Publishers have a tantalizing pile of books coming out this fall, the traditional season for some of the year’s biggest titles. Here are summaries of some of the many upcoming releases, with information culled from publishers and Publishers Weekly magazine. Publication dates are subject to change.
Fiction: “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling. The pressure’s on for Harry Potter’s creator, whose new novel sounds like a traditional English mystery involving a pretty town with secrets. Sept. 27.
“John Saturnall’s Feast” by Lawrence Norfolk. Sensuous story of a 17th century English orphan who goes to work in a manor house kitchen.
“NW” by Zadie Smith. It has been several years since Smith’s last novel (“On Beauty”), and this tangled story of four Londoners may be overly confusing, Kirkus Reviews hints.
“San Miguel” by T.C. Boyle. Historical novel about two families on a desolate California island.
“Sutton” by J.R. Moehringer. Moehringer follows his memoir “The Tender Bar” with a lively novel about a real-life bank robber.
“Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon. A megastore tycoon wants to take over space occupied by an indie record store in this latest contemporary comedy by the author of “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.”
“This Is How You Lose Her” by Junot Diaz. Stories of love and heartbreak by the prize-winning author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”
“The Twelve” by Justin Cronin. A literary author who created a vampirish, apocalyptic world with “The Passage,” Cronin now follows surviving humans as they hunt the 12 original “virals.”
“A Wanted Man” by Lee Child. Popular suspense writer Child involves his unkempt hero, Jack Reacher, in a dangerous conspiracy.
“Winter of the World” by Ken Follett. Part 2 of Follett’s Century Trilogy follows five families through the dramatic years of World War II.
Nonfiction: “Bill and Hillary” by William H. Chafe. Duke University historian says that to understand the Clintons, it’s essential to understand their personal relationship.
“Boss Rove” by Craig Unger. Karl Rove is no longer in the White House, but this book looks at how he remains a powerful political operative who will influence the coming election.
“The Endgame” by Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor. An 800-page “inside story” about the war in Iraq.
“Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story” by D.T. Max. Max writes about the life, depression and suicide of writer David Foster Wallace. (On-sale date is today.)
“The Great Partnership” by Jonathan Sacks. The British rabbi argues that science and religion complement each other, and that the world needs both.
“Joseph Anton” by Salman Rushdie. In 1989, the novelist was told Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini had put a bounty on his head for writing “The Satanic Verses.” This book is Rushdie’s memoir of his famous years in hiding.
“No Easy Day” by Mark Owen. Owen is the pseudonym of a Navy SEAL who gives his eyewitness account of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“One Last Strike” by Tony La Russa and Rick Hummel. Last year’s dramatic World Series provides the backdrop for a memoir that encompasses more than 30 years in Major League Baseball. Sept. 25.
“The Price of Politics” by Bob Woodward. The venerable reporter’s look at how the Obama White House tried to deal with the Great Recession. Sept. 11.
Fiction: “Astray” by Emma Donoghue. Donoghue’s books are always a surprise. With this, she follows her best-selling “Room” with a collection of stories about wanderers.
“Back to Blood” by Tom Wolfe. Eight years after the disappointing “I Am Charlotte Simmons,” Wolfe has a new publisher and a novel set in the melting pot of Miami.
“Blasphemy” by Sherman Alexie. A “sweeping anthology,” it includes 15 new stories along with 15 old ones.
“In Sunlight and in Shadow” by Mark Helprin. Romantic New York saga by the author of “Winter’s Tale.”
“Live by Night” by Dennis Lehane. An Irish-American gangster gains power in Prohibition-era Boston.
“The Racketeer” by John Grisham. An imprisoned lawyer knows why a federal judge has been murdered.
Nonfiction: “Apocalyptic Planet” by Craig Childs. NPR commentator combines science and adventure to show that Earth is constantly heading toward its end.
“Consider the Fork” by Bee Wilson. Subtitle says it: “A history of how we cook and eat.”
“The Dust Bowl” by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. There have been many books about the 1930s ecological disaster, but none so closely followed a punishing Midwestern summer. PBS show airs in November.
“The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe. A son becomes even closer to his mother as she is dying of pancreatic cancer.
“Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Fast on the heels of his best-selling “Killing Lincoln,” O’Reilly takes on another presidential assassination.
“The Man Who Saved the Union” by H.W. Brands. Admiring assessment of Ulysses S. Grant – both as general and as president.