10 cool books to read this fall – USA TODAY
The fall season is bursting with books from big-name authors, from Jonathan Franzen to Bill O’Reilly to Mindy Kaling. USA TODAY’s Jocelyn McClurg offers a guide to 10 of the season’s coolest reads.
1. Purity by Jonathan FranzenÃ‚Â Ã‚Â (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, fiction, on sale Sept. 1)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: Pip Tyler (real name Purity), a young woman who has no idea who her father is, is drawn into the orbit of a mysterious Julian Assange-like figure.
Cool factor: For the literati crowd, a hefty new novel by the author of The Corrections and Freedom is not to be missed.
2. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Crown Archetype, non-fiction, on sale Sept. 15)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: More humorous musings about life and love from the author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and star of The Mindy Project, which dials up a new season on Hulu the same day her book is released.
Cool factor: Judging from the stampede of fans running for seats when the actress appeared at BookCon, everyone wants to hang out with Mindy.
3. Killing Reagan: Ã‚Â The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency byÃ‚Â Bill OÃ¢Â€Â™Reilly and Martin DugardÃ‚Â (Henry Holt, non-fiction, on sale Sept. 22)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: The fifth book in the blockbuster Ã¢Â€ÂœKillingÃ¢Â€Â franchise documents a near-miss: John W. HinckleyÃ¢Â€Â™s wounding of President Reagan in a 1981 assassination attempt.
Cool factor: Killing Reagan will reveal that Ã¢Â€Âœthe shooting changed the physical and mental health of the most powerful man in the world,Ã¢Â€Â the publisher says. OÃ¢Â€Â™Reilly and DugardÃ¢Â€Â™s Killing Jesus and Killing Patton hit No. 1 on USA TODAYÃ¢Â€Â™s Best-Selling Books list.
4. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead, non-fiction, on sale Sept. 22)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: Advice on how to live a Ã¢Â€Âœvibrant, inspired, fulfilling life,Ã¢Â€Â aimed at Eat, Pray, Love fans seeking their own little corner of personal paradise.
Cool factor: After her 2013 historical novel The Signature of All Things, Gilbert returns to the self-help/memoir form that made her famous. Big Magic is an Ã¢Â€Âœempathetic and inspiring guide,Ã¢Â€Â Publishers Weekly says.
5. M Train by Patti Smith (Knopf, non-fiction, on sale Oct. 6)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: Invites readers to hop onboard as the singer offers Ã¢Â€Âœa road map to my lifeÃ¢Â€Â; follow-up to SmithÃ¢Â€Â™s National Book Award-winning 2010 memoir Just Kids.
Cool factor: Smith could form a girl band with all the female musicians releasing memoirs this fall, among them Chrissie Hynde, Grace Jones, Jewel and Carly Simon.
6. City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (Knopf, fiction, on sale Oct. 13)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: Sprawling (900+ pages!) New York City novel features large cast of characters and a crisis sparked by the blackout of July 13, 1977.
Cool factor: This debut novel set the New York publishing industry on fire, with Knopf winning a bidding war and paying nearly $2 million for rights, according to The New York Times. And Scott Rudin quickly snapped up film rights.
7. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Little, Brown, fiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: The delivery of a gruesome package containing a womanÃ¢Â€Â™s severed leg sends private detective Cormoran Strike on the hunt for a suspect from his past.
Cool factor: Galbraith is J.K. Rowling, people! And she proved her crime-fictionÃ‚Â bona fides with the first two entries in this mystery series, The CuckooÃ¢Â€Â™s Calling and The Silkworm.
8. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham (Doubleday, fiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: Lone-wolf Ã¢Â€Âœstreet lawyerÃ¢Â€Â Sebastian Rudd takes on a motley crew of clients, including a crime lord on death row and a homeowner who opens fire on a SWAT team.
Cool factor: The appetite for GrishamÃ¢Â€Â™s legal thrillers never seems to wane; he hasÃ‚Â had 19 No. 1 USA TODAY best sellers, most recently Gray MountainÃ‚Â last October.
9. The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown, non-fiction, on sale Oct. 27)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: The fallÃ¢Â€Â™s biggest history title, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, re-examines the hysteria surrounding the infamous Salem Witch Trials in 17th-century Massachusetts.
Cool factor: Ã¢Â€ÂœFascinating Ã¢Â€Â¦ Schiff never disappoints, and her eagerly anticipatedÃ‚Â account of the Salem witchcraft tragedy lives up to expectations,Ã¢Â€Â says Booklist.
10. Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving (Simon & Schuster, fiction, on sale Nov. 3)
What itÃ¢Â€Â™s about: Juan Diego travels to the Philippines, a trip that prompts him to look back on his Mexican childhood and his sister Lupe, a literal mind-reader.
Cool factor: This is the 14th novel by the author of such contemporary classics as The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules.