nolead begins The Year of the Flood
nolead ends nolead begins By Margaret Atwood

(Doubleday/Nan A. Talese, September) nolead ends

A natural disaster wipes out most human life, but two young women have survived. Has anyone else? And what about those strange new creatures brought into existence by gene-splicing?

nolead begins Spooner
nolead ends nolead begins By Pete Dexter

(Grand Central, September) nolead ends

The former Philadelphia Daily News columnist and National Book Award winner (for Paris Trout) brings us Warren Spooner, a Philadelphia newspaper columnist and novelist with an outlandish talent for ending up in strange scrapes.

nolead begins Juliet, Naked
nolead ends nolead begins By Nick Hornby

(Riverhead, September) nolead ends

Duncan, a fortysomething obsessive English fan of washed-up American singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe, breaks up with his girlfriend, who doesn't understand his passion. She finds a new love on the Internet - an American who turns out to be a certain washed-up singer-songwriter.

nolead begins The Children's Book
nolead ends nolead begins By A.S. Byatt

(Knopf, October) nolead ends

As the Victorian era disappears into the 20th century, English author Olive Wellwood toils away on children's books, including a separate one for each of her seven children. But Wellwood's storybook world is not the sunny place it seems to be.

nolead begins Last Night in Twisted River
nolead ends nolead begins By John Irving

(Random House, October) nolead ends

A father and son must run for their lives after the boy makes a tragic mistake in John Irving's 12th novel, which spans 50 years of love and hate.

nolead begins Chronic City
nolead ends nolead begins By Jonathan Lethem

(Doubleday, October) nolead ends

The author of Motherless Brooklyn switches boroughs, taking a caustic look this time out at the social scene on the isle of Manhattan, observed through the eyes of former child sitcom star Chase Insteadman.

nolead begins The Museum of Innocence
nolead ends nolead begins By Orhan Pamuk

(Knopf, October) nolead ends

In his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize, Turkish novelist Pamuk tells the story of 30-year-old Kemal, who loves 18-year-old beauty Füsun but loses her to another man. His passion takes a strange turn that makes him a laughingstock in Istanbul.

nolead begins The Humbling
nolead ends nolead begins By Philip Roth

(HMH, November) nolead ends

Actor Simon Axler, in his 60s and over the hill, feels like a fool when he goes onstage. Bad as that may be for Axler, his search for consolation may lead to something even worse.

nolead begins The Lacuna
nolead ends nolead begins By Barbara Kingsolver

(Harper, November) nolead ends

Kingsolver's first novel in nine years introduces us to Harrison William Shepherd, raised in Mexico in the company of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and the exiled Leon Trotsky, and committed to art and revolution. Then comes World War II, and Shepherd is caught between two worlds.

nolead begins Too Much Happiness
nolead ends nolead begins Stories
nolead ends nolead begins By Alice Munro

(Knopf, November) nolead ends

In a collection of 10 stories, Munro, winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize, explores the byways of the heart and the human resilience in the face of everything from seduction to the death of children.

   - Michael D. Shaffer