Sure, the weather still feels summery—but here at BookPage, we’re looking ahead to fall releases. This is a big year for books in general and fiction in particular, but we’ve narrowed it down to 15 titles that rang our bells.
NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press). The inimitable Zadie Smith’s first book in four years is set in her own neighborhood of northwest London, where four school friends whose lives have gone in very different directions are pulled back into each other’s orbits.
The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom (Hyperion). Albom’s first novel in six years is a modern parable about Father Time that casts the fairy-tale figure in a new light: as the person who first attempted to track time. Read more here.
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Riverhead). Diaz’s first collection of short stories in a decade is a beautifully stirring look at ruined relationships and lost love—and a more than worthy follow-up to his 2007 Pulitzer winner, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Read more on the book here, and look for an interview in September.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown). Perhaps you’ve heard that J.K. Rowling is writing an adult novel? We’re eager to see what she does with the story of a decidedly magic-free election in small-town England—but like the rest of the world, we won’t find out until it goes on sale.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (Knopf). Fans of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild are looking for their next read—and we think that this touching story of a mother and son reading together during the mother’s final days could be it.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper). A young woman becomes obsessed with a horrifying event in her small town’s history—the murder of a white family, and the innocent Native Americans who are accused of the crime. (More here.)
Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (Blue Rider). What, exactly, does Neil Young remember from his years on the road? Plenty, we hear—this hefty new memoir has an equally fat printing and a strict embargo until the on-sale date.
The Twelve by Justin Cronin (Ballantine). This anticipated sequel to the smash hit The Passage is bound to shoot straight for the bestseller lists. In our 2010 interview with Cronin, he dropped some hints, saying: “Volume two is, I hope, every bit as rich and engaging. . . . It has surprises aplenty, things you didn’t see coming but I hope you feel like oh, that’s just perfect.”
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (Atria). Morton’s historical novels have slowly built her a devoted following. Fans of Sarah’s Key and the work of Tracy Chevalier won’t want to miss this emotional tour de force.
Back to Blood: A Novel by Tom Wolfe (Little, Brown). Wolfe turns his gaze to immigration in Miami in this long-awaited novel—one he has been working on with the editor of the classic Bonfire of the Vanities. BookPage interviewed Tom Wolfe for his last book, I Am Charlotte Simmons, which was released to somewhat disappointing reviews in 2004. But race and immigration are meatier topics than simply exposing college hijinks, and Back to Blood could be a comeback for the celebrated writer.
Astray by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown). From the confines of Room to the joys of travel—Donoghue has a new story collection. We hope it’s as imaginative and adventurous as The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits.
Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver has a wonderful ability to grab her readers and drop them into a fully developed world. So we are truly on the edge of our seats for Flight Behavior, her new novel that takes place in small-town Tennessee. It’s about a woman who must confront “her family, her church, her town, her continent, and finally the world at large.”
Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto (Scribner). The first novel in more than a decade from the author of How to Make an American Quilt looks at the “having it all” debate through a historical lens (pardon the pun), telling stories based on the lives of female photographers through the 20th century.
Sweet Tooth: A Novel by Ian McEwan (Nan Talese). In 1972, intelligent bibliophile and Cambridge grad Serena is recruited for the British secret service. As luck would have it, her first assignment has her tailing a writer on a mission codenamed “Sweet Tooth.” As she gets to know him and his work, she discovers she has a taste for both.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (Random House). One of America’s foremost journalists takes on one of America’s most fascinating leaders in a hefty biography.
For a full list of our anticipated releases, check out our calendar. What book are you most looking forward to reading this fall? Tell us in the comments.