The Daily Beast: Fall Books Preview 2012: 15 Books to Read

August 27th, 2012

The Daily Beast
August 27, 2012
By Jimmy So and Lucas Wittmann

 

 

 

Fall is when publishers roll out their heavy hitters, and what a lineup it is. We pick the upcoming books we’re most excited about.

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From left, the hot authors of the season: Zadie Smith, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Ian McEwan, J.K. Rowling, Chinua Achebe, Michael Chabon,Jeffrey Toobin, Tom Wolfe, Andrew Solomon, Alice Munro, Salman Rushdie. From left: Theo Wargo / Getty Images; Andreas Rentz / Getty Images; Lamarchere Aurelie / Baltel-Sipa; Jon Furniss / Wireimage-Getty Images; Lisa Carpenter / AP; Seth Wenig / AP; Sylvain Gaboury / Patrick McMullan-Sipa; Frank Micelotta / Getty Images; Jemal Countess / Wireimage-Getty Images; Paul Hawthorne / AP; Ben Gabbe / Getty Images

 

There was a Country
By Chinua Achebe, Oct. 11.

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‘There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra ’ By Chinua Achebe. 352 pp. Penguin Press HC. $28.

 

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.

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‘Back to Blood’ By Tom Wolfe. 720 pp. Little, Brown and Company. $30.

 

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.

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‘Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity’ By Andrew Solomon. 976 pp. Scribner. $35.

 

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 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.

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‘Sweet Tooth’ By Ian McEwan. 320 pp. Nan A. Talese. $27.

 

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.

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‘The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court’ By Jeffrey Toobin. 352 pp. Doubleday. $29.

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.

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