Best Books To Read This Fall And WinterGoodbye, summer beach reads—we’ve turned the page to a new chapter. Fall and winter books are brimming with rich themes and characters, and they are written by esteemed and award-winning authors. Packed with big ideas or heady plots, these books are just as engrossing as any summer thriller or romance novel. 

Curling up with a good book on a chilly night is one of life’s pleasures, and this fall and winter, there are plenty of great books to choose from. In La Mesa, bibliophiles find all the bestsellers and hot new page-turners at Barnes & Noble® in Grossmont Center. The bookstore is a popular spot at the Center; customers enjoy grabbing a drink at the adjacent Starbucks and then browsing the shelves for prospective reading material. During your next visit to Grossmont Center, stop by Barnes & Noble® and bring along this guide to some of the season’s top books.  


“The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale”

By Margaret Atwood

The appeal of this book is right there in the title: Atwood revisits her dystopian Gilead, which has gained legions of new fans with “The Handmaid’s Tale” series on Hulu. Similarity to current world events may or may not be coincidental.

“Olive, Again”

By Elizabeth Strout

Speaking of sequels, this book is a follow-up to the author’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Olive Kitteridge.” The gruffly unsentimental title character is one of the most indelible figures in modern fiction, and Strout brings a keen eye to her depiction of life in small-town Maine.

“Find Me”

By André Aciman

One more sequel, this time to “Call Me By Your Name.” Summer lovers Elio and Oliver have gone their separate ways, but will they be reunited? Fans will be eagerly reading to find out the answer.

“Red at the Bone” 

By Jacqueline Woodson 

Woodson lovingly evokes the lives of two African-American families, and how they are affected by a surprise teenage pregnancy in this moving novel. Woodson’s memoir, “Brown Girl Dreaming,” won the National Book Award.

“The Secrets We Kept”

By Lara Prescott

This debut novel has earned rave reviews for a plot that is based on the real-life story of how the CIA tried to use the classic “Dr. Zhivago” in the former U.S.S.R. for propaganda purposes. It’s interwoven with the love story between “Zhivago” author Boris Pasternak and his doomed mistress, Olga.

“The Dutch House”

By Ann Patchett

Patchett is an expert at exploring complicated family dynamics, as seen in her highly praised “Commonwealth.” Here, she looks at the lifelong bonds between a brother and sister who are forced out of the family manor and into poverty by their stepmother.

“All This Could Be Yours”

By Jami Attenberg

This tale doesn’t have a wicked stepmother, but rather a wicked patriarch whose family members are trying to escape his evil legacy as he is on his deathbed. Secrets will be spilled.

“Grand Union” 

By Zadie Smith

The novelist/essayist brings her sharply observant prose to her first short story collection. Drag queens, aging mothers, politicians, and ill-fated immigrants all shine in Smith’s spotlight.

“The Water Dancer”

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates’s reflection on black life in America, “Between the World and Me,” won the National Book Award. Now, he turns to fiction with a first novel about a young slave boy who wants to escape from his plantation.

“The Institute”

By Stephen King

There’s an extra chill in the air with this fall book from the prolific master of horror and suspense. The institute is where a 12-year-old boy ends up after he is kidnapped, and he discovers that there are more kids there like him, all of whom have supernatural powers.

“A Single Thread”

By Tracy Chevalier

The author of the best-selling “Girl with a Pearl Earring”  returns with this novel about a young woman discovering her independence, and then fighting to maintain it, in the period between the world wars.

“Agent Running in the Field”

By John le Carré

There are many reasons why le Carré is the definitive author of spy thrillers, and those reasons are all evident in the octogenarian author’s latest, about a British spy grappling with the effects of Brexit.


“Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have”

By Tatiana Schlossberg 

The former New York Times reporter (and John F. Kennedy’s grandchild) explores how our everyday choices—the clothes we wear, the food we eat, even the way we use the Internet—are affecting climate change and shaping the future of our planet’s health.

“Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators” 

By Ronan Farrow 


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

By Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey

Both books shed light on movie chief Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace, which was a major part of the Me Too movement. Farrow’s book focuses on the risks he faced while reporting on Weinstein’s abuses of power for The New Yorker, while Kantor and Twohey describe how his victims decided to break their silence and bring their truth into the light.

“Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life”

 By Ali Wong

Her Netflix stand-up specials made Wong a household name, and now the comedian commits her signature wit to the page with these life lessons imparted via letters to her daughters.

“Know My Name”

By Chanel Miller

Her victim impact statement in the “Stanford rape case” touched millions when it was published anonymously on BuzzFeed. Now Miller has decided to make her name public and talk about how the sexual assault changed her life irrevocably.

“Home Work” 

By Julie Andrews

The actress/singer/national treasure writes an autobiography about her storied Hollywood film career, which includes classics such as “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins.”

“Nothing Fancy”

By Alison Roman

If the idea of throwing a dinner party is daunting, pick up Roman’s cookbook. The New York Times columnist has compiled a collection of recipes that are both delicious and easy to make for any kind of get-together, making it an ideal fall book as we head into the holiday season. 

Children/Young Adults

“The Hive”

By Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden

Teens today may think that not getting enough likes on Instagram is the end of the world, but in this novel, it actually may be the case, as social media users whose posts earn dislikes receive terrible punishments.

“Frankly in Love”

By David Yoon

Frank and Joy are Korean-American friends who both want to date white classmates. Their parents won’t approve, so Frank and Joy pretend to be a couple while they both see other people. Romantic complications ensue. 

“Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time”

By Linda Sue Park

Park has won the ultimate honor in children’s literature, the Newbury Medal, for her novel, “A Long Walk to Water.” This spinoff from that book is beautifully illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

“Pokko and the Drum”

By Matthew Forsythe

Two quiet frogs make the error of letting daughter Pokko learn to play drum, which has very loud consequences, in this rip-roaring children’s picture book.

“The Tyrant’s Tomb”

By Rick Riordan

Chances are, if you have a school-age child, they are huge Riordan fans. The author is massive in kid-lit circles for his exciting, mythology-based stories; “The Tyrant’s Tomb” is the fourth book in “The Trials of Apollo” series, in which the god tries to retain immortality after being banished from Olympus and transformed into a teenage boy.


By Raina Telgemeier

The graphic novelist famous for books such as “Smile,” “Drama,” and “Ghosts” returns with her latest, a relatable look at pre-teen anxiety and how one girl learns to cope.

Now that you’ve got an idea for a great fall or winter book (or two or three,) stop by Grossmont Center’s Barnes & Noble®. The bookstore also hosts many events, as do many other Center businesses. To keep up with all the fun, and learn about deals and promotions, signup for our monthly newsletter—it’s more great reading material for you, delivered straight to your inbox!

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