Five Big Books for Fall

Cynthia Ross Cravit | September 15th, 2014

From the season’s big novels and historical sagas to sizzling short stories, here are five books you won’t want to miss.



THE BONE CLOCKS by David Mitchell

Similar in form to his inventive bestseller Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell’s sixth novel is actually a series of six related stories, dating from 1984 to 2043. The book, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2014, follows an eclectic cast of characters from a teenager and a nefarious Cambridge undergraduate to a British writer obsessed with taking revenge on a book critic. And if this weren’t enough, weaving throughout the plot is a sci-fi inspired war between two opposing bands of immortals called the Horologists and the Anchorites.

the-children-actTHE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan

From the author of Atonement and Amsterdam comes this novel about a High Court judge in London trying the case of a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents refuse to allow him to receive possibly life-saving blood transfusions, because of their religious beliefs. (They are Jehovah’s Witnesses.) The judge, Fiona Maye, is well respected and fiercely intelligent – and not unaccustomed to complex legal cases. But when, in the middle of everything, her husband asks her to consider an open marriage, she struggles to keep both her confidence and composure in the courtroom and at home.

adult-onsetADULT ONSET by Ann-Marie Macdonald

After a long absence (nearly eleven years), Ann-Marie Macdonald picks up her pen again with Adult Onset. The novel follows Mary Rose “MR” MacKinnon, a Toronto writer struggling to balance her creative pursuits with motherhood and domestic demands. But how do you cope when baggage from your past suddenly lands right in your front hall? When MR experiences a flare-up of symptoms from a childhood illness, painful, carefully ‘filed-away’ memories come to the surface, causing her to rethink her memories of childhood and her relationship with her parents.


STONE MATTRESS by Margaret Atwood

In her first short story collection in nearly a decade, CanLit superstar Margaret Atwood unveils Stone Mattress. The nine tales are vintage Atwood: strong women, a sense of the otherworldly, and an unflinching, fearless take on aging. Note: fans of her 1993 bestseller, The Robber Bride, can revisit the book’s characters, now in their dotage, in “I Dream of Zenia With The Bright Red Teeth”.

RELATED: Read Our Interview with Margaret Atwood


EDGE OF ETERNITY (Book Three of the Century Trilogy) by Ken Follett

The sweeping conclusion in the bestselling historical epic The Century TrilogyEdge of Eternity follows the fortunes of five intertwined families – English, Russian, American, German and Welsh – during the upheavals of the 20th century. The final installment of the series covers events from the 1960s until today, including civil rights, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Berlin Wall – and much more. (If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, don’t worry. Each of the books covers a different generation of family members and can be read as standalone novels.)

What’s on your reading list? Let us know in the comments!