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The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

The shelves are stacked with compelling characters, twisty plots and buzzy authors (oh hey, Emma Donoghue). This reading list is so good you'll forget Netflix exists.
The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Illustration, LeeAndra Cianci.

Fall books guide 2016

The Parcel by Anosh Irani, $32.



Madhu, who was born a boy, chose to become a eunuch and identifies now as a third sex, known in Bombay’s red-light district as a hijra. Madhu was the jewel of the brothel and a skilled teacher of sex workers. Now, in her 40s, she’s begging in the streets — until she is brought back to prepare a trafficked girl for her fate, one neither of them can quite accept.


The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Nutshell by Ian McEwan, $30. 



















































From a posh neuroscientist to an inept Cold War spy to a haunted nurse during the Blitz, Ian McEwan has conjured many indelible narrators, this novel takes an entirely unique perspective: It’s told from inside the womb, where a nearly nine-month-old fetus overhears not just the pillow talk of an affair but the planning of a murder.




















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, $25. 



















































An infant goes missing, a family unravels and every single character tries to maintain a white-knuckle grip on their appalling secrets in Toronto author Shari Lapena’s thriller.




















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple, $29.



















































Twenty-four hours in the life of frazzled cartoonist Eleanor Flood brings the type of quirky, delightful characters that filled Maria Semple’s last novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette.




















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs, $23.



















































Boggs’ memoir explores her years of hope and fear as she tried to conceive her daughter. She speaks to people who chose adoption, chose surrogates or chose to stop trying, examining, with deep empathy, the many ways we build a family.




















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler, $25. 





















































In the latest from Booker-nominated Robert Seethaler, three people collide in Nazi-occupied Vienna: a teenage villager named Franz; Anezka, the vaudeville dancer he’s fallen for; and Sigmund Freud, dispensing some questionable advice.






















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

The Ballroom by Anna Hope, $25. 

































The Sharston Asylum separates men and women, but on Friday nights they’re brought together in a ballroom to dance. It’s here, in 1911, that Ella Fay (defiant factory worker) and John Mulligan (chronic depressive ) begin a furtive romance that shapes The Ballroom.
































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

News From The Red Desert by Kevin Patterson, $32. 

















































Deirdre O’Malley, an American correspondent embedded with the Canadian infantry, tangles with the new general, a former flame who appears to have condoned torture.


















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, $33. 































Anna O’Donnell, a devout 11-year-old in a rural 1850s Irish town, is hearty and hale, despite fasting for four straight months — it might be a miracle, or it might be something more sinister. In Donoghue’s new novel, British nurse, Crimean War vet and divorcee Lib Wright is dispatched to determine what’s at work (and, okay, maybe fall in love).






























The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

By Gaslight by Steven Price, $36. 





















When a woman’s body is pulled from the Thames, detective William Pinkerton holds his nose and teams up with a thief and an ex-prisoner to track down a notorious criminal connected to her fate. Price’s epic begins in 1885 London but broadens to Civil War battlefields and South African diamond mines before descending again into those Dickensian alleyways.




















The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer, $35. 













































The Everything Is Illuminated authour is back with his first novel in more than a decade, about the failure of a marriage. (Also, the invasion of Israel.)
















































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers, $35. 









Eggers’ new novel centres on Josie, a 40-year-old Ohio dentist who has ditched her failing practice, left her listless husband and bundled her two kids into an RV bound for southern Alaska. She’d like to reconnect with family and with nature, but family (her grudging stepsister) and nature (ample rain and wildfire) aren't as sure.








The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Stranger by David Bergen, $30. 















































An affair leads to a pregnancy leads to a child stolen from Íso, the young, impoverished Guatemalan woman who anchors Stranger. Íso manages the journey across Mexico into a dystopian United States, where her disadvantages can’t match her determination to reclaim her daughter.














































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley, $30. 

























Twelve-year-old snoop Flavia de Luce has been booted from her all-girls school in Canada and is back in England, peddling furiously around on her bicycle, looking for mysteries to solve. In Bradley’s eighth instalment of the series, she stumbles on a woodcutter’s corpse, an indifferent kitty and an aggravating number of false leads.
























The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart, $37.















































In Stewart’s 2015 debut, the amazingly titled Girl Waits with Gun, deputy sheriff Constance Kopp disposed of hardened criminals and sexist assumptions. In the even more amazingly titled followup, Kopp battles both again, teaming up with lady reporters and lady lawyers to chase an escaped baddie through the streets of Manhattan.














































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, $35.





Whitehead takes railroad the metaphor and turns it literal: There is an actual train spiriting fugitive slaves through a historically unrecognizable America. Tennessee has burned to the ground; South Carolina boasts skyscrapers; North Carolina wants to ban both slavery and black people. The landscape changes, but Cora’s resolve to find true freedom never wavers.






The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

She Made Me Laugh by Richard Cohen, $36.







































Cohen recounts his friendship with rom com queen Nora Ephron. 






































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, $40.





The writings of the U.S. Supreme Court's notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg are collected in a new volume.




The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Trainwreck by Sady Doyle's, $35. 







































From Brontë to Britney, Doyle examines the women we love to hate.






































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin, $35. 





































The legal analyst and New Yorker writer dissects the kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst.






































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson, $42.





































Thompson explores the Mitford sisters, from classy novelists to rabid fascists.






































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Roughing It in the Bush by Susanna Moody, $23. 





































Margaret Atwood introduces this Carol Shields adaptation of Susanna Moodie’s classic. Graphic artist Selena Goulding illustrates it, since Alice Munro is lousy at ink work.






































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett $35.



































Patchett's seventh novel follows the many members of the Keating and Cousins families across two states and five decades. Affairs are had and marriages are realigned.




































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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Serial Monogamy by Kate Taylor, $32.

































Taylor intertwines a modern-day affair with a Victorian one featuring Charles Dickens’ mistress.




































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Nicotine by Nell Zink, $34.













A property occupied by affable squatters comes between business-school grad Penny and her aging hippie parents.












The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, $32.











Anderson-Dargatz centres her story on a B.C. salmon river that divides Aboriginal turf from a ranch owned by a white family.










The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season
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The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang, $34.

































A Chinese immigrant patriarch makes a killing in cosmetics, loses it all, then hits the road.


































The best fall reads: 27 awesome books for tea-and-blanket season

Illustrations by LeeAndra Cianci.

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