldenko (Tales from Alcatraz series, Dad and the Dinosaur) have both been superstars in children’s literature for decades. With countless awards between them, they’re now joining forces alongside illustrator Wallace West for this illustrated middle grade novel about a dog shelter whose abandoned inhabitants include both real and robot dogs. Regardless of circuitry, both types of dog just want to go home: a fact realized by Chance (a mutt) and Metal Head (exactly what that sounds like) as they set aside their differences and join forces in searching for a place of belonging.

Kin by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Atheneum | September 19

Writer carole Boston Weatherford and her son, illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford, are a powerful duo, with no shortage of acclaim to their names: Carole has won four Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and a Newbery Honor—the last of which she won with You Can Fly, which was illustrated by Jeffery. Their latest middle grade novel-in-verse, Kin, is the product of extensive and painstaking efforts to piece together their family history through genealogical research. Jeffery’s intricate black and white illustrations accentuate Carole’s poetry, which conjures the voices of her ancestors in the context of not only their enslavement and pain but also their strength and triumphs. 

Oliver’s Great Big Universe by Jorge Cham

Amulet | September 26

Jorge Cham has created a hit web comic series (PHD Comics), a podcast with more than 600,000 monthly listeners (“Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe”), a bestselling adult nonfiction book (We Have No Idea) and an Emmy-nominated PBS Kids show (“Elinor Wonders Why”). Plus, he’s got a doctorate in mechanical engineering. Now he’s ready to make kids laugh out loud while exploring big topics like black holes, the solar system and even aliens with Oliver’s Great Big Universe, the first installment in an illustrated, diary-style middle grade series featuring 11-year-old Oliver as he takes on not only astrophysics but also . . . middle school.

The First Cat in Space and the Soup of Doom by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris

Katherine Tegen | October 3

New York Times bestselling author Mac Barnett and Caldecott honoree Shawn Harris’ The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza adapted their hilarious online cartoon series—recorded live over Zoom during quarantine—to graphic novel format. This sequel continues the kooky adventures of First Cat, LOZ 4000 (a toenail-clipping robot) and the Moon Queen as they work to save the Queen after she gets poisoned—by soup, of all things.

Zilot & Other Important Rhymes by Bob Odenkirk, illustrated by Erin Odenkirk

Little, Brown | October 10

Hot on the heels of his legendary stint as crooked TV lawyer Saul Goodman, the beloved Emmy Award-winning actor (now starring in AMC’s “Lucky Hank”) and New York Times bestselling author (Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama) Bob Odenkirk is sure to charm both children and adults with this collection of poems, which originated twenty years ago as a way for Odenkirk to introduce the world of writing and illustrating to his children. Quarantine brought the family back to these whimsical rhymes, which feature memorable characters such as Tony Two-Feet the pigeon and a man named Willy Whimble who lives in an old tuna can. Anyway, Odenkirk’s ploy worked: His daughter, Erin Odenkirk, provides the book’s lively illustrations.

Ways to Build Dreams by Renée Watson

Bloomsbury | October 17

A recipient of the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, Renée Watson has delighted young readers everywhere with her bestselling Ryan Hart series, which dominated “Best of the Year” lists with its first installment, Ways to Make Sunshine. This final book celebrates Black joy as its bright titular protagonist learns more about her ancestors and local Black pioneers during Black History Month. The accomplishments and hopes of previous generations teach Ryan how to work towards her own dream—even when life isn’t so sunny.

Detective Duck: The Case of the Strange Splash by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, illustrated by Dan Santat

Amulet | October 17

The world is seeing a well-deserved Henry Winkler renaissance due to his turn as Gene Cousineau on “Barry,” but there was a time when the Emmy Award-winner was undergoing a lull in his acting career. His manager suggested Winkler write a children’s book about his experiences with dyslexia (which Winkler didn’t know he had until he was 31). Along with writer Lin Oliver, Winkler created the bestselling Hank Zipzer series, which led to a TV adaptation, as well as three other book series . . . Now, the power duo, along with Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Dan Santat, is back with the first installment in a new, full-color chapter book series about a crime-solving little duck named Willow Feathers McBeaver, who’s here to combat the human-caused problems occurring to her home ecosystem, the lovely Dogwood Pond.

Sir Morien by Holly Black and Kaliis Smith, illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Little, Brown | October 24

Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) is no stranger to capturing the imaginations of children, and she’s just the person needed, along with poet Kaliis Smith and illustrator Ebony Glenn, to cast a spotlight on the brave but little-known North African knight, Sir Morien, from Arthurian legend. In this charming picture book, Sir Morien sets off for England in search of the father he’s never met, but he soon finds out that questing is hard—and every knight he meets is eager to fight. 

Juniper’s Christmas by Eoin Colfer

Roaring Brook | October 31

Fans of the megahit Artemis Fowl series will receive an early Christmas present this year from Eoin Colfer: a new novel that promises more thrilling, fantastical escapades marked by his trademark humor and captivating style. After Juniper Lane’s mother goes missing, Juniper teams up with a mysterious, grumpy carpenter named Niko who owns flying reindeer yet insists he’s not Santa Claus. 

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

This fall, readers can expect to be dazzled by offerings from beloved children's book creators such as Grace Lin and Eoin Colfer. Stars like Bob Odenkirk and Henry Winkler are also among those who promise to conquer our hearts with new laugh-out-loud books.

How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair

Simon & Schuster | October 3

Throughout poet Safiya Sinclair’s childhood in Jamaica, her father was a strict Rastafarian who imposed harsh constraints on his daughters’ lives and appearances. As Sinclair read the books her mother gave her and began to find her voice as a poet, she likewise found her voice as a daughter struggling to get out from underneath her father’s thumb. In her debut memoir, Sinclair reckons with colonialism, patriarchy and obedience in expressive, melodic prose.

A Man of Two Faces by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Riverhead | September 12

The celebrated novelist and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer turns to memoir for the first time in A Man of Two Faces. Viet Thanh Nguyen left Vietnam at age 4 and came to the U.S. as a refugee, but even after escaping danger in their home country, his family was separated, targeted and harmed in America. This book recounts the events of Nguyen’s life, of course, but it becomes much more than a straightforward memoir as Nguyen conjures stirring insights into memory, migration and identity.

The Sisterhood by Liza Mundy

Crown | October 17

The author of the 2017 bestseller Code Girls returns with The Sisterhood, a history of the women who have played key roles in the CIA since World War II. As spies, archivists, analysts and operatives, women have been underestimated and overlooked through the years. Liza Mundy now spins a gripping tale of how those women used those slights to their advantage as they captured state secrets and spotted threats that the men working alongside them had missed.

Being Henry by Henry Winkler

Celadon | October 31

Famously kindhearted actor Henry Winkler opens up about his life and work in Being Henry. From overcoming a difficult childhood and getting typecast as the Fonz early in his career to finding his second wind decades later in shows such as “Arrested Development” and “Barry,” Winkler peers beneath the sparkling veneer of Hollywood to tell the tender personal story behind his lifelong fame.

My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

Viking | November 7

If there is one book that truly captures the spirit of “most anticipated,” it has to be screen and stage legend Barbra Streisand’s memoir. Fans have been looking forward to reading the full saga of Streisand’s life and unparalleled career for years—and this fall, they will finally get the chance. At 1,024 pages long, this book is unlikely to skip over any of the juicy details.

To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul by Tracy K. Smith

Knopf | November 7

Tracy K. Smith digs into historical archives to craft a new terminology for American life in this centuries-spanning portrait. Using the personal, documentary and spiritual, Smith considers the memory and possibilities of race, family and intimacy throughout history and into the future. By the end of this meditation, readers will have a new vocabulary and insight into the powers of their own soul.

Gator Country by Rebecca Renner

Flatiron | November 14

Gonzo journalism meets nature documentary in this fast-paced Floridian crime story. Officer Jeff Babauta goes undercover into the world of gator poaching in an attempt to bring down the intricate crime ring. As he becomes embedded in the network, meeting a zany, desperate cast of characters, Babauta’s sense of justice is challenged and he soon has to choose between sacrificing his new community and the safety of the natural world. 

The Lost Tomb by Douglas Preston

Grand Central | December 5

True crime meets a crash course in archaeological history in this extravaganza of a book. When he isn’t co-writing bestselling thrillers featuring FBI Agent Pendergast, Douglas Preston has been traveling the world, visiting some of history’s most storied and remote locations. From the largest tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings to a mass grave left by an asteroid impact, Preston will take readers on a fun, insightful journey into history.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of fall 2023.

From CIA spies to Barbra Streisand, alligator tales and more, there’s something for everyone in fall’s most anticipated nonfiction releases.

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