The Season in Books


‘Duplex,’ by Kathryn Davis
Time is bending, and robots are moving in next door, in a new novel of kindergarten by a specialist in the banal fantastical. Graywolf Press, Sept. 3.

‘The Private War of J.D. Salinger,’ by David Shields
Shields is so showy and self-deconstructing an essayist it can be unbearable to read him. Salinger was … not that. Which might make it an inspired pairing (though it accompanies a breathless Salinger documentary we’re less hopeful about). Simon & Schuster, Sept. 3.

‘The Childhood of Jesus,’ by J. M. Coetzee
Our driest Nobelist with his first new novel since 2007 (and be warned: not actually about Jesus!). Viking, Sept. 3.

‘A House in the Sky: A Memoir,’ by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
Lindhout’s harrowing story: kidnapped in Somalia in 2008 and brutally held hostage for 460 days. Scribner, Sept. 10.

‘Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance,’ by Carla Kaplan
A cultural history through the side door of Harlem in the twenties. HarperCollins, Sept. 10.

‘Still Foolin’ ’Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?,’ by Billy Crystal
One long, Crystalline riff. Henry Holt, Sept. 10.

‘Enon,’ by Paul Harding
The second novel from the author of tiny surprise Pulitzer winner Tinkers. Random House, Sept. 10.

‘Nine Inches: Stories,’ by Tom Perrotta
Perrotta’s stuff is dark, but it goes down so easy, especially when bite-size. St. Martin’s Press, Sept. 10.

‘Subtle Bodies,’ by Norman Rush
This novel, just the third from old-fashioned Big Book writer Rush, is short and focused enough to read in one sitting—a super-up-close study of male friendship (and envy). Knopf, Sept. 10.

‘Stay Up With Me: Stories,’ by Tom Barbash
An intimate, acute collection—like they used to make ’em. Ecco, Sept. 10.

‘Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better,’ by Clive Thompson
It’s straw men everywhere in this debate. Mercifully, Thompson always works from data, not straw. Penguin Press, Sept. 12.

‘Traveling Sprinkler,’ by Nicholson Baker
Baker is the sweetest and also possibly the most lewd figure in American fiction. And now: a literary novelist who’s actually written a sequel (to 2009’s The Anthologist). Blue Rider Press, Sept. 17.

‘Doctor Sleep,’ by Stephen King
Maybe the book world’s most reliable pleasure-­giver, giving us the sequel to The Shining we didn’t even know we wanted. Scribner, Sept. 24.

‘Levels of Life,’ by Julian Barnes
A memoir that is also a biography; a love story that is also a book of mourning for Barnes’s late wife, Pat Kavanagh, who died in 2008. Knopf, Sept. 24.

‘Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age,’ by Mathew Klickstein
Double Dare gets its moment in the nostalgia spotlight. Plume, Sept. 24.


‘David and Goliath,’ by Malcolm Gladwell
The business-class nonfiction book of the fall. Little, Brown, Oct. 1.

‘The Signature of All Things,’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
The first novel in twelve years from the author of Eat, Pray, Love (who started out as an extremely gifted writer of fiction before she became a guru superstar). Viking, Oct. 1.

‘Ian Fleming,’ by Andrew Lycett
The life of the man who gave us 007. St. Martin’s, Oct. 1.

‘Dirty Love,’ by Andre Dubus III
Linked novellas on love in the time of sexting, from the author of House of Sand and Fog. W.W. Norton, Oct. 7.

‘The Circle,’ by Dave Eggers
A Silicon Valley thriller—yes, that’s right—from the McSweeney’s boss and onetime boy-king of earnest fiction. Knopf, Oct. 8.

‘Longbourn,’ by Jo Baker
The servants take center stage in this retelling of Pride and Prejudice—a sort of Wide Sargasso Sea meets Upstairs, Downstairs. Knopf, Oct. 8.

‘Dallas 1963,’ by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Fifty years later, the assassination is still the signal mid-century event to a nation of conspiracy theorists and Greatest Generation nostalgists. Twelve, Oct. 8.

‘The Double,’ by George Pelecanos
The master crime novelist takes on art theft. Little, Brown, Oct. 8.

‘How to Read a Novelist,’ by John Freeman
The departing editor of Granta (and scourge of e-mail) writes about that complicated space between criticism and literary biography where all readers really live. FSG, Oct. 8.

‘Actors Anonymous,’ by James Franco
Forgive us, but we can’t look away. Amazon, Oct. 15.

‘Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy,’ by Helen Fielding
Time to check in with Bridge. Knopf, Oct. 15.

‘Johnny Carson,’ by Henry Bushkin
Twenty years since retiring and eight since his death, Carson remains the god of late night and the dean of American comedy. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct. 15.

‘Norman Mailer: A Double Life,’ by J. Michael Lennon
A man of myth even while alive, Mailer gets his first thorough biography just six years after he died (and 44 since he ran for mayor). Simon & Schuster, Oct. 15.

‘Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure,’ by Samira Kawash
A gumball machine of a cultural history. Faber and Faber, Oct. 15.

‘The Goldfinch,’ by Donna Tartt
Every Tartt novel is worth the decade(-plus)-long wait. Little, Brown, Oct. 22.

‘Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste,’ by Luke Barr
The Metaphysical Club for foodies. Clarkson Potter, Oct. 22.

‘Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books,’ by Claudia Roth Pierpont
Not a biography—those will come—but a book-length essay on Roth the writer, and nicely timed to his sudden “retirement.” Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 22.

‘Johnny Cash: The Life,’ by Robert Hilburn
The Man in Black was not a criminal, or anything like it, he just played one on TV (and in song). Here’s how. Little, Brown, Oct. 29.

‘Tune In: The Beatles—All These Years,’ by Mark Lewisohn
The first of three volumes in a long-anticipated, promised-to-be-comprehensive survey of everything (and we mean everything) Beatles. Crown Archetype, Oct. 29.

‘S.,’ by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
A pomo collage novel—a “found” book at the center of the page, an argument between two readers scribbled in the margins—“conceived” by screenwriter darling Abrams and “realized” by novelist Dorst. Mulholland, Oct. 29.

‘The Most of Nora Epron,’ by Nora Ephron
There’s just never enough Nora. Knopf, Oct. 29.


‘The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin
America’s historian-in-chief on the country’s most cartoonish political era. Simon & Schuster, Nov. 5.

‘The Valley of Amazement,’ by Amy Tan
A sprawling, across-generations-and-several-borders family epic. Ecco, Nov. 5.

‘This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage,’ by Ann Patchett
And is it the best title of the year? We think so! HarperCollins, Nov. 5.

‘The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion,’ by Virginia Postrel
An ambitious theory of celebrity, style, and allure, and how they came to rule not just our tabloid pages but our inner lives. Simon & Schuster, Nov. 5.

‘White Girls,’ by Hilton Als
A mix of memoir, essay, cultural criticism, and deep identity meditation. McSweeney’s, Nov. 12.

‘Death of the Black-Haired Girl,’ by Robert Stone
An unraveling student-professor campus romance, from fiction’s last macho man standing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov. 12.

‘My Mistake: A Memoir,’ by Daniel Menaker
A life in and out of publishing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov. 19.

‘A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York,’ by Anjelica Huston
If ever we trusted an actor to tell her own story … Scribner, Nov. 19.

The Season in Books