Books

29 Books To Sink Your Teeth Into This Month

Buzzy novels, compulsively readable non-fiction tales, and a few guilty pleasures.
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This season, you have no excuse for not having a great book on you at all times. Whether you're in the mood to read a true story about an unlikely friendship between a rock star and a First Lady, devour a memoir by the world's most stylish jewel thief, take a trip to visit a very complicated family on Cape Cod, or dive into a sequel three decades—and one hit TV adaptation—in the making, there's a fall title that's sure to be just what you're looking for.

The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale

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Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale—which offers a harrowing portrait of an America under totalitarian rule—was a touchstone long before it became a hit TV series, but that added visibility means a lot more people are anticipating this sequel, more than 30 years in the making. 

Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie

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Carly Simon (the free-spirit pop star) and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (the guarded former First Lady) had an unlikely friendship, to say the least. But they met on Martha's Vineyard one summer, and the relationship grew into something both women cherished. In this memoir, Simon writes about the differences and similarities that made for a unique and memorable friendship.

The Water Dancer: A Novel 

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This first novel from the award-winning journalist Coates, author of the 2015 phenomenon Between the World and Me, follows a young man born into dire circumstances but bestowed with an extraordinary power. It's a powerful story about what we can do for ourselves and for our families in a world with which we're constantly at odds. 

Red at the Bone: A Novel

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The latest from the National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming, this slim, powerful novel leaps across time to tell the story of a young woman in New York in 2001 and her mother 16 years earlier. Rarely has such messy, troubling, and human tale been told with such style. 

Grand Union: Stories

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When some authors move, the culture moves with them, following every turn and change in their work with fervent interest. Zadie Smith is one of those writers, and her first short story collection will be the talk of the town this fall. This volume gathers eleven brand new pieces together with some of her previously published work.

Find Me: A Novel

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The story of Elio and Oliver—which began in Call Me By Your Name—continues in this sequel, which promises to be just as tender, devastating, and sensual. We pick up years in the future when Sami, Elio’s father, visits him in Rome. En route, he has a brush with fate that changes his romantic life forever. Elio, now a professional pianist, soon moves to Paris and has his own affair. Meanwhile, Oliver’s life as an American professor begins to seem dull, and he remembers a summer long ago, feeling a pull to a former lover.  

She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

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While the aftershocks of the #MeToo movement will be changing our world for years to come, this book—by the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporters uncovered the dark history of Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment—charts its beginnings and their own incredible journey to uncovering a story many thought would never be told.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me

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Arienne Brodeur's stunning memoir is the kind of true story that makes you wonder why we'd ever need fiction. Beginning during her childhood in a bohemian Cape Cod, the gimlet-eyed book tells the story of her mother's all-consuming affair and how Brodeur herself became an accomplice to a lie that became bigger than anyone could have imagined. It's a beautifully written, totally engrossing story unlike any we've read before—and will surely be one of the most talked-about books of the year. 

Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America's Xanadu

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In this charming, zippy history of Palm Beach, Les Standiford charts the destination's fortune from its founding in the 1800s to the modern day. All of the familiar Palm Beach characters, from Henry Flagler to Addison Mizner and Marjorie Merriweather Post, are on hand for a rollicking, informative lesson in real estate, American history, and current events. 

Metropolitan Stories: A Novel

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Christine Coulson spent 25 years working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so it's no wonder her debut novel is set behind the scenes at the venerable institution. This series of vignettes goes beyond what a casual visitor to the museum might see and offers a witty, enjoyable look at the elegant and sometimes unhinged world that exists with its walls.

Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief

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It would be enough just to read the memoir of one of the world's most infamous jewel thieves, but how could we resist "Diamond" Doris Payne, who has said she learned about how to steal the very best by reading Town & Country? Her memoir has it all, from her revealing stories of growing up in Depression-era West Virginia to her greatest heists, prison breaks, and countless other sparkling adventures. 

Nothing to See Here

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There's nothing we at T&C love more than a book about a prep-school scandal. But this latest from Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang, only uses that delightful idea as a jumping off point for a complicated, charming, and totally engrossing story about friendship, family, and the things we want people to know about us. Oh, and also people who can light themselves on fire. 

Year of the Monkey

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Patti Smith’s latest memoir is an introspective look at her year of solo wandering in 2016. That year, of course, brought massive political and social change to the country, and Smith documents it in her own lyrical way, along with original Polaroid photography. The American canon is littered with “road trip memoirs,” but if there’s a voice we’d want to add to that genre, it would be Smith, whose grace and erudite philosophy is a welcome balm in these times. 

Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection

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Brian Grazer, the Academy Award-winning producer behind movies like A Beautiful Mind—wrote this latest book about the art of human connection. Using fascinating examples from his own star-studded experiences with the likes of Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Spike Lee, Grazer explains how to maximize your impact on others by rediscovering a skill set nearly all of us already have. 

Sontag: Her Life and Work

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In this doorstop of a biography, Benjamin Moser—who has written for T&C about his subject—dives deep into the life of Susan Sontag who, despite being one of the world's most recognizable intellectuals, has never been as thoroughly considered as she is here. This 800-plus page book, which finds its subject at pivotal moments in history from the Cuban Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall, might not be light reading, but it's certainly essential. 

Do You Mind If I Cancel?: (Things That Still Annoy Me)

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You might know Gary Janetti from his very funny royals-focused Instagram account, but in this book he shares a different (albeit similarly humorous) side of himself. These essays explore his dreams of becoming a soap star, the struggle of lusting after an unattainable coworker, and daydreams of fabulous success and the revenge it would allow are sure to satisfy Janetti's army of fans and enlist more than a few new recruits. 

The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World: The Twin Towers, Windows on the World, and the Rebirth of New York

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Tom Roston's book about Windows on the World—the glamorous eatery that sat on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center—doesn't just chart the dazzling opening and tragic end of a fine-dining establishment. It also tells the star-studded, no holds barred story of modern dining, American grit, and what it takes to make it in the toughest town in the world. 

The International Best-Dressed List: The Official Story

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Since it launched in 1940, the International Best-Dressed List has been the source of entertainment, intrigue, and outrage among some of the world's most powerful—and well-dressed—people. In this official volume, list-keeper (and T&C contributor) Amy Fine Collins reveals the fascinating history of how the list came to be, what it means, and the unbelievable lengths people have gone to get themselves included. 

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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