Books from independent presses and university presses continue to offer some of the most exciting writing available today. These houses are not afraid to publish works in translation; to offer new ways of thinking about science, history, and economics; or to use a book as a way to make a statement on an important topic such as the environment. They even give a new gloss to memoirs. This year we considered more than 200 submissions from small presses and university presses, along with recommendations from booksellers and PW’s reviews editors, to come up with our picks for some of the best books for adults and children that are just out or scheduled to publish later this fall.
Atlantic Monthly (dist. by PGW)

Photo by Nicholas Purcell
See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt (Aug., $18, hardcover)
Author tour, an August Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a PW Fall Writer to Watch
This debut novel about Lizzie Borden received a starred PW review for being “equally compelling as a whodunit, ‘whydunit,’ and historical novel.” The review continues, “The book honors known facts yet fearlessly claims its own striking vision.”


Photo by Jo Wheeler
Reservoir 13: A Novel

Jon McGregor (Oct., $10.00, trade paper)
New York City appearances, advertising on social media, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
The prize-winning British novelist tells the story of an English village in the wake of a teenage girl’s disappearance. “To read John McGregor’s novel Reservoir 13 is to read a thousand tiny poems in quick succession,” says David Enyeart at Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minn. “In fragments and glimpses of a small village in England, McGregor brilliantly contrasts the urgency of life with the banality of living.”