Best New Fall Books:’s Sara Nelson Knows Best

Books Photo By Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Books Photo By Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

One of my favorite things is getting the lowdown on upcoming books, and no one does it better than the savvy Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Books and Kindle at

Here’s Amazon’s top 20 Big Fall Books, organized by release date below. Sara and I talked about the following titles:

· Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson: War correspondent for the New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair, Anderson has written a thorough portrait that upends our understanding of how the modern Middle East was formed.
· Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno: Shields and Salerno take on an ambitious task: penning the definitive biography of notorious literary recluse J.D. Salinger.
· W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton: Another letter brings another murder in Grafton’s acclaimed Kinsey Millhone series.
· Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem: Best known for his Brooklyn heritage, Lethem sets his latest novel in a different New York borough: Queens in the ‘60s, to follow three generations of radicals.
· Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: Finally, horror master King gives us a sequel to The Shining.
· David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell: A typically Gladwellian look at the myths we all seem to carry around about underdogs and big cheeses.
· Sycamore Row by John Grisham: Grisham’s latest, a sequel to A Time to Kill, finds its protagonist Jake Brigance defending justice in the courtroom of a quiet Southern town.

And the editors’ personal under-the-radar picks:

· My Notorious Life by Kate Manning: A historical novel of Dickensian sprawl, My Notorious Life is loosely based on the experiences of an infamous midwife in late 19th century New York—compelling, assured and irresistible. – Sara Nelson
· Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr: With M.F.K. Fisher’s instinct for elegantly simple and sensuous detail, author Barr immerses us in this sea change, when our collective culinary ambition started its shift from Mastering the Art of French Cooking to The Art of Simple Food. – Mari Malcolm
· Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn: Hilburn—who counted Cash as a friend and was the only music journalist at the famous Folsom Prison concert—draws from his extensive personal interviews with the singer, as well as new material from Cash’s inner circle, to create a biography that is both compassionate and clear-eyed. – Chris Schluep

-Lee Callahan, Jack FM


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