Great books coming this fall

Been too long away from the blog. Visiting family, and it’s the busiest time of year at the library, where I’ve had the privilege of working with eleven first-year medical students. I’ll be their personal librarian for the next four years, a role we librarians are inventing and making our own as we go along.

When it comes to Books Can Save A Life, I often wonder who might stop by and whether I can make their visit personal and meaningful, especially considering most of my readers are anonymous.

One thing I know, I have to feel passionate or intensely curious about the books, writers, and topics I feature here.

You may be inspired to read some of the books or authors you find on Books Can Save A Life but, ultimately, I hope Books gives you a moment of pleasure, speaks to some aspect of your own life, stirs up memories of past good reads, or inspires you to try a new path in your personal reading.

After visiting my favorite book spots on the Internet, I was energized to find that this fall will bring a perfect storm of new fiction and nonfiction by some of our best writers. Everyone in the book world is excited about the upcoming publishing season.

Some of my favorite authors will publish new books, and others have been on my to-read list for a while. This fall and winter I want to feature some of them on Books Can Save A Life. Let’s immerse ourselves in the spirit and mood of our time. What are our obsessions, passions, predictions, hopes, fears, delusions and delights? How are we, personally, caught up in all of it?

Let’s find out.

Tops on my list are Barbara Kingsolver and Ian McEwan.

I loved Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. Her new book, Flight Behavior, is right up my alley, with a larger-than-life plot about a farmer’s wife caught up in a biological disaster that draws worldwide attention and fuels the controversy over climate change.

Sweet Tooth book coverI’ve read McEwan’s Saturday twice (someday I’ll tell you why that book is so special to me), and I’m looking forward to his Sweet Tooth.  It’s about a Cold War spy who falls in love with the novelist she’s supposed to be manipulating. One reviewer calls it a complex “Russian doll of a novel” that’s really about readers, reading, how we respond to fiction, and what we want from it.

Mark Helprin will have a new book out, too, In Sunlight and In Shadow. Have any of you read Winter’s Tale? Among other things, it’s a love letter to New York City of the early 1900s (and of the future.) I read it when I was saying goodbye to New York and a particular time in my life. Helprin’s newest book takes place in post World War II New York and is, I think, a similarly fabulous and grand tale.

I’m curious about J.K. Rowling’s new novel, The Casual Vacancy, but I may wait for the reviews to make the commitment.

Some authors publishing this fall I’ll be meeting for the first time:

San Miguel, by T. C. Boyle (two families on an island off the coast of California)

Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon (two families in Oakland, California – doesn’t that sound just like Boyle’s book?)

This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz (all kinds of love)

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, by D. T. Max (a biography of David Foster Wallace)

But first, I promised you Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor in August. Better late than never, it’s a book I can’t pass up that will be front and center in my next post.

Also coming up: two book stories to share with you from a couple of my readers, and a trip to Buenos Aires in October, where I’ll be re-reading Imagining Argentina and writing about my adventures.

What are you reading? Are there any forthcoming books you plan to buy the minute they’re available?

8 responses

  1. I have been mostly reading Indie novels lately, since I have a Kindle and Indies are usually very inexpensive. I just don’t have enough money to read all the new books! Usually I just wait a while until they are no longer in high demand at the library, and then check them out.

    • This does get expensive. I wouldn’t buy all these books if I didn’t have the book blog and you’re right – newly published books from the library have long wait lists. Now that you mention this, though, I should include some indie novels in the mix, not just the big name authors published by traditional publishers.

  2. Hi Valerie, great post. You’ve got me thinking about what I might put on my list….certainly there are 2 from yours that will go straight on to mine – the new Barbara Kingsolver and The Housekeeper and the Professor. Looking forward to reading your review. At the moment my biggest challenge is finding the time to read literary novels like the ones you mention, as well as pocket novels and light-hearted romance novels which I need to study in order to learn how the authors write them. It always comes down to time doesn’t it? Mind you one partial solution I have discovered is the exercise from Priscilla Long’s book where you choose a superbly written paragraph and re-write it in your own words. Takes forever but always stimulating!

    • I actually don’t read literary novels often, so I thought it would be fun to try a series of them this fall, though it will be a lot of reading. Curious to see what the best writers are publishing right now and if there are common themes. Interesting times, to say the least. I’m not familiar with Priscilla Long, I will have to take a look at her work. The exercise you mention sounds interesting and I’d like to try it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Edith.

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