Fall is the best time of year for readers, if you ask me, and this season's upcoming books are even more spectacular than usual.
Here are 10 fall books I can't wait to read (an idea swiped from my colleague Rene Rodriguez, who did the same thing with movies yesterday). Lorrie Moore's A Gate at the Stairs would've made the list, but I already read (and loved) it.
1. The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver: I know nothing about Kingsolver's first novel in nine years, and I hope to keep it that way until I crack it open. While I'm all for her foray into living off the land and sustainable food and all that, I'm thrilled she's made her way back to fiction. She'll be at the Miami Book Fair International come November.
2. The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt: The size of this novel about two families in the British intelligensia is imposing - almost 700 pages! - but with Possession still ranking in my top 10 favorite novels ever list, the anticipation outweighs the dread.
3. Juliet, Naked, Nick Hornby: Love and sex and relationships in modern-day Britain from the author of About a Boy and High Fidelity.
4. Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich: The premise - that all this feel-good-about-yourself nonsense is making us into a nation of nitwits - appeals to my cynical nature.
5. 9 Dragons, Michael Connelly: Harry Bosch. In Hong Kong. Need I say more?
6. How to Leave Hialeah, Jennine Capo Crucet: A debut story collection by a writer who
was born in our oh-so-mockable city. The title alone is enough to suck me in; Herald reviewer Ariel
Gonzalez raves in next Sunday's Herald.
7. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, Kazuo Ishiguro: I will read anything by the author (who connects novellas through music here) of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. Anything.
8. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro: More short stories from the master of the genre.
9. Under the Dome, Stephen King: Movie critic Rene Rodriguez likes it so far, and I trust him implicitly when it comes to King. I keep hoping for another Black House (the last book I loved by King), so this story about a Maine town that comes under a force field may fit the bill.
10. Changing My Mind, Zadie Smith: How I wish this were a novel, a follow-up the wonderful
On Beauty. Alas, It's a collection of essays. But it's Zadie. So I'll read it.