Fall Books Preview

This fall, as temperatures cool and the lure of a warm chair grows, authors will be eager to sit you down and tell you a thing or two -- from former CIA director George Tenet to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and from Alice McDermott to Stephen King.

Children's attentions, too, will be in high demand: Maurice Sendak makes a bid for them with his first pop-up book and Lemony Snicket with the last story in his wildly popular "Series of Unfortunate Events."

General Fiction

  • After This, by Alice McDermott (Farrar Straus Giroux, Sept.). An ordinary American family caught in the tempestuous and disorienting '60s.
  • Devotion, by Howard Norman (Houghton Mifflin, Feb.). A new marriage, a cordial in-law -- and a startlingly savage murder.
  • The Dissident, by Nell Freudenberger (Ecco, Sept.). A Chinese performance artist moves in with a wealthy, eccentric family in Los Angeles.
  • The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud (Knopf, Sept.). A sharp satire of sophisticated New Yorkers who are alarmed by the prospect of reaching 30 before they reach success.
  • Exit A, by Anthony Swofford (Scribner, Jan.). The author of the gritty war memoir Jarhead gives us his first novel: a love story set on a military base in Japan.
  • T
    The Lay of the Land
    he Lay of the Land
    , by Richard Ford (Knopf, Oct.). Continuing the cycle he began with The Sportswriter and Independence Day, Ford now puts his hero on the Jersey Shore -- as a real-estate agent.
  • Lisey's Story, by Stephen King (Scribner, Oct.). Lisey Landon, widow of a bestselling novelist, is suddenly forced to confront the demons of her husband's past.
  • Magic Time, by Doug Marlette (FSG, Sept.). A broken-down newspaper man returns from Manhattan to Mississippi to face his deeply repressed youth.

  • Memorial, by Bruce Wagner (Knopf, Sept.). Family dramas swirl around an international architectural competition to commemorate the 2004 tsunami.
  • Paint It Black, by Janet Fitch (Little, Brown, Sept.). From the author of White Oleander, the story of a young woman struggling to understand the bewildering death of her lover.
  • The Phony Marine, by Jim Lehrer (Random House, Nov.). An unremarkable man tries to pass himself off as a war hero.
  • Piece of Work, by Laura Zigman (Warner, Sept.). A young mother re-enters the 9 to 5 grind as a celebrity publicist, and her main client is an aging Hollywood star.
  • The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, Sept.). A man and his son survive a nuclear holocaust only to face a cruel, unforgiving world.
  • T
    Thirteen Moons
    hirteen Moons
    , by Charles Frazier (Random, Oct). The author of Cold Mountain sends his new hero into Cherokee country, where he finds love, wisdom and no lack of adventure.
  • When Madeline Was Young, by Jane Hamilton (Doubleday, Sept.). Together, a couple patiently cares for Madeline, the husband's brain-injured first wife.

Fiction Around The World

  • Ancestor Stones, by Aminatta Forna (Atlantic, Sept.). A West African woman married to a British man returns to visit her splintered family in their war-torn land.
  • Brothers, by Da Chen (Crown, Sept.). Two brothers born of a powerful general and different mothers during the roiling years of the Cultural Revolution fall in love with the same woman.
  • Forgetfulness, by Ward Just (Houghton, Sept.) After the murder of his beloved wife, a former CIA spy in France is thrust back into the war on terror.
  • Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, by Neil Gaiman (Morrow, Oct.). The British fantasy superstar explores the penumbra between life and death, reality and illusion.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, Sept.). The author of Purple Hibiscus returns with a searing examination of the Biafran war.
  • Inés of My Soul, by Isabel Allende (HarperCollins, Nov.). Allende returns to her native Chile to tell this story about InÈs Suarez, the 16th-century conquistadora of the New World.
  • The Ladies of Grace Adieu, by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, Oct.). By the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, stories that bring the Duke of Wellington and Mary Queen of Scots into the realm of magic.
  • The Light of Evening, by Edna O'Brien (Houghton, Oct.). A Dublin mother longs for her famous daughter to forget the past, forgive the sins and come on home.

  • Lost City Radio, by Daniel Alarcûn (HC, Feb.). A Peruvian radio host's life is changed when a young boy from a jungle village provides a clue about her missing husband.
  • The Meaning of Night, by Michael Cox (Norton, Sept.). The story of a Victorian Londoner who values books, prizes erudition and loves to kill.
  • The Mission Song, by John le Carré (LB, Sept.). A British interpreter of mixed heritage becomes enmeshed in a complex scheme to bring political stability to his native Congo.
  • M
    Moral Disorder
    oral Disorder
    , by Margaret Atwood (Doubleday, Sept.). A novel in stories, chronicling more than half a century in the life of a Canadian family.
  • Sacred Games, by Vikram Chandra (HC, Jan.). Mumbai police officer Singh plots to capture the city's most powerful and elusive crime lord.
  • A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon (Doubleday, Sept.). The author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, on the sudden unravelling of an Englishman's mind.
  • T
    The Sun Over Breda
    he Sun Over Breda
    , by Arturo PÈrez Reverte (Putnam, Dec.). Inspired by a famous painting (Vel·squez's "Surrender of Breda"), the further adventures of Capt. Alatriste.

Historical Novels

  • Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, by Sena Jeter Naslund (Morrow, Oct.). By the author of Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits.
  • Charity Girl, by Michael Lowenthal (Houghton, Jan.). One of the 15,000 American women who were rounded up during World War I and incarcerated on suspicion of carrying venereal disease.
  • H
    Human Traces
    uman Traces
    , by Sebastian Faulks (Random House, Sept.). The author of Birdsong traces the roots of psychiatry, from the squalor of Victorian London to the desert of California.
  • Imperium, by Robert Harris (S&S, Sept.) How the wily Cicero maneuvered his way to the top of the Roman Republic.

  • The Last Town on Earth, by Thomas Mullen (RH, August). When a mill town in the Pacific Northwest quarantines itself against the 1918 flu epidemic, a new hell emerges.
  • Lords of the North, by Bernard Cornwell (HC, Sept.). Uhtred of Bebbanburg returns home, or so he thinks, in this third volume of Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles.
  • Red River, by Lalita Tademy (Warner, Jan.). They started as slaves, survived the Civil War, and now they must fight for their rights in Louisiana.
  • The Terror, by Dan Simmons (LB, Jan.). A famished beast stalks the stranded survivors of Sir John Franklin's benighted expedition to the Arctic.
  • The Translation of Dr Apelles, by David Treuer (Graywolf, Sept.). A Native American translator holed up in a library comes upon a dusty manuscript that teaches him about love.

Mysteries and Thrillers

  • Act of Treason, by Vince Flynn (Atria, Oct.). A presidential candidate's wife is killed, along with his Secret Service guards. After he wins on a sympathy vote, an implicating package arrives at the FBI.
  • The Afghan, by Frederick Forsyth (Putnam, Sept.). In Guantanamo Bay, a British agent goes undercover as a captive Taliban commander -- before he is released to Afghan custody.
  • T
    Book of Fate
    he Book of Fate
    , by Brad Meltzer (Warner, Sept.). An old crossword puzzle, a nettlesome crop of secrets and a 200-year-old code fashioned by Thomas Jefferson torment a beleaguered presidential aide.
  • Breakpoint, by Richard A. Clarke (Putnam, Jan.). The real-life counterterrorism wizard gives us another white-knuckle story, this time with a technological twist.
  • The Collectors, by David Baldacci (Warner, Oct.). The speaker of the House is murdered. A rare-books specialist expires in a Library of Congress vault. And a con woman sets out to learn why.
  • Echo Park, by Michael Connelly (LB, Oct.). A serial killer turns himself in, and Detective Harry Bosch finds he might have saved nine lives -- if he hadn't botched the first investigation.

  • Fear of the Dark, by Walter Mosley (LB, Sept.). A third foray for Fearless Jones and his stalwart pal, L.A. bookseller Paris Minton.
  • The Man Who Smiled, by Henning Mankell (New Press, Sept.). After killing a man in the line of duty, brooding Swedish detective Kurt Wallender is coaxed back into service by a perplexing double murder.
  • Motor Mouth, by Janet Evanovich (HC, Oct.). Baltimore tough girl and erstwhile mechanic "Barney" Barnaby rides out for justice.
  • O
    One Good Turn
    ne Good Turn
    , by Kate Atkinson (LB, Oct.). Former detective Jackson Brodie is lured back into action after a brutal instance of road rage in Edinburgh.
  • Restless, by William Boyd (Knopf, Sept.). Sally Gilmartin of Cotswold turns out to be World War II spy Eva Delectorskaya, and now her daughter must sort through the past.
  • Vicious Circle, by Robert Littell (Overlook, Sept.). A famous Israeli rabbi is taken hostage by an infamous Palestinian terrorist, and, as the Mossad strike team closes in, the two begin to reach understanding.
  • The Wrong Man, by John Katzenbach (Ballantine, Sept.). One bibulous evening with the wrong man leads to a living nightmare for Ashley.

Poetry

  • T
    The Aeneid
    he Aeneid
    , by Virgil (Viking, Nov.). The long awaited new version by Robert Fagles, the award-winning translator of Homer.

  • Carl Sandburg, Selected Poems, edited by Paul Berman (Library of America, Oct.).

Nonfiction: America at War

  • At the Center of the Storm, by George Tenet (HarperCollins, Nov.). The former director of central intelligence tells of his life in the CIA, the run-up to the war in Iraq and his vision for America's future.
  • B
    Blood Brothers
    lood Brothers
    , by Michael Weisskopf (Holt, Oct.). The Time magazine correspondent recalls his 18 months among the patients of Walter Reed Hospital's amputee wing.
  • The Greatest Story Ever Sold, by Frank Rich (Penguin, Sept.). The New York Times columnist studies the Bush administration between 9/11 and Katrina and sees an ominously brilliant spin campaign.
  • Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn (Crown, Oct.). By a Newsweek investigative reporter and the Washington editor of the Nation.

  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City, by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Knopf, Sept.). Our former bureau chief in Baghdad tells what it was like inside the Green Zone, headquarters for the American occupation.
  • Murder in Amsterdam, by Ian Buruma (Penguin, Sept.). The brutal assassination of a controversial Dutch filmmaker by an Islamist extremist.
  • Never Again, by John Ashcroft (Center St., Oct.). The former U.S. attorney general on his tenure, which included the 9/11 attacks, the Timothy McVeigh trial, etc.
  • [Untitled], by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, Oct.). The president in action, from the start of the Iraq War to now.
  • War by Other Means, by John Yoo (Atlantic, Oct.). By the legal theorist who helped frame the Patriot Act, the NSA's wiretapping program, the rules of detention at Guantanamo Bay and the president's war on terror.

Nonfiction: Views of America

  • The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama (Crown, Oct.). The dynamic Democratic senator from Illinois reminds readers of the beauty and basic decency of the American Dream.
  • Building Red America, by Thomas B. Edsall (Basic, Sept.). The Post's former senior political reporter offers an analysis of the Republican plan to retain permanent power.
  • T
    The Conservative Soul
    he Conservative Soul
    , by Andrew Sullivan (HarperCollins, Oct.). A star of the blogosphere worries that his movement has lost its way.
  • Dangerous Nation, by Robert Kagan (Knopf, Oct.). Having dissected U.S.-European strains in Of Paradise and Power , Kagan now explains that America has always been seen as a bully and troublemaker.
  • Gay L.A., by Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons (Basic, Oct.). Since the mid-20th century, the City of Angels has offered gays, lesbians and transgendered people a comfortable, welcoming home.
  • High Society: How Substance Abuse Is Destroying America, by Joseph A. Califano Jr. (PublicAffairs, Jan.). By the former secretary of Heath, Education and Welfare.

  • The Idea That Is America, by Anne-Marie Slaughter (Basic, Jan.). The dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton, on the principles upon which this country was founded.
  • Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction, by Terry Tamminen (Island Press, Sept.). By the special environmental adviser to the governor of California.
  • T
    The Price of Admission
    he Price of Admission
    , by Daniel Golden (Crown, Sept.). How unethical practices in our elite universities favor the children of the rich and powerful.
  • Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture, by Michael Kammen (Knopf, Sept.). Debates on propriety since the days of the founders: from how George Washington should be memorialized to sexuality in public sculpture.
  • The Way to Win, by Mark Halperin and John F. Harris (Random House, Oct.). An ABC News director and The Post's political editor lay out how the White House will be won in 2008.

Nonfiction: The World

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    The Best Intentions
    he Best Intentions
    , by James Traub (FSG, Nov.). Kofi Annan's controversial reign as secretary general of the United Nations.
  • Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, by Jimmy Carter (S&S, Oct.). A former president's prescription for permanent peace with justice and dignity.
  • Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide, by Jeffrey Goldberg (Knopf, Oct.). A writer for the New Yorker who served in the Israeli army explores his 15-year friendship with the Palestinian rebel he once guarded in an Israeli prison camp.

  • The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, by Thomas Laird (Grove, Oct.). A historical narrative of a country, through the eyes of its most influential leader.
  • T
    There Is No Me Without You
    here Is No Me Without You
    , by Melissa Fay Greene (Bloomsbury, Sept.). The AIDS crisis in Africa, as seen via the experience of one woman and her improvised orphanage.

Nonfiction: History

  • Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor, by Anthony Everitt (RH, Oct.). By the author of the acclaimed Cicero .
  • A
    Auschwitz Report
    uschwitz Report
    , by Primo Levi (Verso, Oct.). A posthumous publication of an early work by one of the most compelling writers in contemporary literature.
  • Caesar: Life of a Colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy (Yale, Sept.). By the distinguished military historian.
  • A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving, by Godfrey Hodgson (PublicAffairs, Oct.). There was no turkey. It didn't happen in 1621. And other surprises.
  • Khrushchev's Cold War, by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali (Norton, Oct.). We might have gone to war three times, if it hadn't been for the Kremlin's powerful inner circle.
  • Ledyard: In Search of the First American Explorer, by Bill Gifford (Harcourt, Feb.). A mere footnote in Moby-Dick , he traversed America and Siberia and was once as famous as his friend Thomas Jefferson.
  • The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, by Daniel Mendelsohn (HC, Sept.). A writer traces his family's tragic past in the long narrative of Jewish history.

  • R
    Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
    edemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War
    , by Nicholas Lemann (FSG, Sept.). The terrorist campaign in the 1870s that stripped black Americans of the rights granted them in the Constitution.
  • Sea of Thunder: FourCommanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign, 1941-1945, by Evan Thomas (S&S, Nov.). Four naval commanders -- two Americans, two Japanese -- are pitted against one another in a great sea battle.
  • Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson (Crown, Oct.). Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless communication; Dr. Hawley Crippen, who can't stand another day with his harridan wife; and a wild criminal chase across the sea.
  • War Made New, by Max Boot (Gotham, Oct.). A pundit traces revolutions in military affairs from the Spanish Armada to the war on terror.
  • The War of the World, by Niall Ferguson (Penguin, Sept.). Why is the 20th century noted for both unmatched progress and unmatched violence?

Nonfiction: Between Religion and Science

  • The Creation, by E.O. Wilson (Norton, Sept.). The Harvard professor and biologist on the nexus between science and faith.
  • The Faith Club, by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner (Free Press, Oct.). A Muslim, a Christian and a Jew join ranks in search of mutual understanding.
  • The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins (Houghton, Oct.). A scientist claims that faith in God is irrational and, ultimately, corrosive to society.
  • A
    A History of the End of the World
    History of the End of the World
    , by Jonathan Kirsch (HarperSF, Sept.). How the Book of Revelation has been represented and misrepresented since the days of the Roman Empire.

  • Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris (Knopf, Nov.). After his impassioned The End of Faith , Harris received a flood of angry letters from devout Christians. This is his reply.
  • The Varieties of Scientific Experience, by Carl Sagan (Penguin, Nov.). Edited by the scientist's widow, Ann Druyan, a chronicle of the author's personal quest for God.
  • W
    Water From the Well
    ater From the Well
    , by Anne Roiphe (Morrow, Sept.). Although Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel and Leah lived in biblical times, their experiences speak to women today.

Nonfiction: Media and Technology

  • i
    iWoz
    Woz
    , by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith (Norton, Sept.). The mind behind the first Apple computer, on his improbable rise to glory.

  • On Her Trail, by John Dickerson (S&S, Oct.). A Slate journalist tells of his turbulent relationship with his mother, Nancy Dickerson, a groundbreaking figure in TV news.
  • Spy: The Funny Years, by Kurt Andersen, Graydon Carter and George Kalogerakis (Hyperion, Oct.). A look back at the making of the snarky, high-design, totally fun magazine.

Nonfiction: Memoirs

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    The Discomfort Zone
    he Discomfort Zone
    , by Jonathan Franzen (FSG, Sept.). The author of The Corrections delves into his own Midwestern youth in the bewildering, tumultuous '70s.
  • Freedom, by Malika Oufkir (Hyperion, Oct.). The author of Stolen Lives (about her 20 years in a Moroccan prison) tells of her life before and after that harrowing captivity.
  • The History of Swimming, by Kim Powers (Carroll & Graf, Sept.). A frantic search for a twin brother who has vanished into a haze of suicidal alcoholism.

  • T
    The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
    he Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
    , by Bill Bryson (Broadway, Oct.). The author of A Walk in the Woods and In a Sunburned Country , about growing up in Iowa in the '50s.
  • Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties, by Robert Stone (Ecco, Jan.). The novelist who gave us Dog Soldiers now tells of his young manhood in the "weird decade."

Nonfiction: Biography

  • Andrew Carnegie, by David Nasaw (Penguin, Oct.). A humble bobbin boy becomes one of America's richest businessmen and philanthropists.
  • A
    Anne Morrow Lindergh
    nne Morrow Lindbergh
    , by Kathleen C. Winters (Palgrave, Nov.). We always knew she was a lyrical writer. Now we learn she was a defining figure in American aviation.
  • The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, by Paul Kengor (Regan, Oct.). A lifelong campaign against communism culminates in the disintegration of the Soviet empire.
  • Eisenhower, by John Wukovits (Palgrave, Nov.). Installment 3 of the Great Generals series edited by Wesley Clark.

  • Mellon, by David Cannadine (Knopf, Oct.). The author of The Decline and Fall of British Aristocracy tells the rollercoaster tale of a great American financier.
  • The Prince, by William Simpson (Regan, Oct.). The mysterious Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to the United States for more than two decades.
  • Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, by Karen DeYoung (Knopf, Oct.). The Post's former editor for national news examines the controversial career of a soldier-statesman.
  • W
    Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
    alt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
    , by Neal Gabler (Knopf, Oct.). A blockbuster life of the Oz behind the Magic Kingdom.

Nonfiction: Sports

  • T
    The Blind Side
    he Blind Side
    , by Michael Lewis (Norton, Oct.). Michael Oher, one of 13 children of a mother addicted to crack, is poised to rise through the ranks and become one of the highest paid athletes in the NFL.
  • No Excuses, by Charlie Weis and Vic Carucci (Harper, Oct.). The head football coach of Notre Dame tells us what it takes.

  • Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics, by Jeremy Schaap (Houghton, Nov.). A sharecropper's son proves inconvenient to the myth of Aryan supremacy.
  • A Well-Paid Slave, by Brad Snyder (Viking, Oct.). Curt Flood's battle for free agency against Major League Baseball.

Nonfiction: Entertainment

  • I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!, by Bob Newhart (Hyperion, Sept.). The everyday things -- golf, drinking, family holidays -- that strike him as hilarious.
  • Just One More Thing, by Peter Falk (Carroll & Graf, Sept.). The man who immortalized Lt. Columbo tried to join the CIA but ended up a screenstar.
  • Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, by William J. Mann (Holt, Nov.). The Connecticut Yankee who played hard-nosed society girls, married Spencer Tracy and built a lasting legacy in Hollywood.

  • Nicole Kidman, by David Thomson (Knopf, Sept.). The marriage to Tom Cruise, the shyness about nudity, the concerns about aging in a highly fickle profession.
  • S
    Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins
    omewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins
    , by Amanda Vaill (Broadway, Oct.). The brilliant taskmaster of dance had a complex and difficult private persona.
  • U2 by U2, by Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. (Harper, Oct.). All that they couldn't leave behind on their way to the apex of rock-and-roll glory.

Children's Books

  • T
    The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven
    he 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven
    , by Jonah Winter and Barry Blitt (Random House, ages 4-9, Sept.). A comic treatise on the work habits of the great composer.
  • Crispin: At the Edge of the World, by Avi (Hyperion, ages 10-14, Sept.). Further adventures of Crispin and Bear in the sequel to 2003's Newbery winner, Crispin: The Cross of Lead.
  • Exploratopia: More than 400 Kid-Friendly Explorations and Experiments for Curious Minds, by the Exploratorium (Little, Brown, Oct.).
  • The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor (Dial, ages 10-up, Sept.) Lewis Carroll got it all wrong, apparently. Here, young Alyss tells the real story of Wonderland.

  • Mommy?, by Maurice Sendak, Arthur Yorinks and Matthew Reinhart (Scholastic, Sept.). A boy in pajamas wanders into a haunted house, calling "Mommy?," and things pop up. Literally.
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, by Carole Boston Weatherford (Hyperion, ages 4-8, Sept.). A retelling of the legendary American's defining moment.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Beatrice Letters and The End, by Lemony Snicket (HC, ages 12-up, Sept. and Oct.). The last two volumes in the history of the Baudelaire twins.
  • Voices, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt, ages 12-up, Sept.). In Part 2 of a trilogy, a girl helps her book-loving people repel illiterate oppressors.
  • Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett (HC, ages 12-up, Sept.). A trainee witch -- a "big wee hag" -- witnesses the Dark Dance and gets into a heap of trouble.

EDITED BY: Marie Arana, Book World editor. Her novel, "Cellophane," was published in July.
PHOTOS: Courtesy

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