The days are dark, but books bring brightness. Here are six promising new paperbacks to read as autumn settles in.


‘Girl, Woman, Other’

By Bernardine Evaristo (Black Cat/Grove Atlantic, $17)

This novel, Anglo-Nigerian author Evaristo’s eighth work of fiction, shared the 2019 Booker Prize with Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments.” You’ll have to wait a while for a paperback of the latter, but “Girl, Woman, Other” is out in softcover just this week. Set among a group of black women friends in contemporary England, it’s “a big, busy novel” full of interconnected stories, wrote a New York Times reviewer.


‘Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood’

By Karina Longworth (HarperCollins, $17.99)

Longworth, a film critic and creator of the podcast “You Must Remember This,” is a masterful storyteller of Old Hollywood; here, she places millionaire and movie mogul Howard Hughes at its center. A Los Angeles Times reviewer



By Elizabeth McCracken (Ecco, $16.99)

I fell hard for this charmer of a book when I read it early this year


‘Feast Days’

BIan MacKenzie (Little, Brown, $15.99)

MacKenzie’s follow-up to his 2009 debut, “City of Strangers,” takes place in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where a wealthy American couple have moved; the wife, who narrates the book, is restless and unhappy. “This is an expansive book tangling big ideas on class and race, marriage and politics,” wrote a reviewer in The Guardian


‘The Man Who Came Uptown’

By George Pelecanos (Little, Brown, $15.99)

Pelecanos divides his time between detective fiction and TV writing (he’s an Emmy nominee for “Treme” and “The Wire”); his latest book, set in Washington, D.C., involves a private eye, a woman who runs a jail book-group program, and a recently incarcerated young man. The book is “a modern storytelling master’s paean to the power of books, literature, librarians, and booksellers,” wrote an NPR reviewer


‘Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay’

By Phoebe Robinson (Penguin, $16)

In this essay collection, the actor, author and comedian (“2 Dope Queens”) “is telling on everybody,” wrote Seattle Times writer Crystal Paul