Culled from the 14,000+ titles in PW's Fall Announcements issue (on newsstands now and available in full here), we asked our reviews editors to pick the most notable books publishing in Fall 2014. Links to reviews are included when available.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, Aug.) - Murakami follows the life of a loner years after his group of best friends told him they didn't want to see him any longer--and reveals the secrets of their entwined pasts.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Random, Sept.) - Channeling multiple lives and chance encounters, as in Cloud Atlas, Mitchell's ambitious new novel is called "a thing of beauty" by PW.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Riverhead, Oct.) - An engrossing epic that explores the tumultuous world of Jamaica over three decades and the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s. PW says "this novel should be required reading."
Lila by Marilynne Robinson (FSG, Oct.) - This third of three novels set in the fictional plains town of Gilead, Iowa, follows Gilead and Home; it's called a "masterpiece of prose" by PW.
The Dog by Joseph O'Neill (Pantheon, Sept.) - The author of Netherland tells the story of an American man lost in Dubai. The novel was called "brilliant" and "profound" by PW.
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel (Holt, Sept.) - The repeat Booker winner delivers a collection of contemporary stories that demonstrate what modern England has become.
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (Minotaur, Aug.) - In his 10th outing, Chief Insp. Armand Gamache of the Quebec Sûreté investigates the disappearance of Three Pines resident Peter Morrow, who failed as promised to show up for a dinner with his wife, Clara, exactly one year after they separated.
The Forgers by Bradford Morrow (Mysterious, Nov.) - When a reclusive rare book dealer, Adam Diehl, is found dead in his Montauk home, surrounded by books and original manuscripts vandalized beyond repair, Adam’s sister and her lover, a convicted if unrepentant literary forger, find themselves in peril.
The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison (Soho Crime, Dec.) - Linda Walheim, the wife of a Mormon bishop, looks into the disappearance of a young wife and mother, whose husband claims he had nothing to do with her sudden departure.
Maplecroft by Cherie Priest (Roc, Sept.) - Pits Lizzie Borden and her infamous axe against an array of Lovecraftian monsters.
The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman (Berkley, Oct.) - Offers up a colony of fierce, brazenly unscrupulous vampires who return the genre to its fearsome and ferocious origins.
Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb (Del Rey, Aug.) - Hobb’s first Farseer novel in a decade, and the adventure and intrigue are as electrifying and mesmerizing as ever.
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit, Oct.) - The spellbinding follow-up to the award-sweeping Ancillary Justice, combining far-future imperial intrigue with intricate explorations of gender, culture, and identity.
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans. by Ken Liu (Tor, Oct.) - A broad-scope near-future adventure from China’s most popular science fiction writer.
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (Avon, Oct.) - Features a refreshing new magical society, excellent world-building, beguling characters, and strong storytelling to start the Hidden Legacy series with a bang.
The Accidental Abduction by Darcie Wilde (Berkley Sensation, Sept.) - Pairs two delightful characters whose instant connection must be balanced with their weighty responsibilities.
Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Morrow, Aug.) - A powerfully successful homage to Daphne Du Maurier, rounded out by details of small-town New England life.
If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? by Matthea Harvey (Graywolf, Aug.) - combines Harvey’s award-winning poetry with her fascinating visual artwork into a true hybrid book, a beautiful work by one of our most ingenious creative artists.
Cinema of the Present by Lisa Robertson (Coach House, Sept.) - A 25-frames-per-second look at the kinetic, cinematic self in the new long poem from acclaimed poet and essayist Robertson. The book will also feature four different back covers, designed by artists Hadley + Maxwell.
Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch (Knopf, Sept.) - A short life, a bewildering death, and the unanswerable sorrow of a father come together in a sustained elegy.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen (Candlewick, Oct.) - Barnett and Klassen’s previous collaboration, Extra Yarn, received a Caldecott Honor. Now, they’re back with a droll picture book about two boys on the hunt for something “spectacular” while digging in their yard.
The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov.) - In his first picture book since 2011’s Queen of the Falls, two-time Caldecott Medalist Van Allsburg follows the travails of a put-upon hamster after he trades pet store life for the world at large.
The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers, Sept.) - Dangerous magic, untimely deaths, unlikely young heroes, and a pair of kingdoms at odds combine in Barnhill’s third novel (after The Mostly True Story of Jack and Iron Hearted Violet), which was selected as a middle-grade buzz book at this year’s BEA.
The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (Scholastic Press, Sept.) - Black and Clare take a detour from their wildly successful works for older readers to join forces and launch a middle-grade series, the Magisterium, which follows a group of children as they train to become powerful mages as dark magical forces gather around them.
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (Dutton, Sept.) - Acclaimed adult novelist Wolitzer’s first book for teens revolves around themes of love and loss as a high school sophomore contends with the death of her boyfriend, a process that takes her to a therapeutic boarding school and a class built around the work of Sylvia Plath.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse, Sept.) - Westerfeld’s ambitious novel unfolds on multiple levels as he alternates between the story of high school graduate Darcy Patel—who moves to New York City to live the writer’s life, having snagged a six-figure book deal—and the paranormal thriller that Darcy has written, with plenty of fascinating interplay between the two threads.
Sally Heathcoate: Suffragette by Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth, and Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse) - A tale of loyalty, love, and courage that follows the fortunes of a common housemaid swept up in the feminist militancy of early 20th-century Edwardian Britain; by the Costa Award–winning team behind Dotter of her Father’s Eye.
The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino (Drawn & Quarterly) - A revealing, heartbreaking, yet funny, story about the author’s life-altering surgery, the physical and mental health repercussions, and his lifelong struggle with OCD.
An Age of License by Lucy Knisley (Fantagraphics) - Knisley (French Milk, Relish) got an opportunity that most only dream of—a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe/Scandinavia—but her experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations; an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.
Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer (Norton) - The first graphic novel by the legendary American cartoonist. When three daunting dolls intersect with one hapless heroine and a hard-boiled PI, deception, betrayal, and murder stalk every mean street.
Here by Richard McGuire (Pantheon) - In this story of a corner of a room and the events that happened in that space while moving forward and backward in time, the book experiments with the formal properties of comics, using multiple panels to convey the different moments in time.
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" by Lena Dunham (Random, Sept.) – The wunderkind of the film Tiny Furniture and the HBO Series Girls has not only penned this book of essays but is taking the show on the road to be interviewed by the likes of Mary Karr, Zadie Smith, and Curtis Sittenfeld. She must know something.
My Heart is A Drunken Compass by Domingo Martinez (Globe Pequot/Lyons, Nov.) - Martinez's first memoir, The Boy Kings of Texas, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Here he returns to his roots with another bittersweet story of family.
Watch Me by Anjelica Huston (Scribner, Nov.) - The actresses continues her life story with this chronicle of her grown-up years and most importantly, her long relationship with Jack Nicholson.
Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay (Harper, Aug.) - Salon columnist Gay, who is having a very good year with the May 2014 publication of her novel, An Untamed State, writes eloquently about everything from Sweet Valley High and The Help to abortion.
The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi (Viking, Oct.) - Nafisi, author of the bestselling Reading Lolita in Tehran, blends memoir and polemic with analysis of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Babbitt, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and other titles. She also pays tribute to the importance of fiction in any society.
Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr (Norton, Sept.) - In PW’s starred review for this biography, we wrote that the achievement of John Lahr, the award-winning longtime New Yorker drama critic, “is not likely to be surpassed.” Lahr takes readers into Williams’s mind, backstage life, tumultuous love affairs, and tortured family, while astutely studying his plays.
Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright (Knopf, Sept.) - Amid the many depictions of war this fall, one book thankfully focuses on the peace process. Wright’s latest offers a day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference where President Carter made the persistent push for the first Israel-Egypt peace treaty.
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct.) - Who better to collect and convey the retrospective journeys of the 33 trapped Chilean miners than novelist and Pulitzer-Prize–winning journalist Héctor Tobar?
Thirteen Soldiers by John McCain and Mark Salter (Simon & Schuster, Nov.) - McCain and his longtime coauthor Mark Salter evoke the lives of 13 soldiers in all, each personifying a different aspect of the military ethos, as McCain sees it.
Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm (Doubleday/Talese, Nov.) - Helm examines a Nazi concentration camp that has been left out of most mainstream histories of WWII. All the prisoners at the camp were female, and only 10% were Jewish.
All the Truth Is Out: The Fall of Gary Hart and the Rise of Tabloid Politics by Matt Bai (Knopf, Oct.) - Matt Bai looks at how the Hart affair marked a turning point for the media and politics, after which candidates’ “character” became as important as their ability to govern.
The Invisible Soldiers: How America Outsourced Our Security by Ann Hagedorn (Simon & Schuster, Sept.) - The troubling rise of private military and security companies.
Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir by Christopher Hill (Simon & Schuster, Oct.) - Former ambassador Hill offers a strong rebuke to “America’s aggressive interventions and wars of choice,” making readers privy to everything from Hill’s meeting with dictator Milosevic to disarmament negotiations in North Korea.
Possibilities by Herbie Hancock and Lisa Dickey (Viking, Oct.) - The legendary jazz musician and composer reflects on a life and a thriving career that has spanned seven decades.
The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir by Sheila E. and Wendy Holden (Atria, Sept.) - The Grammy Award–nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who is renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry has written a moving memoir about the healing power of music.
The History of Rock ’n’ Roll in 10 Songs by Greil Marcus (Yale Univ., Sept.) - An altogether original history of rock ’n’ roll, omitting almost every well-known performer and ignoring the storied events and turning points that everyone knows, instead dramatizing how 10 songs embody rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself.
The Edge of the Sky: All You Need to Know About the All-There-Is by Roberto Trotta (Basic, Oct.) - A blend of literary experimentation and science popularization, this delightful book tells the story of the universe on a human scale.
On Immunity: An Innoculation by Eula Biss (Graywolf, Sept.) - NBCC Award–winner Biss stuns with a powerful examination of what vaccines mean—both literally and metaphorically—for our children, our communities, and the world.
The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman (Norton, Sept.) - Confronts the unprecedented fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet, and introduces us to many of the people and ideas now creating—perhaps saving—our future.
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon (Putnam, Sept.) – Father Tim Kavanagh returns from Ireland to tiny Mitford, N.C., where everyone has gotten older, but not automatically wiser.
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong (Knopf, Nov.) – This inexhaustible topic will get Armstrong’s characteristic sweeping and readable treatment.
The Zimzum of Love: A New Way to Understand Marriage by Rob and Kristen Bell (HarperOne, Oct.) – Rob Bell has a history of writing provocative books, and this one, written with his wife about marriage, will certainly attract the curious.