Five frightening books to read this fall

Book Riot’s Liberty Hardy shares the best new books of fall 2022. Plus, our panel discusses the latest pop culture news.

Five frightening books to read this fall. The covers of ‘Motherthing’ by Ainslie Hogarth, ‘Jackal’ by Erin E. Adams, and ‘Such Sharp Teeth’ by Rachel Harrison.
All book covers courtesy of their publishers
Five frightening books to read this fall. The covers of ‘Motherthing’ by Ainslie Hogarth, ‘Jackal’ by Erin E. Adams, and ‘Such Sharp Teeth’ by Rachel Harrison.
All book covers courtesy of their publishers

Five frightening books to read this fall

Book Riot’s Liberty Hardy shares the best new books of fall 2022. Plus, our panel discusses the latest pop culture news.

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This week, Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo and Homemade Stories host Shannon Cason join us to dish on the latest pop culture news. We discuss the new rom-com Bros, McDonald’s Happy Meal for adults, and the purple M&M.

Then, one of our absolute favorite readers stops by to get us up to speed on this fall’s best books. Liberty Hardy is host of Book Riot’s ALL THE BOOKS! podcast. She also writes a newsletter chock-full of new books each week called What’s my page again? Liberty’s Book Miscellany. Plus, the Nerdette team and some of our listeners share their own reading recommendations for this fall.

Liberty’s top 5 books for fall 2022:

Motherthing. The book cover of 'Motherthing' by Ainslie Hogarth depicts a terrified woman covering her face, a hand and a cake.

1. Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth is “so disturbing and I loved it so much,” Liberty says. This horror novel follows Abby as she fights to protect herself and her husband from past trauma. In addition to being frightening, “it’s also a story about this woman who had a horrible childhood and just wants love,” Liberty says.

Jackal. The book cover for 'Jackal' by Erin E. Adams depicts the face of a Black woman with the night sky partially covering her face.

2. Jackal is a horror thriller novel from debut author Erin E. Adams. When Liz, a Black woman, reluctantly returns to her majority-white hometown, her best friend’s daughter goes missing in the woods. Liz’s quest to find her leads her to uncover a longer, dark history of missing young Black girls. “It’s a very scary book, both from a realistic perspective about race and the police and everything going on in this country, and from a horror perspective too,” Liberty says.

Such Sharp Teeth. The cover of 'Such Sharp Teeth' by Rachel Harrison is black. An orange moon is in the center, dripping, with the outline of a werewolf.

3. Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison is a werewolf novel that will have you asking, “will she kiss him, or will she eat him?” Liberty says. It follows two sisters’ transformations, one through pregnancy, the other as a werewolf, and a darkly comedic love story.

Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis Baldree. The cover of the book shows two orcs in a coffee shop standing defiantly.

4. After blowing up on TikTok last year, Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis Baldree is receiving a re-release from a bigger publisher on November 8. It’s about Viv, an orc-barbarian, who gives up her fighting days to open a coffee shop. “If you’re looking for something that just feels like a nice, relaxing, warm bath, this is that book for you,” Liberty says.

'We Deserve Monuments' by Jas Hammonds. The book cover depicts a windswept, young Black girl against a night sky. Bright sunflowers are in the foreground.

5. We Deserve Monuments is a YA debut by Jas Hammonds that comes out on November 29. Seventeen-year-old Avery is uprooted from her life in Washington D.C. to live in rural Georgia. With the help of new friends, Avery begins to unearth a dark, racist mystery in their small town. “It’s a powerful story of young love, of intergenerational trauma, of racism and of forgiveness,” Liberty says.

Nerdette host Greta Johnsen’s top 3 fall books:

1. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng (October 4)

2. Small Game by Blair Braverman (November 1)

3. Now is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson (November 8)

Plus, book recommendations from Nerdette’s producers and listeners:

1. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

2. The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik

3. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

4. Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath

5. Tomboyland by Melissa Faliveno