(Simone Massoni for The Washington Post)

4 3 2 1

By Paul Auster (Henry Holt)

This multitiered examination of fate presents four parallel versions of Archie Ferguson, who shares aspects of Auster’s life.

The Accomplished Guest

By Ann Beattie (Scribner)

In this collection of 13 stories, the stark indignities of aging, friends reuniting, loneliness and travel are common threads.

American War

By Omar El Akkad (Knopf)

When climate change sparks a devastating civil war in the United States in the late 21st century, one young woman fights to avenge her family’s destruction.

Anything Is Possible

By Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

In these short stories, Strout returns to Amgash, Ill., where the protagonist of her 2016 novel, “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” was raised.

Autumn

By Ali Smith (Pantheon)

A young woman reads aloud to a 101-year-old man as they consider their friendship. The first of a projected quartet.

Beautiful Animals

By Lawrence Osborne (Hogarth)

Vacationing on the Greek island of Hydra, two young women concoct a perilous plan to save a Syrian refu­gee who washes up on the beach.

A Book of American Martyrs

By Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)

An explosive story about the family of an abortion doctor and the family of the man who murdered him.


“The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage,” by Philip Pullman (Knopf )

"The Book of Joan," by Lidia Yuknavitch (Harper)

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

By Philip Pullman (Knopf)

This enthralling prequel to the “His Dark Materials” trilogy takes up the story of Malcolm Polstead, who must save baby Lyra.

The Book of Joan

By Lidia Yuknavitch (Harper)

This is the story of Joan of Arc translated into a dystopian future when the Earth has become uninhabitable and the human species has mutated into a new bodily form.

Chemistry

By Weike Wang (Knopf)

A graduate student in chemistry, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, confronts decisions in love, her career and her sense of self-worth.

A Column of Fire

By Ken Follett (Viking)

In this third installment of the Kingsbridge series, Follett explores the political and religious turmoil of Elizabeth’s reign.

Dark at the Crossing

By Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)

The story of an Arab American’s journey to cross the Turkish border to fight the regime in Syria.

The Dark Flood Rises

By Margaret Drabble (Farrar Straus Giroux)

A darkly witty novel about a woman in her 70s who tries to outrun death by staying in constant motion — needling her friends and evaluating nursing homes.

The Dinner Party and Other Stories

By Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown)

Ferris’s male characters mess up, in small and spectacular fashion, but their misdeeds often prompt our sympathy.

Endgame

By Ahmet Altan. Translated from the Turkish by Alexander Dawe (Europa)

Murder and corruption in a seaside town, written by a giant of Turkish culture — recently imprisoned — whose work is being translated for the first time into English.

The Essex Serpent

By Sarah Perry (Custom House)

When a wealthy young widow decides to take up paleontology and track down the fabled flying serpent of Essex, she excites fears and passions in a quaint English village.

Exit West

By Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead)

Two Middle Eastern lovers fleeing the migrant crisis arrive in California, where they must contend with other refugees and their grief for what they have left behind.

Five-Carat Soul

By James McBride (Riverhead)

The story collection by this National Book Award winner delivers insights into racial identity, war, masculinity and humanity.


“Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York,” by Francis Spufford (Scribner)

“Her Body and Other Parties,” by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)

Golden Hill : A Novel of Old New York

By Francis Spufford (Scribner)

A delirious homage to 18th-century masters, involving sparring lovers, hidden identities, “spectacular debauchery,” a duel, sedition, a prison stint and multiple reversals of fortune.

Her Body and Other Parties

By Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf)

Blending science fiction, comedy and fantasy, Machado’s stories explore violent acts committed against women.

Home Fire

By Kamila Shamsie (Riverhead)

The legacy of a dead jihadist haunts the lives of his three children, who are leading dramatically different lives in England, Syria and the United States.

A Horse Walks Into a Bar

By David Grossman. Translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen (Knopf)

Grossman’s brilliant, blistering novel comprises a disastrous performance by a stand-up comic in a Tel Aviv nightclub.

House of Names

By Colm Tóibín (Scribner)

A reimagining of the Greek tragedy of Clytemnestra and her violent, doomed family.

Ill Will

By Dan Chaon (Ballantine)

A grieving psychologist may be losing his mind as he searches for a serial killer who’s drowning college men.

Improvement

By Joan Silber (Counterpoint)

At the center of this story that spans decades and crosses the world is a single mother living in Harlem whose boyfriend wants her to help smuggle cigarettes from Virginia.

Inheritance From Mother

By Minae Mizumura. Translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter (Other)

The story of how Mitsuki confronts a philandering husband and a dying mother illuminates a universal midlife conundrum.

The King Is Always Above the People

By Daniel Alarcón (Riverhead)

These stories explore immigration, family loyalty and redemption. Alarcón throws his characters into high-stakes situations to draw out humanity where it seems little hope is left.

Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng (Penguin Press)

An interracial adoption incites tensions in a perfectly designed Ohio town.

The Locals

By Jonathan Dee (Random House)

A billionaire moves to a New England town and offers to solve all the citizens’ problems.

Long Way Down

By Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy)

A young adult novel that deals with a mature topic: gun violence and whether a boy should exact revenge on the person who killed his brother.

Magpie Murders

By Anthony Horowitz (Harper)

Horowitz’s engaging homage to Agatha Christie features a novel within a novel, a mystery writer who dies mysteriously and an editor turned detective.


“Manhattan Beach,” by Jennifer Egan (Scribner)

"Marlena," by Julie Buntin (Henry Holt )

Manhattan Beach

By Jennifer Egan (Scribner)

After her gangster father vanishes, a young woman becomes a Navy diver during World War II.

Marlena

By Julie Buntin (Henry Holt)

A gritty coming-of-age story about a troubled friendship between two young women.

Men Without Women

By Haruki Murakami. Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel (Knopf)

Detached from their feelings and missing pieces of themselves, Murakami’s lonely souls struggle to understand what’s hit them.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

By Arundhati Roy (Knopf)

In her first novel since “The God of Small Things” (1997), Roy draws us through a kaleidoscopic story about the struggle for Kashmir’s independence.

My Absolute Darling

By Gabriel Tallent (Riverhead)

A 14-year-old girl struggles to survive with her sexually abusive father in an isolated, decrepit house in California.

The Ninth Hour

By Alice McDermott (Farrar Straus Giroux)

In the early 20th century, a young immigrant’s suicide casts his pregnant wife and future daughter into the care of nuns in Brooklyn.

No One Is Coming to Save Us

By Stephanie Powell Watts (Ecco)

In a North Carolina town ground down by factory closings, an African American family struggles to survive. Then a handsome young man returns home promising to make a new life and lift them.

Norse Mythology

By Neil Gaiman (Norton)

Gaiman transmutes the tales of ancient Scandinavia into expertly paced short stories for the 21st century.

The River Bank

By Kij Johnson. Illustrated by Kathleen Jennings (Small Beer)

A charming and funny sequel to Kenneth Grahame’s “Wind in the Willows.”

Selection Day

By Aravind Adiga (Scribner)

A cricket talent scout spots a boy in the slums of Mumbai who might be the best young batsman he has seen in 50 years.

Smile

By Roddy Doyle (Viking)

Sexual abuse casts a long shadow over the life of a failed writer.


"Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny (Knopf)

"The Stars Are Fire," by Anita Shreve (Knopf)

Standard Deviation

By Katherine Heiny (Knopf)

At the center of this witty novel is a mother with an outsize personality who must deal with a son who’s an origami prodigy.

The Stars Are Fire

By Anita Shreve (Knopf)

A young mother in Maine loses almost everything in the disastrous real-life fire of 1947 and must rebuild her life.

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

By Hannah Tinti (Dial)

A widower with a violent criminal past moves into a small Maine fishing town hoping to establish a safe space for his daughter, who gradually learns the stories behind her father’s 12 bullet scars.

Universal Harvester

By John Darnielle (Farrar Straus Giroux)

A video-store clerk in “the 26th best small town in America” pursues the mystery of disturbing scenes that have been spliced into certain films.

White Tears

By Hari Kunzru (Knopf)

What begins as the straightforward story of two music lovers obsessed with obscure blues recordings becomes a darker mystery involving white appropriation of black culture.

Who Is Rich?

By Matthew Klam (Random House)

A comically self-absorbed graphic novelist tries to reinvigorate his career and sex life at an artists conference.

Woman No. 17

By Edan Lepucki (Hogarth)

A mother of two boys hires a nanny so that she can work on her memoir, but the nanny has a secret project of her own.

Young Jane Young

By Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)

A young woman humiliated by a highly publicized sex scandal tries to make a new life for herself.

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