As we pack away our summer clothes, it’s also time to put away the summer book fluff. So while the weather gets chillier and we switch from white to red wine, we want to read something that’s a bit meatier, a bit more substantial. But with new releases every week, it’s hard to know where to even begin. Here are ones that I’m excited about:
Doctor Sleep, Stephen King
It is a great, great time to be a Stephen King fan. With Under the Dome, 11/22/63, and this year’s extraordinary Joyland, in the past few years he has given us some of his greatest works. And now, after 35 years, he’s returning to characters of one of the most influential horror novels of all time: The Shining. In Doctor Sleep, the adult Dan Torrance — the son who survived the fateful winter at the Overlook Hotel — must protect a young, “shining” girl from evil forces. And deal with the demons from long ago. REDRUM.
Details: Available now; 545 pages; Scribner
The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
Even before it was released, Pulitzer Prize-winning Lahiri’s newest was already shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Details: Available now; 353 pages; Knopf
Double Down: Game Change 2012, Mark Halperin and John Heilenabb
Granted the 2012 presidential campaign was nowhere near as juicy as 2008: no I-can-see-Russia-from-my-house Palin or John Edwards’ beautiful hair. (Not counting those amazing Paul Ryan workout photos.) But with behind-the-scenes access with the campaigns and candidates, Halperin and Heilenabb’s latest should still be filled with some tantalizing tidbits.
Details: Releases November 5; 512 pages, Penguin
Dangerous Women, George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
The collection includes a new Outlander story from Diana Gabaldon and a George R. R. Martin novella that precedes Game of Throne by 200 years. You’re welcome.
Details: Releases December 3; 784 pages, Tor Books
The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert
The early word is that Gilbert — author of the blockbuster Eat, Pray, Love — has written one of the best books of the year, if not years. Set in Philadelphia, this tale of a wealthy man, his scientist daughter and the artist she falls in love with will be the one everyone is talking about.
Details: Releases October 1; 512 pages, Viking Adult
S., J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorts
“Conceived by filmmaker J. J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst…” it’s about an old book with people writing in the margins. Who the hell knows if it’ll be any good, but with Abrams attached, it’ll be worth checking out.
Details: Releases October 29; 472 pages, Mulholland Books
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell
The sure-to-be mega bestseller from the author of Blink and Outliers looks at the story of David and Goliath and how we, today, can overcome our disadvantages.
Details: Releases October 1; 320 pages, Little, Brown and Company
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
It has been 11 years since The Secret History and 21 years since The Little Friend. Yet with only two books, Tartt is considered one of our greatest novelists. Needless to say expectations and excitement are high for The Goldfinch. But with a dark story about a young boy surviving an accident, I’m sure the wait will have been worth it.
Details: Releases October 22; 784 pages, Little, Brown and Company
The Abominable: A Novel, Dan Simmons
One thing can be said for Dan Simmons: his books are never easy. Usually lengthy, involved and highly detailed, they are not ones to skim. They are to be savored. What got me hooked was his 2007 masterwork, The Terror. And now he returns to the barren, cold landscape, this time focusing on hikers on Mt. Everest and the person or thing that might be following them.
Details: Releases October 10; 672 pages, Little, Brown and Company
Dallas 1963, Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Almost 50 years from the event, the book focuses not on JFK’s assassination, but rather on the mood, the politics and the society of Dallas in the years leading up to the national tragedy.
Details: Releases October 8; 346 pages, Twelve
The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan
No one does mother-daughter relationships like the incomparable Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club).
Details: Releases November 5; 608 pages, Ecco
The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, Book #4), Rick Riordan
I’m not going to lie: I’m a huge fan of Riordan’s Percy Jackson/demigod books. And the latest, will help me survive my Thanksgiving weekend travel.
Details: Releases October 8; 608 pages, Disney Hyperion
One Summer: America, 1927, Bill Bryson
Bryson newest looks at 1927, the year of Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, the Model T, and Al Capone. If it’s anything like Bryson’s others, it cannot be missed. After all, it’s been 15 years since I read A Walk in the Woods, and it still makes me laugh: “What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course. Literally shit myself lifeless.”
Details: Releases October 1; 528 pages, Double Day
A House in the Sky: A Memoir, Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
In 2008, Amanda Lindhout travelled to Somalia as a television reporter. On her fourth day she was captured and remained a hostage for 460 days. Of course not an easy read, but an important one.
Details: Available now; 384 Pages, Scribner