Best fiction picks of fall

Fall fiction picks for 2017: Spies, lies and buried secrets.
Fall fiction picks for 2017: Spies, lies and buried secrets.
Courtesy of publishers

Sure, you could be out there picking apples and drinking a pumpkin spice latte in a nice turtleneck while watching leaves change — or you could be inside reading.

Your pick.

Here are some of The Thread's favorite reads of the season to keep you company. Tell us your favorites @TheThreadMPR.

"My Absolute Darling" by Gabriel Tallent

It's difficult to reconcile "a must-read" with "hard to read," but Gabriel Tallent's novel is both. Stephen King called it deserving of a spot alongside "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Catch-22." The book follows Turtle, a 14-year-old girl raised by her paranoid, abusive father in the woods outside Mendocino, Calif. When she starts to question her upbringing and her place in the boarded-up, falling-down house, the novel takes off with speed and intensity.

My Absolute Darling My Absolute Darling

"Future Home of the Living God" by Louise Erdrich

Coming Nov. 14

Louise Erdrich can do anything. The National Book Award-winning author with more than 10 novels to her name takes a leap into dystopia with her newest work — and she lands flawlessly. "Future Home" imagines a world where evolution starts rolling backward, and the government — or whoever the government has become — rounds up all pregnant women for study. Caught in the middle is Cedar, a Native American adoptee raised by wealthy white liberals in Minneapolis, who reconnects with her birth family just as the world is coming apart.

Future Home of the Living God Future Home of the Living God

• If you can't get enough of the end of the world, don't miss Megan Hunter's "The End We Start From"

"Artemis" by Andy Weir

Coming Nov. 14

Fans of "The Martian," rejoice. Andy Weir — who took a once-in-a-million path into publishing — refuses to be a one-hit wonder. The total space case (and we mean that in the best way possible) returns with a new thriller, "Artemis." This time, Weir sets all the action on the moon. And if you're wondering what a heist looks like in space, this is your answer.

Artemis Artemis

"Sing, Unburied, Sing" by Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward leads readers into rural Mississippi, to the pain and grief and struggle of a family who can't escape history. The novel jumps between Jojo, already world-weary at 13, and his mother Leonie, who has visions of her dead brother each time she gets high. Ward's uniquely lyrical prose ties the family's modern-day struggles to the literal ghosts of Southern history. The National Book Award judges took note; the book is on the 2017 shortlist.

Sing, Unburied, Sing Sing, Unburied, Sing

"The Power" by Naomi Alderman

Would the world be different if it were run by women? Naomi Alderman takes this age-old thought experiment and turns it into a thrilling, twisted story of our darkest impulses. Her novel imagines a world in which women develop a new muscle — a skein at their collarbone that generates electricity, allowing them to unleash bolts of it on anything or anyone. This new power unseats the global balance of power, and Alderman tracks the repercussions across the planet. The novel has been hailed as "The Handmaid's Tale" for a new generation.

The Power The Power

"Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng's novel picks away at suburban secrets. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio — where Ng herself grew up — "Little Fires Everywhere" reveals what happens when the arrival of newcomers threatens to upend the tidy lives of the residents. Suddenly, the perfectly planned, progressive community is dealing with arson, suspicion and a custody battle that divides the town.

Little Fires Everywhere Little Fires Everywhere

"The Quantum Spy" by David Ignatius

Coming Nov. 7

In Quantum Spy, David Ignatius gives readers a thrilling spy caper and a look into the future of espionage and war. As countries move from beefing up militaries to amping up their hacking abilities, what does that mean for America's intelligence abilities?

The Quantum Spy The Quantum Spy

"The Doll's Alphabet" by Camilla Grudova

Camilla Grudova's wild — and sometimes wildly unsettling — collection of short stories may leave you wondering: "What did I just read?" But for those willing to take the ride, you'll be thinking about them for weeks. These stories draw on images and myths you know — mermaids, werewolves, children's dolls — but they've been reinvented with darker, dreamier twists.

The Doll's Alphabet The Doll's Alphabet

"Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado's debut collection of short stories has been compared to Karen Russell's "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves," for all the splash it's making. The collection is sitting on the National Book Award shortlist, and Machado has racked up glowing reviews from The New York Times to Publishers Weekly. The book is difficult to capture — the stories riff on horror, feminism, sex, queerness, and even "Law & Order: SVU." Each one is clever, provocative and refreshingly new.

Her Body and Other Parties Her Body and Other Parties

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