Here’s The Books Everyone’s Going To Be Reading This Autumn

Now the nights are drawing in, give up on your mates and tuck yourself up with a good book instead. Here's the best big books to get stuck into.

Here's The Books Everyone's Going To Be Reading This Autumn

by Alexandra Heminsley |
Published on

A Notable Woman: The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt - Ed Simon Garfield (Canongate)

Jean Lucey Pratt kept a diary from 1925 to 1986 and a few years ago her niece gave them to Simon Garfield, who had written about her wartime diaries in previous books. This is an edited collection of her entire life, and makes the sort of reading that will have you grip the arm of your chair in joy. Musing on romance, friendship and the small pleasures of life (eg getting a bit pissed on sherry) it is both hilarious and tearful. Mostly, it’s hugely reassuring that we’re not the first to obsess about these things, to take the piss out of them and to sometimes just write a feeling down because there’s no one around to give you a hug.

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City on Fire - Garth Risk Hallberg (Jonathan Cape)

Bought for mega bucks amidst a furious bidding war, City on Fire has been making bookish news for years already. Finally, we can actually read it and work out whether it was worth the wait. Set largely in 1970s New York it’s an atmospheric thriller that touches on the lives of New York’s wealthiest families. It’s almost 1000 pages long, so it could hardly be accused of excessive pacy-ness and its publishers have given it ‘important literary’ publication and packaging. But it’s more fun than that: approach it as you would a box set or a Shirley Conran novel - in stages. It’s glitzy, gritty storytelling that is worth sticking with but that you shouldn’t feel bad about dipping in and out of.

A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara (Picador)

The most talked about of the Man Booker shortlist, A Little Life is at once compelling and appalling. Four close friends, all recent graduates, are making their way in NYC: a very familiar set up, until it turns into something altogether darker. One of the four had an upbringing very different from his friends’. He is reluctant to talk about it, yet they’re fascinated by what his truth might be. As the horrors of his childhood unfurl, the writing is extraordinarily beautiful about the redemptive power of friendship, but dwells, in depth, on the past in all manner of trigger-warning ways. Consequently this is a novel you’ll be reluctant to actually recommend, but will want everyone to read so you can discuss its power with them.

The Clasp - Sloane Crosley (Hutchinson)

Crosley’s short stories (I Was Told There’d Be Cake, How Did you Get This Number) are rammed with lolz and insight in equal measure. Echoing a Guy de Maupassant short story, this, her first novel, is loosely the story of a necklace that goes missing at a fancy wedding .. and the three old university mates whose lives are forever altered in trying to rescue it. But what the novel really nails is that strange time in your twenties when some of your mates hit epic success, some are wondering if they ever will and some are just making you sick by finding nauseatingly perfect love. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, heart-in-your-throat melancholy and manages to be a Parisian-set caper as well. Joy.

After You - Jojo Moyes (Michael Joseph)

If you were left a sobbing husk of a person after Me Before You, (and if you weren’t, what sort of a droid are you?), you’ll be intrigued by the prospect of After You. After all, it only has, um, half the lead cast. But this look at what becomes of Lou is more than enough to make a very fine novel indeed. Eighteen months have passed, we’re treated to a massive twist and Moyes’ is still able to do family politics, effortlessly human sounding banter, and the very rawest of sadness with uncanny ease. But, as with its predecessor, it’s not just an emotionally manipulative read but a deceptively wise one too.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Amazing Books By Seriously Super Women

The Very Best LGBT Books You Need To Read Right Now

Self Help Books With Embarrassing Titles That Are Actually Awesome

Follow Alex on Twitter @Hemmo

Pictures: Luke & Nik


This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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