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BY TOM BEER
Fall promises a bounty of books. Here are 12 titles on our must-read list.
"This is How You Lose Her," by Junot Díaz: No one could accuse Díaz--a Pulitzer Prize winner for his 2007 novel, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"--of cranking out books like factory product. This story collection is his first published work since that Pulitzer was bestowed. The new stories pick up the romantic and familial troubles of Yunior, Díaz's Dominican-American protagonist, now approaching middle age. Yunior's serial infidelities catch up with him in the standout story, "The Cheater's Guide to Love." (Riverhead, Sept. 11)
"Telegraph Avenue: A Novel," by Michael Chabon: Another Pulitzer winner--this one pretty darn prolific--throws his hat in the ring this fall with a novel about the California East Bay neighborhood between Oakland and Berkeley where two old friends--one white, one black--run a record store that is about to be put out of business by a megastore. (Harper, Sept. 11)
"The End of Men: And the Rise of Women," by Hanna Rosin: Wait, men no longer run the world? Did we miss the memo? That's the conclusion reached by journalist Hanna Rosin in the new book drawn from her buzzed-about article in The Atlantic. Rosin looks at how the vast changes in cultural attitudes, education and the workplace have benefited women and left men struggling to hold onto dominance. (Riverhead, Sept. 11)
"Joseph Anton: A Memoir," by Salman Rushdie: Sir Rushdie, knighted by the Queen in 2007, is definitely one of the heavyweights of world literature, and his breakout novel, "Midnight's Children," has twice been named the best Booker Prize-winning novel ever. The new memoir recounts Rushdie's 10 years in hiding, after the Muslim world was up in arms at the perceived blasphemy of his 1988 novel, "The Satanic Verses," and the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran called for Rushdie's death. The memoir's title comes from the name Rushdie assumed during that time, a tribute to Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov (Random House, Sept. 18)
"The Casual Vacancy," by J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter is for the ages, but can she write for adults? Rowling returns with a novel written expressly for grown-ups--because, let's face it, we all devoured Harry Potter books as quickly as the kids could pass them to us. (Little, Brown; Sept. 27)