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Cool weather, hot titles

From sci-fi to chick lit, boozers to brawlers, autumn has bevy of books

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If you are a book lover, you live for the fall.

Publishers save most of their big titles for the months of September, October and November, to capitalize on the holiday gift-giving season.

This autumn is no different than any other. Despite the dire predictions of the death of reading, there is no shortage of exciting new novels, histories, memoirs, political expos©s and biographies coming down the pike.

It is impossible to provide even a semi-comprehensive list of what to watch for. But below are 20 titles, evenly divided between fiction and non-fiction, that are bound to garner lots of attention.

 

FICTION:

MaddAddam, by Margaret Atwood -- The grand dame of Canadian novelists concludes her science-fiction trilogy about environmental apocalypse which began with Oryx and Crake in 2006. Due out Tuesday.

 

The Orenda, by Joseph Boyden -- The Giller Prize-winning author of Three Day Road returns with another historical novel about Canadian aboriginals, this one set among the Huron in the 1600s. Due Sept. 10.

 

The Son of a Certain Woman, by Wayne Johnston -- Canada's premier fictional chronicler of Newfoundland has penned a satiric story of a disfigured St. John's boy who has an unnatural attraction toward his mother. Due Sept. 17.

 

The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton -- The Canadian-born New Zealander has already been shortlisted for Britain's Man Booker Prize for this doorstopper of a historical novel set in the Kiwi gold fields in 1866. Due Sept. 24

 

Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King -- In what is being billed as a sequel to the American writing machine's 1977 classic, The Shining, a now-middle-aged Dan Torrance, son of axe-wielding Jack, tries to shed his father's legacy of the Overlook Hotel. Due Sept. 24.

 

Worst. Person. Ever., by Douglas Coupland -- The prolific and popular Vancouver writer's first novel in four years is a comedy about a third-rate movie cameraman, "a living, walking, talking, hot steaming pile of pure id." Due Oct. 8.

 

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, by Helen Fielding -- A whole new set of problems -- like drunken texting and no Twitter followers -- beset the contemporary literary world's favourite Everywoman in the British comic writer's belated third Bridget Jones outing. Due Oct. 15.

 

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt -- The American author of the 1992 bestseller The Secret History returns with a tale of a New York boy who is drawn into the art underworld following the accidental death of his mother. Due Oct. 22.

 

We Are Water, by Wally Lamb -- The bestselling U.S. novelist and Oprah favourite (She's Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True) returns to Three Rivers, Conn., for a story about a long-married artist who falls in love with her female art dealer in the late 1950s. Due Oct. 22.

 

The Valley of Amazement, by Amy Tan -- The popular Chinese-American author of The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife ventures to Shanghai for story about a Chinese-American courtesan. Due Nov. 5.

 

NON-FICTION

Gaddafi's Harem: The Story of a Young Woman and the Abuses of Power in Libya, by Annick Cojean -- A bestseller upon its release last year in France, this investigative work focuses on a Libyan teenager who was kept in sexual slavery by the country's late and unlamented former dictator. Due Sept. 3.

 

A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout -- The Alberta-born TV journalist recounts her harrowing experience as a captive for 460 days in Somalia, where she was shackled, starved and raped. Due Sept. 3.

 

The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial That Shocked a Country, by Charlotte Gray -- The accomplished Canadian historian and literary biographer (Gold Diggers, Mrs. King) turns her feminist eye to the 18-year-old maid who confessed to killing the scion of a prominent Toronto family in 1915. Due Sept. 6.

 

Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, by Anne Dowsett Johnston -- The longtime former editor of the Maclean's magazine universities edition has used her own experience with drinking to fashion a book out of a series of articles commissioned by the Toronto Star. Due Sept. 24.

 

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, by Richard Dawkins -- The outspoken British atheist and arguably the most famous author-scientist currently writing tells his life story up to the publication of his landmark first book in 1976, The Selfish Gene. Due Sept. 24.

Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics, by Michael Ignatieff --The once great white hope of the Liberal party, and a seasoned author of both fiction and non-fiction, contemplates the lessons he learned when he was trounced in the last federal election. Due Sept. 28.

 

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell -- The Canadian-born author of Outliers and The Tipping Point explores why big is not always better. Due Oct. 1.

 

My Story, by Bobby Orr -- The legendary Boston Bruins defenceman and proud son of Parry Sound, Ont., finally comes through with the memoir of his unparalleled hockey career, which ended in 1978 when he was 31. Due Oct. 15.

 

The Longer I'm Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006-, by Paul Wells -- This analysis of the PM and his years in power by the national affairs columnist for Maclean's is bound to be a lightning rod for both left and right. Due Oct. 22.

 

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield -- Canada's current scientific heartthrob tells the story of how a boy from Stag Hill, Ont., became the David Bowie-loving commander of the International Space Station. Due Oct. 29.

morley.walker@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 24, 2013 0

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