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Bibliocle fall fiction discusses FOMO and 5 must-not-miss books


It’s not even Labor Day today, but I’m still starting to experience fall fiction FOMO.

For years—sometimes in this area—I’ve been complaining about the standard practice of publishers releasing leading literary fiction books in the fall season, leaving us with a high-profile pile of books hitting the shelves at the same time. Anxiety about not being able to reach something that the rest of the world calls me a “must read”.

Two years ago at this time, I noted He said a new book from the previous Pulitzer Prize winner will be released each week in September.

This year, the publishing gods seem to have responded to my pleas by moving the fall fiction season to summer. Colson Whitehead’s “Crook Manifesto,” the great sequel to his previous “Harlem Shuffle,” came out in July. James McBride’s “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” is an effort that includes Laura Miller. on Slate Published in the first week of August, he proclaims McBride “the great American novelist.”

Yet there is a veritable flood of books from authors whose books I greatly enjoy but have not published novels for in a long time. This will take some planning.

It’s been seven years since Zadie Smith published a novel (“Swing Time”), so “Fraud” (September 5), a Victorian thriller/mystery that tackles issues of race, history, and class, will be at the top of my list.

I will be able to read 464 pages of “The Fraud” in time and reach Nathan Hill’s book. “Health” (September 19) is her first book since the epic Chicago novel “The Nix” published in 2016. “Wellness” is another Chicago book, first set in the underground art scene of the 1990s and then fast-forwarding. What looks like a midlife crisis 20 years later. It is impossible to miss this book written by an author in my time, in my city, whose first book I still think about occasionally.

The wait for Ben Fountain’s novel after his 2012 masterpiece “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” ends on September 26. “The Devil Makes Three” Set in Haiti in 1991, during the rise of the military dictatorship. Just like “Billy Lynn’s…”, “Devil Makes Three” seems to be a mix of suspense, violence, and explorations of the intersection of politics and power.

I’m going to take a breather in front of Teju Cole from now on. “Shake” It comes out on October 17. “Tremor” is Cole’s first new novel since “Open City” in 2011. “The Open City” is narrated by Julius, a young Nigerian doctor who wanders around New York City, recounting what he saw only a few times. Throughout the course of the novel, we realize that Julius has been revealing himself from the very beginning. “Tremor” tells the story of Tunde, a photography professor at a leading private university, who, like the narrator in “Open City,” tries to create what seems familiar, new, strange and disturbing.

It’s hard to believe “Let’s Get Down” “A reimagining of American slavery” is Jesmyn Ward’s first new novel since “Sing, Unburyed, Sing” published in 2017. Ward’s novels are like magic; They are spells that draw the reader into their own unique world. Ward’s novel arrives October 24.

Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t the only books I’ve been waiting for. Paul Murray’s previously published “The Bee Sting” takes me away from my “to read” pile. JM Coetzee has a new novel ‘The Pole’ in September, just like favorite Ron Rash’s ‘The Caretaker’.

And November is equipped with more choice books. I can’t even think about it now. I will drive myself crazy.

John Warner is the author of “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities.”

Twitter @biblioracle

Book recommendations from Biblioracle

John Warner tells you what to read, based on the last five books you’ve read.

1. “The Shogun” By James Clavell

2. “The Devil Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver

3. “Hello Beautiful” By Ann Napolitano

4. “Trust” By Hernan Diaz

5. “Little Compassions” By Dennis Lehane

— Blaise T., Chicago

I will focus on Blaise’s choice to read an epic history (“Shōgun”) and recommend another book by Rohinton Mistry, “A Fine Balance”, about an entirely different part of the world.

1. “Tom Lake” By Ann Patchett

2. “Chemistry Lessons” By Bonnie Garmus

3. “Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow” By Gabrielle Zevin

4. “December Ten” By George Saunders

5. “Librarian” By Patrick deWitt

— Sylvia M., Winnetka

Sylvia wants characters to be cared for, which makes J. Ryan Stradal and her latest movie, “Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club” the choice here.

1. “Ferry Man” By Justin Cronin

2. “Institute” by Stephen King

3. “How to Sell a Haunted House” By Grady Hendrix

4. “Devil’s House” By John Darnielle

5. “House of Broken Angels” By Luis Alberto Urrea

— Tom P., Naperville

Tom is clearly fascinated by uncanny stories, and that makes me want to cite Samanta Schweblin’s “Fire Dream,” one of the most shockingly shocking novels I’ve ever read.

Get a reading from the bibliocle

Send a list of the last five books you’ve read and your hometown to: biblioracle@gmail.com


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