Fall's Big Reads

By So, Jimmy; Wittmann, Lucas | Newsweek, September 3, 2012 | Go to article overview

Fall's Big Reads


So, Jimmy, Wittmann, Lucas, Newsweek


Byline: Jimmy So and Lucas Wittmann

Eleven must-have books.

Fall is here, and that means publishers are rolling out their heavy hitters. What a lineup it is: from Salman Rushdie's years in hiding to Tom Wolfe's first novel in eight years and Michael Chabon's portrait of Oakland to Zadie Smith's return to London, we pick the upcoming books we're most excited about.

There Was a Country

By Chinua Achebe, Oct. 11.

To understand postcolonial Africa, begin with Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart. To understand Achebe himself, read his new memoir of the 1967-70 Nigerian civil conflict, the Biafran War. At last, Achebe talks about the terrible events--and the revelations about what the regime did to his own people.

Back to Blood

By Tom Wolfe, Oct. 23.

He's back. Eight years ago he gave us college life in all of its pornographic glory. Now our Balzac, our Zola, our Dickens heads to Miami, the city of America's future. Expect the Wolfian alchemy of race, class, pop culture, wealth, real estate, and the mores of our times--all packaged in a mean, gripping read.

Far From the Tree

By Andrew Solomon, Nov. 13.

What happens when your child is born deaf, autistic, a prodigy, or with any kind of difference that marks them as "not normal"? That's the heartbreaking question at the center of Andrew Solomon's opus. He journeys across national, ethnic, and religious lines to speak to parents about their children-and along the way he learns about what makes us human.

Sweet Tooth

By Ian McEwan, Nov. 13.

After the wicked satire of his last novel Solar, McEwan turns to another very British genre, the spy novel. It's perhaps his most stylish and personal book to date: a literary young woman at Cambridge University in the 1970s is recruited by British intelligence to shadow an up-and-coming writer, whom she can't help but fall for. The year's most intensely enjoyable novel.

The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court

By Jeffrey Toobin, Sept. 18.

With all eyes on Obama vs. Romney, you might be forgiven for thinking that's the only contest in the nation right now. But Toobin makes a compelling case that it's John Roberts's Supreme Court vs. the president, a showdown in which all of the most important issues about the future of our country are at stake-and where neither man plays quite the role we think they do.

Telegraph Avenue

By Michael Chabon, Sept.

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