The Marvels by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, September 15)
From the bestselling, Caldecott Medal-winning author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the first 400 illustrated pages of his new novel tell the story of five generations of family of actors (beginning in 1766). The second half starts in 1990 and follows Joseph, a boy who has runaway to an uncle's house in London. It's certainly the most ambitious work to date from this creative genre-spanning (and age-defying) author and illustrator.
Backstairs Billy: The Life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother’s Most Devoted Servant by Tom Quinn (The Robson Press, September 15)
A fixture of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House for more than 50 years, Tallon was the queen mother’s close confidant, a royal servant who earned a reputation for hosting sex- and gin-fueled parties right in her home. Somehow he’s managed to avoid the spotlight—until now.
Cooking as Fast as I Can: A Chef’s Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness by Cat Cora (Scribner, September 15)
From childhood sexual abuse, to her struggles with Southern attitudes toward homosexuality, to her marriage and motherhood, Cora traces her rise to prominence as a Food Network host and Iron Chef.
After the Parade by Lori Ostlund (Scribner, September 22)
When middle-aged Aaron leaves his older partner, exchanging the comfort of New Mexico for the unknown promise of San Francisco, he thinks his life will begin in earnest. But a troubling encounter with a private investigator reveals that instead of leaving his troubles behind, he’s taken them with him.
Husky by Justin Sayre (Grosset & Dunlap, September 22)
Many are familiar with Sayre's humor from his comedic writing on 2 Broke Girls or his variety show and salon Meeting*, but now he has his debut novel that may surprise readers. A young adult book about Brooklyn teenager Davis coming to term with his sexuality, Sayre says it's for "anyone who has felt outside or uninvited."
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 22)
Separated from her family during Nigeria's civil war, 11-year-old Ijeoma falls in love with Amina, another displaced girl. As years pass and her country attempts to heal, Ijeoma must weigh the pressure from society and her mother to marry a man against her desire to live honestly.
Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan (W.W. Norton & Company, October 5)
While Edie Windsor’s name will always be tied to the defeat of DOMA, it was her lawyer, Kaplan, who dealt the decisive blow. From advice that Windsor’s late wife gave Kaplan when she was first coming out to late-night legal-planning sessions, this deeply personal memoir offers new insight into the duo behind a landmark victory.
The Uncollected Rakoff Edited by edited by Timothy G. Young (Anchor Books, October 27)
An eclectic anthology of ephemera (food diaries published on Grub Street) and personal insights (there's even a piece, “Goodbye to All of You,” that originally appeared in Out magazine), the book feels like a haunting epitaph to a talented writer whose life was cut short when he died in 2012. Any Rakoff completist won't want to overlook this essential collection of essays and interviews.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein (Riverhead Books, October 27)
Before joining the acclaimed indie-rock trio Sleater-Kinney and co-creating the cult series <Portlandia>, Brownstein was a lost girl from the Pacific Northwest looking to fit in. In her new memoir, she tells the story of how she found salvation in music.
Proud: My Autobiography by Gareth Thomas (Ebury Press, December 2015)
The openly gay Welsh rugby player has inspired a wide swath of athletes after he came out in 2009. Now he shares his struggles with pain and resentment and how he found the courage to come out to his wife and teammates.