Fall is a busy season in the publishing world, which means plenty of new arrivals are hitting the shelves! For readers looking for a little change of pace—and a more visual reading experience—we've rounded up our favorite graphic novels and memoirs that will bring a little color into these increasingly gray days.
In The Hours Count, Jillian Cantor revisits a pivotal moment in American history and asks: What if Ethel and Julius Rosenberg—the only Americans to ever be executed for spying during the Cold War—were actually innocent?
The lives of musical greats continue to fascinate us, and this fall once again features biographies and memoirs of key players, from the producer credited with inventing rock ’n’ roll to a woman at the forefront of feminist rock.
Claire Vaye Watkins’ award-winning short story collection, Battleborn (2012), explored the West and the often disappointing truths behind its rich mythology. Watkins returns to the West in her luminous debut novel, Gold Fame Citrus, although it’s a West that has been drastically altered.
Subversive historian Sarah Vowell offers another idiosyncratic chronicle of our nation’s coming-of-age with Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. This lively account of the Marquis de Lafayette and the American Revolution is of a piece with Vowell’s previous books, which include Assassination Vacation (2005), a tour of sites dedicated to murdered American presidents, and The Wordy Shipmates (2008), a raucous look at the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These seem like sober subjects, but Vowell enlivens the proceedings with her prickly persona, her thing for slang and her taste for recondite factoids of Americana.
Some people would have you believe that short stories are the literary equivalent of baseball’s minor leagues, a place to hone your skills until you’re ready for a bigger and more prestigious stage. But as masters such as Alice Munro have proven, a great short story is no less of an achievement than a great novel. These four collections demonstrate that a new generation of authors is happy to experiment with the possibilities of the short form.
In 2012, Claire Vaye Watkins burst onto the literary landscape with her prize-winning short story collection, Battleborn. In Gold Fame Citrus, Watkins follows through on her literary promise with an excellent novel, set in a drought-ridden California in a future that feels alarmingly near.
Years before I read Eat, Pray, Love, I clipped a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 bestseller that I still have today. “Happiness is the result of personal effort,” she wrote. “You have to participate relentlessly.” This was not news I wanted to hear at the time, but a life spent waiting for the right bluebird to cross my path wasn’t working out too well, either. I started to put a little more shoulder into my efforts, and did, in fact, find myself enjoying life more. If you’re living a creative life (and news flash—you are), the same rules apply. In her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Gilbert contends that persistence and curiosity are the keys to pushing past your boundaries to live a bigger, happier life.
A beloved true story of adventure, a harrowing story of underground survival and an artfully woven historical make for great group discussion this month.
Lauren Groff explored the strengths of community in her first two novels, The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia. In Fates and Furies, she narrows her focus to the ultimate microcosm: a marriage. Told in two parts, first by a husband and then a wife, this unsettling novel looks at the myriad ways even the most devoted of couples keep secrets, betray one another and risk deceiving themselves.