Go ahead and clutch that pumpkin spice latte in one hand, but leave the other free for a book. This fall brings new titles from literary heavy-hitters, plus long-awaited sequels and spooky reads to get you in the mood for Halloween. Here are some to look forward to this season.
Some other books worth reading:
"Slay," by Brittney Morris (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, Sept. 24)
Morris wrote her snappy YA debut in just 11 days after a transformative experience watching "Black Panther." It's about a feisty black teen who must defend the popular online gaming community she's created from racist, violent trolls - without revealing her identity as the creator.
"Rusty Brown," by Chris Ware (Pantheon, Sept. 24)
The cartoonist Ware spent nearly two decades on this graphic novel set in a Nebraska parochial school in the '70s. "Rusty Brown," the first of a two-volume series, promises to showcase Ware's sublime artistic vision, blending his trademark drawings with a lyrical exploration of weighty themes.
"How We Fight for Our Lives," by Saeed Jones (Simon & Schuster, Oct. 8)
Jones, a prizewinning poet and BuzzFeed staffer, reflects on his experiences as a gay black man from the South in this slim, poignant memoir. He grapples with coming out and coming of age against a backdrop of homophobia and racism.
"Celestial Bodies," by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth (Catapult, Oct. 15)
This family saga - about three sisters grappling with their country's past - is the first Arabic novel to win the Man Booker International Prize.
"Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac," by Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky (Flatiron, Oct. 29)
If you're even marginally curious what the stars have in store for you this fall, call in the Twitter-favorite Astro Poets, who have more than 500,000 followers. They've crafted a fun, pop-culture-heavy guide to the cosmos that's full of original poetry and might help you make sense of the world.
"Nothing to See Here," by Kevin Wilson (Ecco, Oct. 29)
Lillian's new stepkids have an interesting affliction: They burst into flames whenever they're agitated. Her politician husband's public can't find out, so despite a decade-old falling out, she seeks help from her college roommate Madison. It's a darkly funny look at friendship and forgiveness.
"Get a Life, Chloe Brown," by Talia Hibbert (Avon, Nov. 5)
Hibbert's sweet rom-com features a refreshingly real set of characters. Chloe, who suffers from chronic pain, almost dies, so she decides to shake things up by making a "get a life" list: go camping, ride a motorcycle, do something bad. When her tattooed, motorcycle-riding landlord agrees to help, sparks fly.
"The Family Upstairs," by Lisa Jewell (Atria, Nov. 5)
When 25-year-old Libby suddenly inherits a house in London, she learns it belonged to the family she never knew - and it's where she was found as a baby, beside the corpses of her parents. Jewell's chilling psychological thriller follows Libby as she uncovers the dark, twisty secrets of her family's past.
"The Book of Eating: Adventures in Professional Gluttony," by Adam Platt (Ecco, Nov. 12)
Platt, New York magazine's restaurant critic, has eaten his way around the globe - and learned that the worst meals often make the best stories. Foodies will appreciate this intimate glimpse into the restaurant world.
"Twenty-One Truths About Love," by Matthew Dicks (St. Martin's, Nov. 19)
What to know about this novel: 1) It's written entirely in lists. 2) It's about an anxious man struggling with family and financial issues. And 3) It's an unconventional, endearing tale of impending fatherhood.