The Ultimate Fall 2023 Books Preview

As the weather gets colder, the sweaters come out, the tea gets brewed, and the TBR stacks start being photographed next to pumpkins, it seems like pretty much everybody has a book recommendation for you. And why not? After all, it’s the biggest season in the literary universe, the time when publishers bring out their flashiest offerings—so there are plenty of good books to gush about. But which books are at the top of everyone’s lists? Well, as is Lit Hub tradition, I have read all the lists to find out (and also done all the math for you).

This season, I read through a total of 40 lists from 33 publications, which collectively recommended a total of 533 books (of course, I never get all the lists, those things are like mushrooms—scroll down to find the list of lists included in this accounting). I then collated the results to find the 106 (!) books that were recommended three times or more, which I present here for you in descending order of popularity. If nothing else, it’s a place to start:


25 lists:

Zadie Smith, The Fraud

Zadie Smith, The Fraud

24 lists:

jesmyn ward let us descend

Jesmyn Ward, Let Us Descend

16 lists:

Lauren Groff, The Vaster Wilds

Lauren Groff, The Vaster Wilds
C Pam Zhang, Land of Milk and Honey

13 lists:

Alice McDermott, Absolution

Alice McDermott, Absolution

12 lists:

stephen king holly

Stephen King, Holly

11 lists:

Jessica Knoll, Bright Young Women

Jessica Knoll, Bright Young Women
Ayana Mathis, The Unsettled
Bryan Washington, Family Meal

10 lists:

rouge mona awad

Mona Awad, Rouge
John Grisham, The Exchange
Viet Thanh Nguyen, A Man of Two Faces
Barbra Streisand, My Name Is Barbra

9 lists:

happiness falls

Angie Kim, Happiness Falls
Safiya Sinclair, How to Say Babylon
Britney Spears, The Woman in Me

8 lists:

future fox head 2

Naomi Alderman, The Future
Cassandra Clare, Sword Catcher
Teju Cole, Tremor
Michael Cunningham, Day
Walter Isaacson, Elon Musk
Benjamín Labatut, The MANIAC
Sigrid Nunez, The Vulnerables

7 lists:

Tim O'Brien, America Fantastica

Tim O’Brien, America Fantastica
Richard Osman, The Last Devil to Die
Nita Prose, The Mystery Guest

6 lists:

Tananarive Due, The Reformatory

Tananarive Due, The Reformatory
Jhumpa Lahiri, tr. Todd Portnowitz, Roman Stories
Michael Lewis, Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon
Daniel Mason, North Woods
Molly McGhee, Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind
V.E. Schwab, The Fragile Threads of Power
Tracy K. Smith, To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul

5 lists:

Lydia Davis, Our Strangers

Lydia Davis, Our Strangers: Stories
Tan Twan Eng, The House of Doors
Diana Evans, A House for Alice
Mary Gabriel, Madonna: A Rebel Life
Alix E. Harrow, Starling House
Will Hermes, Lou Reed: The King of New York
Nathan Hill, Wellness
Paulette Jiles, Chenneville
Naomi Klein, Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World
Jean Kwok, The Leftover Woman
Stephanie Land, Class
Sandra Newman, Julia
Ed Park, Same Bed Different Dreams
Justin Torres, Blackouts
Rebecca Yarros, Iron Flame

4 lists:

Travis Baldree, Bookshops & Bonedust

Travis Baldree, Bookshops & Bonedust
Martin Baron, Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and the Washington Post
Gabriel Bump, The New Naturals
Roz Chast, I Must Be Dreaming
Curtis Chin, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant
Alicia Elliott, And Then She Fell
Annie Ernaux, tr. Alison Strayer, The Young Man
Ben Goldfarb, Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet
Myriam Gurba, Creep: Accusations and Confessions
Michael Harriot, Black AF History
Werner Herzog, tr. Michael Hofmann, Every Man For Himself and God Against All
Taylor Lorenz, Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet
Marisa Meltzer, Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss’s Glossier
Jonathan Raban, Father and Son
Courtney Thorsson, The Sisterhood: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture
Kerry Washington, Thicker Than Water

3 lists:

Mitch Albom, The Little Liar

Mitch Albom, The Little Liar
Elena Armas, The Long Game
Isa Arsén, Shoot the Moon
Kate Atkinson, Normal Rules Don’t Apply: Stories
Mary Beard, Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World
Melissa Broder, Death Valley
Kacen Callender, Stars in Your Eyes
Ann Cleeves, The Raging Storm
J.M. Coetzee, The Pole
Marie Darrieussecq, tr. Penny Hueston, Sleepless: A Memoir of Insomnia
David Diop, tr. Sam Taylor, Beyond the Door of No Return
Anne Enright, The Wren, The Wren
Ken Follett, The Armor of Light
Lexi Freiman, The Book of Ayn
Stephanie Garber, A Curse for True Love
Roxane Gay, Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People’s Business
Tess Gerritsen, The Spy Coast
Gregg Hecimovich, The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of the Bondwoman’s Narrative
Mick Herron, The Secret Hours
Homer, tr. Emily Wilson, The Iliad
Leslie Jones, Leslie F*cking Jones
Sophie Kinsella, The Burnout
Amy Kurzweil, Artificial: A Love Story
Jonathan Lethem, Brooklyn Crime Novel
Yiyun Li, Wednesday’s Child: Stories
Bettina L. Love, Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal
Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson, American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15
Tiya Miles, Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation
Marie NDiaye, tr. Jordan Stump, Vengeance Is Mine
Margaret Renkl, The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year
Staci Robinson, Tupac Shakur: The Authorized Biography
Ali Rosen, Recipe for Second Chances
Etaf Rum, Evil Eye
John Scalzi, Starter Villain
Jada Pinkett Smith, Worthy
Patrick Stewart, Making It So
Sly Stone with Ben Greenman, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
Vauhini Vara, This Is Salvaged: Stories
Martha Wells, System Collapse
Henry Winkler, Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond
Adrienne Young, The Unmaking of June Farrow
Ghassan Zeineddine, Dearborn: Stories


List of Lists Surveyed:

Vulture’s 24 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall • TIME’s The 36 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023 • The New York Times’ 34 Works of Fiction to Read this Fall and 33 Nonfiction Books to Read This Fall • The Washington Post’s 29 Books to Read This Fall • The Los Angeles Times’ 30 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Fall • People’s List of Must-Read Books for Fall 2023 • Town & Country’s The 60 Must-Read Books of Fall 2023 • Oprah Daily’s The Five Novels You Need to Read This Fall • Amazon Book Review’s Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023 • Observer’s The Most-Anticipated Must-Read Books of Fall 2023 • Cosmopolitan’s The 8 Books You Need to Read This Fall • The Week’s 6 Books to Get Cozy With This Fall • Goodreads’ Readers’ 55 Most Anticipated Books of Fall • The Boston Globe’s 20 Books We’re Excited to Read This Fall • The Guardian’s What to Read This Autumn: 2023’s Biggest New Books • Country Living’s 28 Best Fall Books to Put at the Top of Your Reading List for 2023 • Bustle’s The 35 Best New Books of Fall 2023 • Good Housekeeping’s 13 Most Anticipated Fall Books of 2023 • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s 40 New Books for Fall Reading • The Toronto Star’s 30 (Plus!) New Reads We Can’t Wait to Cosy Up With This Fall • AARP’s The Big Fall 2023 Book Preview • SheReads’ Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2023 • Library Journal’s Fall Book Preview • Kirkus’ 10 Fiction Must-Reads and 10 Nonfiction Must-Reads and 150 Most Anticipated Books of Fall • The Walrus’ The Best Books of Fall 2023 • Libby Life’s Fall Books Preview 2023 • BookPage’s Most Anticipated Nonfiction and Most Anticipated Fiction and Most Anticipated Mystery and Suspense and Most Anticipated Romance and Most Anticipated Science Fiction and Fantasy • Southern Living’s 20 New Books to Put On Your Fall Reading List • The Seattle Times’ A Dozen Must-Read New Books for Fall 2023 • BookBub’s The 22 Best Books of Fall • The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Top Book Picks for the Season • Bibliolifestyle’s The Fall Reading List 2023 Minimalist Edition • and of course, Lit Hub’s 25 Novels You Need to Read This Fall. (Whew.)

Emily Temple

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