From left: Zadie Smith; Daniel Handler; A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li.Photo: From left: Donald Milne; Karl Mondon/Newscom

On Beauty
Zadie Smith returns with a warm and witty tale of idealists brought low.
• Penguin Press, September 13.

Wickett’s Remedy
Bee Season’s Myla Goldberg time-travels back to 1918.
• Doubleday, September 20.

The March
E. L. Doctorow enters the Civil War.
• Random House, September 20.

Lipstick Jungle
In Lipstick Jungle, Candace Bushnell turns her gimlet gaze from the bedroom to the boardroom.
• Hyperion, September 1.

Every year, one fall debut is so well hyped it’s the talk of the town by August. Benjamin Kunkel’s Indecision wasn’t even out yet when the Times weighed in—twice.
• Random House, August 30.

Lemony Fresh
Kids can’t wait for Lemony Snicket’s latest, Book the Twelfth. Why do the tots love Lemony? You could ask Daniel Handler, though he won’t even admit to being the series’ author. Still, his macabre reply betrays him: “Do not assume that having something in one’s possession indicates love. German measles can be found in a great number of children, but that doesn’t mean they love rashes.”
• HarperCollins Children’s Books, October 18.

Pages of Grief
Joan Didion dispenses with her trademark reticence in a painfully revealing memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, about her husband’s death and the long illness of her daughter, Quintana, who passed away only two weeks ago.

Best of the Rest

Female Chauvinist Pigs
by Ariel Levy
Hard-nosed reporting on the rise of “Raunch Culture,” by a New York Magazine contributing editor.
• Free Press, August 30.

The Widow of the South
by Robert Hicks
First novel, long on gory details, about a real-life Confederate widow who built a hospital and cemetery.
• Warner, August 30.

Wild Ducks Flying Backward
by Tom Robbins
Assorted stories, poems, and essays from a poppy American favorite.
• Bantam, August 30.

The Tender Bar
by J. R. Moehringer
A journalist writes touchingly about the Long Island bar where he came of age.
• Hyperion, September 1.

Shalimar the Clown
by Salman Rushdie
A Kashmiri terrorist’s motives turn out to be deeply personal, as his victim’s beautifully depicted daughter discovers.
• Random House, September 6.

The Diviners
by Rick Moody
The maligned writer’s ambitious send-up of the Hollywood-Miramax complex.
• Little, Brown, September 12.

Cinnamon Kiss
by Walter Mosley
The tenth novel in the Easy Rawlins series follows the black detective to iconic late-sixties San Francisco.
• Little, Brown, September 19.

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
by Yiyun Li
Accomplished debut stories on the scars of China’s Cultural Revolution.
• Random House, September 20.

Slow Man
by J. M. Coetzee
Elizabeth Costello reappears once again, in the Nobel winner’s austere ninth novel.
• Viking, September 22.

The City of Falling Angels
by John Berendt
Another atmospheric mystery from the Midnight author—this one in Venice.
• Penguin, September 27.

The Ongoing Moment
by Geoff Dyer
Infectiously enthusiastic writer-critic’s illustrated study of art photography.
• Pantheon, October 4.

by Mary Gaitskill
Ballyhooed return of the lit bad girl, after a seven-year absence.
• Pantheon, October 11.

I, Wabenzi: A Souvenir
by Rafi Zabor
Jazz critic’s lyrical memoir of a Pan-African road trip in a beat-up Benz.
• FSG, October 12.

The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq
by George Packer
Wrenching dispatches from the heart of the war that won’t end.
• FSG, October 15.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The laureate’s first fiction in ten years, about a nonagenarian who decides to deflower a virgin prostitute.
• Knopf, November 1.

The Quitter
by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel
Autobiographical comic from the American Splendor crank, shockingly confessing to past alpha-male behavior.
• DC Comics, November 1.

A Stranger to Myself
by Willy Peter Reese
Unearthed diary of a regretful German soldier dying on the Eastern front in WWII.
• FSG, November 2.

Get a Life
by Nadine Gordimer
A South African cancer patient literally becomes radioactive in the Nobel Prize winner’s latest novel.
• FSG, November 29.

The Coldest Winter
by Paula Fox
Second memoir from a sharp-eyed and unsparing novelist, rediscovered in her seventies.
• Henry Holt, November 3.

Gone to New York
by Ian Frazier
Collected essays from the meandering, laconic stylist.
• FSG, November 3.

What are you looking forward to this fall? Ask a Bookstore Manager
Melanie Fleischman, 192 Books

Taste: Literary fiction and fiction set in other lands. Short stories—James Salter, Alice Munro, people like that. I love memoirs but not ones that seem whiny or that have too many axes to grind.

Looking forward to: The Tender Bar, by J. R. Moehringer. It’s about growing up on Long Island and it focuses around this wonderful bar. Fantastic. The new J. M. Coetzee book, Slow Man—it stars Elizabeth Costello, who was the main character in his last book. Captain of the Sleepers, by Mayra Montero. She grew up in Puerto Rico, and the book is translated by Edith Grossman, who translated Don Quixote last year. It’s a wonderful story. The new Joan Didion, too.

Wish list: I would have Alice Munro write a novel. She can encapsulate a whole life in a paragraph, in a gesture of a character.