Borderstan on Books: Fall Book Preview; the Oscar Season of Literature

by August 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,217 0

From Zak M. Salih Email him at zak[AT]

Fall seems to be the Oscar season of literature: a season packed with books by big-name authors commonly associated with the best that modern writing has to offer. And 2012 is no different. There’s a lot to choose from, folks. And this is only a small sampling of what’ll be hitting bookshelves in September, October, and November.

Whatever you hope to read, plan accordingly, fellow bookworms. It’s going to be a busy season.


“NW” by Zadie Smith (September 4)
Smith’s first novel in years is another multifaceted and multicultural look at contemporary London – this time through the eyes of four residents of an urban corner of the city.

“Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon (September 11)
Chabon foregoes comic book heroes for a more down-to-earth look at the struggles of a fictional used record story in the author’s stomping grounds of Berkeley and Oakland, CA.

“This is How You Lose Her” by Junot Diaz (September 11)
The second short story collection by the author of “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” promises touching and haunting stories about the problems of love and romance.

“Joseph Anton: A Memoir” by Salman Rushdie (September 18)
This highly anticipated memoir covers the popular author’s years in hiding during the infamous Iranian fatwa on his life between 1989 and 1999 (the title comes from one of the author’s aliases). (Cover Courtesy of Random House, Inc.)

“The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling (September 27)
J.K. Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel focuses on one of the least magical subjects of all: political battles between the citizens of a small English town.


“The Twelve” by Justin Cronin (October 16)
The second in a trilogy set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by bloodsucking monsters, “The Twelve” finds a band of survivors tracking down twelve specific “virals” whose death could save humanity. (Cover Courtesy of Random House, Inc.)

“Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture” by Daniel Mendelsohn (October 16)
This latest collection of essays by classicist and cultural critic Daniel Mendelsohn features insightful commentary on Greek poetry, Broadway musicals, blockbuster films, and even “Mad Men.”

“The Fifty Year Sword” by Mark Z. Danielewski (October 16)
Expect postmodern wizardry, typographical experimentation, and head-scratching befuddlement from Danielewki’s horror story about a woman’s 50th birthday party.

“Back to Blood” by Tom Wolfe (October 23)
Having eviscerated college culture in “I Am Charlotte Simmons,” new journalist and social novelist Tom Wolfe is back with an equally expansive investigation of life at all levels of Miami society.


“Both Flesh and Not: Essays” by David Foster Wallace (November 6)
This posthumous collection brings us the novelist and essayist’s hyperanalytical thoughts on everything from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” to tennis phenom Roger Federer.

“Dear Life” by Alice Munro (November 13)
A new collection of Alice Munro’s short stories – always quiet, meditative, and heartfelt, and restorative – may be just the thing to curl up to as the weather gets chillier.

“Sweet Tooth” by Ian McEwan (November 13)
McEwan’s latest novel is a Cold War thriller set in 1970s England that blends the holy trinity of an interesting read: sex, espionage–and literature. (Cover Courtesy of Random House, Inc.)

“Woes of the True Policeman” by Roberto Bolaño (November 13)
The posthumous publications by the Chilean writer keep on coming; this one follows the wanderings of an academic from Bolaño’s grand epic, “2666” in a remote border town.

Still not sure which books are worth investing your hard-earned time and money? Look for reviews of many of them in the coming weeks. Any other books coming out in the next few months you think your fellow Borderstan neighbors should read? Let us know in the comments section below.

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