Holiday books: Fiction

Holiday books: Fiction


A Novel


Paulo Coelho

Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95

A crisis of faith prompts a man to begin a journey of self-discovery from Africa to Asia.

The Angel Esmeralda

Nine Stories

Don DeLillo

Scribner, $24

The first collection of short stories from a defining American voice in contemporary fiction.

The Art of Fielding

A Novel

Chad Harbach

Little, Brown, $25.99

The complicated nature of relationships revolving around a gifted college baseball player.

The Artist of Disappearance


Anita Desai

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23

Embittered characters with artistic sensibilities find unexpected sources of creativity in this trio of linked novellas.

The Back Chamber


Donald Hall

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22

A 16th poetry collection in which the poet, now in his early 80s, explores sex, desire and his beloved New Hampshire landscape.

The Barbarian Nurseries

A Novel

Hector Tobar

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27

A Mexican maid's Los Angeles odyssey and the tangled web of the California judicial system.

Before the End, After the Beginning


Dagoberto Gilb

Grove Press, $24

Stories of boys and men trying to assert control over their situations in the face of life's often unexpected changes.

The Berrybender Narratives

A Novel

Larry McMurtry

Simon & Schuster, $32.50

Collected as a single volume, the adventures of an aristocratic


family in early 19th century America provide a portrait of the American West as its frontier was opening.

Blueprints for Building Better Girls

Elissa Schappell

Simon & Schuster, $24

The eight stories in this collection connect in unexpected ways and explore how contemporary women live.

The Cat's Table

A Novel

Michael Ondaatje

Alfred A. Knopf, $26

A young boy's sea voyage from Sri Lanka to England in the early 1950s centers on the company he dines with, far from the captain's table.

Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes

William Kennedy

Viking, $26.95

The latest in his Albany cycle, Kennedy's novel follows a young man to pre-revolutionary Cuba in the late 1950s.

The Deleted World: Poems

Tomas Tranströmer

Versions by Robin Robertson

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $13, paper

A collection of poems, many of which have never been published in the U.S., from the writer who was awarded this year's

Nobel Prize

for literature.

The Dovekeepers

A Novel

Alice Hoffman

Scribner, $27

The lives of four women intersect during the siege of Masada by the Roman army.

An Ermine in Czernopol

A Novel

Gregor Von Rezzori, introduction by Daniel Kehlmann

New York Review Books, $16.95 paper

The tragicomic story of a military officer, at the end of

World War I

, who refuses to accept both his wife's infidelity and the waning of his beloved



Every Third Thought

A Novel in Five Seasons

John Barth

Counterpoint, $24

After falling and hurting himself in the autumn of the year, 77-year-old George I. Newett experiences visions connected to seasons and moments in his life.

Forever Rumpole

The Best of the Rumpole Stories

John Mortimer

Viking, $30

A selection of adventures featuring everyone's favorite, cigar-chewing London barrister, Horace Rumpole.

The Forgotten Waltz

A Novel

Anne Enright

W.W. Norton, $25.95

Our reviewer wrote that Enright "balances rapture and grief" in this tale of a woman's life turned upside down by an affair.

Harlem Renaissance Novels

The Library of America Collection

Edited by Safia Zafar

Library of America, $70, boxed set

Works from

Langston Hughes


Claude McKay

and Wallace Thurman are included in this two-volume set.

The Iron Boys

A Novel

Thomas Frick

Burning Books, $10, paper

The narrator of this novel takes readers into the heart of another century and an outlaw band of Luddites committed to rebelling against the future.

The Lady of the Rivers

A Novel

Philippa Gregory

Touchstone, $27.99

The bestselling author continues her "The Cousins' War" series by tracing the elusive, early life of Jacquetta, Duchess of


, who found herself and her children caught at the center of the War of the Roses.

Los Angeles Stories

Ry Cooder

City Lights, $15.95, paper

The famed musician offers a quirky love letter to a bygone era in the City of Angels.

Lost Memory of Skin

A Novel

Russell Banks

Ecco, $25.99

Released from jail after having sex with an underage girl, the character the Kid settles under a causeway with other convicted sex offenders and tries to start his life over.

A Man of Parts

A Novel

David Lodge

Viking, $26.95

Near the end of his life, an ailing H.G. Wells looks back on his wives and mistresses, his politics and the literary career in which he invented our future.

The Marriage Plot

A Novel

Jeffrey Eugenides

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28

Eugenides, the author of Middlesex, offers a novel centered on a love triangle among recent Ivy League graduates.

Men in the Making


Bruce Machart

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24

A debut collection of short stories from the author of last year's well-received novel "The Wake of Forgiveness."

Midnight Lantern

New and Selected Poems

Tess Gallagher

Graywolf, $28

Poems containing hard-won truths and including new poems written in the west of Ireland.

Nanjing Requiem

A Novel

Ha Jin

Pantheon, $26.95

Ha Jin re-creates the terror and deprivations brought about by Japanese soldiers during the infamous Rape of Nanjing in 1937.

The Outlaw Album


Daniel Woodrell

Little, Brown, $24.99

In a first collection of short fiction from the author of the novel "Winter's Bone," Woodrell explores the lives of people on the fringes of society.

Out of Oz

A Novel

Gregory Maguire

William Morrow, $26.99

The fourth and last novel in a series that started with "Wicked" and darkly reimagines

L. Frank Baum

's fantasy world.


The Prague Cemetery


A Novel

Umberto Eco

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27

The author who first thrilled readers with "The Name of the Rose" returns with the story of the forgery mastermind behind the creation of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Rules of Civility

A Novel

Amor Towles

Viking, $26.95

A year in the life of three twentysomethings set in Jazz Age

New York City


Salvage the Bones

A Novel

Jesmyn Ward

Bloomsbury, $24

This year's winner of the National Book Award in fiction describes Gulf Coast lives in the days leading up to 2005's

Hurricane Katrina


Scenes From Village Life

Amos Oz

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22

A new collection of short fiction centered on an Israeli village.

The Sense of an Ending

A Novel

Julian Barnes

Alfred A. Knopf, $23.95

A brief novel about a mediocre man was the winner of this year's Man Booker Prize.

State of Wonder

A Novel

Ann Patchett

Harper, $26.99

A scientist heads into the jungles of Brazil to find out what happened to her vanished mentor, who is thought to be inventing a bold new fertility drug with vast implications.

Treasure Island!!!

A Novel

Sara Levine

Europa/Tonga books, $15, paper

Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson, a college grad believes Stevenson is speaking to her in his novel and determines to change her dull life and live as adventurously as young Jim Hawkins.

Zone One

A Novel

Colson Whitehead

Doubleday, $25.95

Partly set in Lower


, Whitehead's story creates a post-plague zombie universe undeniably more human than most novels in this genre.


A Novel

Stephen King

Scribner, $35

King offers a portal into the past with what might have been story around the

Kennedy assassination



A Novel

Haruki Murakami

Alfred A. Knopf, $30.50

Lives of a ghostwriter and of a young girl, who steps out of a cab and enters a parallel world, converge in this epic-size novel from the author of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle."