The Must-Read Books of Fall

Article excerpt

Byline: Malcolm Jones And Lucas Wittmann

After lazy days of reading fat thrillers on the beach, it's time to get serious with the annual fall reading bonanza when publishers release all their marquee names, big stars, and prize contenders. The good news: serious does not mean dull. Expect stars to return in top form (Charles Frazier, Lee Child), stunning debuts (Chad Harbach, Erin Morgenstern), juicy political memoirs (Condoleezza Rice on her WH years), sweeping history (Simon Sebag Montefiore on Jerusalem, Robert Hughes on Rome), charming celebrity memoirs (Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins), and more. We've sifted through the avalanche to identify 10 books you won't want to miss (but we couldn't resist adding another 10 on The Daily Beast).

Stephen King

11/22/63

The horror king delivers a trip down the rabbit hole of history with a novel that reimagines that watershed moment: the Kennedy assassination. Jake, a high-school English teacher, finds a portal to the past and goes back to Texas in 1958, where he becomes George Amberson, finds the love of his life, and tries to stop Oswald, all in 842 pages.

Haruki Murakami

1Q84

As with most Murakami novels, things begin in ordinary ways--a woman sits in a taxi in a traffic jam--and then quickly warp out of control: the woman winds up in an alternate universe before the cars begin to move. Add a novelist rewriting the work of a 13-year-old girl, a militant religious cult, a reclusive dowager who runs a battered-women's shelter, and a very ugly detective, and the result is top-drawer Murakami.

Aravind Adiga

Last Man in tower

The Booker Prize-winning author of The White Tiger delivers a masterful portrait of booming Mumbai told through the struggle over an apartment building between an ambitious property developer and a humble, defiant schoolteacher. With this gripping, amusing glimpse into the contradictions and perils of modern India, Adiga cements his reputation as the preeminent chronicler of his country's messy present.

Ron Suskind

Confidence Men

Three years after the financial meltdown, the American economy is still limping along. How the recovery went awry is the subject of Ron Suskind's reported account of the Obama White House's struggle to fix the economy--and the response of the financial titans in New York. Still under wraps, Suskind's book is likely to deliver fascinating revelations and a hard look at Obama's leadership. …