For the start of fall, I’m highlighting some titles that were released in the last few months but I haven’t had a chance to (or won’t have time to) fully read and review. Still, they are worthy of some attention and notice. All of these titles were made available to me via NetGalley.
Magritte: A Life
by Alex Danchev
from the publisher: In this thought-provoking life of René Magritte (1898-1967), Alex Danchev makes a compelling case for Magritte as the single most significant purveyor of images to the modern world. Magritte’s surreal sensibility, deadpan melodrama, and fine-tuned outrageousness have become an inescapable part of our visual landscape, through such legendary works as The Treachery of Images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) and his celebrated iterations of Man in a Bowler Hat.
Publisher: Pantheon; Illustrated edition (November 30, 2021)
Hardcover: 480 pages
Last Call at the Hotel Imperial: The Reporters Who Took On a World at War
by Deborah Cohen
From the publisher: Last Call at the Hotel Imperial is the extraordinary story of John Gunther, H. R. Knickerbocker, Vincent Sheean, and Dorothy Thompson. In those tumultuous years, they landed exclusive interviews with Hitler and Mussolini, Nehru and Gandhi, and helped shape what Americans knew about the world. Alongside these backstage glimpses into the halls of power, they left another equally incredible set of records. Living in the heady afterglow of Freud, they subjected themselves to frank, critical scrutiny and argued about love, war, sex, death, and everything in between.
Publisher: Random House (March 15, 2022)
Hardcover: 592 pages
The Carnival Of Ash
by Tom Beckerlegge
From the publisher: A lush, literary alternate history about a city of poets and librarians. A city that never was. Cadenza is the City of Words, a city run by poets, its skyline dominated by the steepled towers of its libraries, its heart beating to the stamp and thrum of the printing presses in the Printing Quarter. Carlo Mazzoni, a young wordsmith arrives at the city gates intent on making his name as the bells ring out with the news of the death of the city’s poet-leader. Instead, he finds himself embroiled with the intrigues of a city in turmoil, the looming prospect of war with their rival Venice ever-present
Publisher: Solaris (March 15, 2022)
Hardcover: 560 pages
Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths
by Natalie Haynes
From the publisher: In Pandora’s Jar, the broadcaster, writer, stand-up comedian, and passionate classicist turns the tables, putting the women of the Greek myths on an equal footing with the men. With wit, humor, and savvy, Haynes revolutionizes our understanding of epic poems, stories, and plays, resurrecting them from a woman’s perspective and tracing the origins of their mythic female characters. She looks at women such as Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother-turned-lover-and-wife (turned Freudian sticking point), at once the cleverest person in the story and yet often unnoticed.
Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 29, 2022)
Paperback: 320 pages
The Mysterious Romance of Murder: Crime, Detection, and the Spirit of Noir
by David Lehman
From the publisher: From Sherlock Holmes to Sam Spade; Nick and Nora Charles to Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin; Harry Lime to Gilda, Madeleine Elster, and other femmes fatales—crime and crime solving in fiction and film captivate us. Why do we keep returning to Agatha Christie’s ingenious puzzles and Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled murder mysteries? What do spy thrillers teach us, and what accounts for the renewed popularity of morally ambiguous noirs?
Publisher: Cornell University Press (May 15, 2022)
Hardcover: 296 pages
All the Living and the Dead: From Embalmers to Executioners, an Exploration of the People Who Have Made Death Their Life’s Work
by Hayley Campbell
From the publisher: Fueled by a childhood fascination with death, journalist Hayley Campbell searches for answers in the people who make a living by working with the dead. Along the way, she encounters mass fatality investigators, embalmers, and a former executioner who is responsible for ending sixty-two lives. She meets gravediggers who have already dug their own graves, visits a cryonics facility in Michigan, goes for late-night Chinese with a homicide detective, and questions a man whose job it is to make crime scenes disappear.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (August 16, 2022)
Hardcover: 288 pages
The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton
From the publisher: In 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is coming of age, trying to grapple with her family’s secrets and her own identity as a young Dutch-African woman. She’s drawn to the theater and an artistic life, but with her family in serious financial decline, pressure is on Thea to marry up in society. As her father and Aunt Nella work desperately to save the family home and catastrophe threatens to engulf them, Thea seeks refuge in the arms of her secret lover, Walter, the chief set-painter at her favorite theater.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (August 30, 2022)
Hardcover: 304 pages
The Enigma of Room 622
by Joël Dicker
From the publisher: A burnt-out writer’s retreat at a fancy Swiss hotel is interrupted by a murder mystery in this metafictional, meticulously crafted whodunit from the New York Times bestselling author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. A writer named Joël, Switzerland’s most prominent novelist, flees to the Hôtel de Verbier, a luxury resort in the Swiss Alps. Disheartened over a recent breakup and his longtime publisher’s death, Joël hopes to rest. However, his plans quickly go awry. It all starts with a seemingly innocuous detail: at the Verbier, there is no room 622.
Publisher: HarperVia (September 13, 2022)
Hardcover: 592 pages
What are you reading this fall?