Fall is traditionally when publishers release their best books, and this year is no exception. Big modern-literature names, such as Anne Rice, Stephen King, John Grisham, Ian McEwan, and James Patterson, are all releasing new reads this year, which are slated to become undoubted bestsellers. Meanwhile, some of our favorite personalities—Lena Dunham, Neil Patrick Harris and Amy Poehler—take their talent from on-screen to in print. Here, our top 10 suggestions for the best reads to entertain you from Autumn to Winter.
The Children Act, Ian McEwan (Deckle Edge, $25)
Release date: September 9, 2014
What It’s About: A leading judge must decide the fate of a devout teenager who, on medical grounds, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life.
Why Read? McEwan, the award-winning author of Atonement and Saturday, never fails to deliver a beautifully told and moving story.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: London, McEwan’s home town and the novel’s setting.
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt and Co., $27)
Release date: September 30, 2014
What It’s About: Mantel delivers a collection of 10 contemporary short stories that touch upon infidelity, death and family secrets.
Why Read? These stories are all we’re getting out of the Booker Prizer-winning Mantel until she releases the third book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, following Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, in 2015.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: The Caribbean. Short stories are meant for the beach!
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” Lena Dunham (Random House, $28)
Release date: September 30, 2014
What It’s About: In this collection of personal essays, Dunham showcases the millennial wit that catapulted her—and her HBO series Girls—to fame.
Why Read? Love her or hate her, you can’t deny Dunham has a strong and sardonic voice that resonates with her generation and therefore demands to be heard.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: New York City, Dunham’s hometown and the setting for Girls.
Lila: A Novel, Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26)
Release date: October 7, 2014
What It’s About: Robinson returns to the city of Gilead, Iowa in the third book of her award-winning trilogy. In this final novel, Robinson traces the rough childhood of Lila, who now becomes the young bride of Reverend Ames, the character who was first introduced in 2004’s Gilead.
Why Read? Robinson is one of our best living writers today, and has won a bevy of awards for her talent, including, a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, a National Book Critics Circle Award and a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: Alaska, and need to curl up with a good book set in a warmer, less icy clime.
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris (Crown, $26)
Release date: October 14
What It’s About: Film, television and stage star Harris went an untraditional route when penning his autobiography—writing in the second person. Within the books pages, read about the actor’s life’s adventures to date.
Why Read? In addition to its creative format, Harris’ book is sure to be full of behind-the-scenes tidbits from shows like How I Met Your Mother and Doogie Howser, M.D.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: Germany, one of the settings of Harris’ most recent Broadway show Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore (Deckle Edge, $29.95)
Release date: October 28,
What It’s About: With superheroes like Spider-Man and Batman dominating our comic books and movie screens, historian and New Yorker writer Lepore instead turns her insightful eye to one of America’s most popular female stars.
Why Read? Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston led a fascinating life—in addition to creating a fictional feminist heroine, he also invented the lie detector test.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: Greece, home of the mythological Amazons—inspirations for Wonder Woman.
The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin (Bantam, $50)
Release date: October 28
What It’s About: Martin may not yet be done with the The Winds of Winter—the next novel in his popular A Song of Ice and Fire series—but the ever-considerate author has penned this comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms to tide his loyal fans over until the next installment’s release.
Why Read? Even a small dose of Westeros is better than none at all.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Morocco, or any location where GoT shoots.
Yes Please, by Amy Poehler (Dey Street Books, $28.99)
Release date: October 28,
What It’s About: The beloved comedienne and Parks & Recreation television star, showers readers with her sweet and quirky advice on love, sex, marriage, divorce, friendship and parenthood.
Why Read? Poehler is one of the funniest—and seemingly nicest—actors working in showbiz today and we’re excited to read anything she puts to paper.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: Los Angeles and the Western coast of California—you might spot Amy at work!
The Laughing Monsters, by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25)
Release date: November 4
What It’s About: Africa serves as the backdrop for Johnson’s latest release that spins a complex tale around his Scandinavian protagonist, Roland Nair, who has returned to Sierra Leone for a former colleague’s wedding. Being that this is a spy thriller, you won’t be surprised to learn that this premise is the beginning for ensuing action and adventure.
Why read? Monsters is Johnson’s first full-length novel since 2008’s well-received Tree of Smoke, set during the Vietnam War, and which won a National Book Award.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: West Africa.
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life, by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin (Dey Street Books, $22.99)
Release date: November 18
What It’s About: In Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand detailed the extraordinary courage the late Zamperini demonstrated during World War II. Now hear about his life adventures—and lessons—from the man himself.
Why read? Zamperini, who died earlier this summer at the ripe old age of 97, will be omnipresent this fall, thanks to Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of “Unbroken.” “Don’t Give Up” presents Zamperini’s viewpoint straight from the horse’s mouth.
Read this if you’re cruising in and around: Japan, where Zamperini was both held as a prisoner war during World World II—but also invited to run a leg in the Olympic Torch relay for the Nagano Winter Olympics.