A new wave of fall books

  • By Hillel Italie Associated Press
  • Monday, September 3, 2012 3:59pm
  • Life

The “Fifty Shades” phenomenon may only get hotter this fall.

Booksellers and publishers expect at least a dozen novels to benefit from E.L. James’ multimillion-selling erotic trilogy, a list-topper since early spring, and new ones continue to be acquired.

Releases likely to catch on include Sylvain Reynard’s “Gabriel’s Inferno” and “Gabriel’s Rapture,” Sylvia Day’s “Reflected in You,” and a compilation of Harlequin novellas unsubtly titled, “12 Shades of Surrender.”

Cindy Hwang, executive editor at Berkley Books and Sylvia Day’s publisher, says that thanks to “50 Shades” the door between erotica and mainstream fiction has been “kicked down completely.”

New novels are coming from James Patterson, Mitch Albom, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell.

J.K. Rowling will find out how many of her adult “Harry Potter” fans are game for a book without wizards with “The Casual Vacancy.” Justin Cronin follows his best-selling “The Passage” with “The Twelve,” the second of a planned trilogy.

Ken Follett’s new novel, “Winter of the World,” is the second of his “Century” trilogy on war. The author explained during a recent interview that “Winter of the World,” a World War II story running nearly 1,000 pages, was as an education for him.

“Before I started ‘Winter of the World,’ I didn’t know that the Nazis had killed thousands of handicapped people; that was completely new to me,” he said.

Tom Wolfe has set the 650-page crime story “Back to Blood” in the contemporary melting pot of Miami, a sprawling canvas “full of hard cases who just won’t melt.”

Michael Chabon keeps it close to home with “Telegraph Avenue,” named for the famous stretch of his longtime residence, Berkeley, Calif.

Salman Rushdie’s “Joseph Anton” is a memoir, which for its title uses Rushdie’s alias when he was in hiding after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini called for his death for the alleged blasphemy of “The Satanic Verses.”

Rushdie’s ally, Christopher Hitchens, died of cancer last December, but his name will appear on a handful of books.

Hitchens’ essays about his fatal illness will be published as “Mortality.”

Martin Amis has dedicated “Lionel Asbo,” a dark farce set in London, to his close friend, as did Ian McEwan for his novel “Sweet Tooth.”

Meanwhile, two books will feature the late David Foster Wallace: Wallace’s essay collection, “Both Flesh and Not,” and D.T. Max’s biography, “Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story.”

Patricia Bostelman, Barnes &Noble Inc.’s vice president of marketing, notes a wave of Kennedy books, including David Nasaw’s in-depth biography of patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy and White House tapes of John F. Kennedy, with daughter Caroline Kennedy providing an introduction.

Bill O’Reilly looks into the darkest days with “Killing Kennedy,” a follow-up to his million-selling “Killing Lincoln.”

More on the Kennedys may come from an estranged in-law, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his memoir “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.”

Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics” will test the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s skill for scoops; Woodward promises a close, inside account of President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

The May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden will be remembered firsthand in “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen, a pseudonym for a former Navy SEAL (reported as Matt Bissonnette) who was part of the historic raid in Pakistan.

Jon Meacham, the Random House editor and Pulitzer winner for his Andrew Jackson biography, has written “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.” The book, which includes blurbs from such top historians as Gordon Wood and Doris Kearns Goodwin, was conceived in 2008, the year of Obama’s election.

“The appeal of the Jefferson book was in part of the emergence of a tall, cool, celebral president who affected a dislike for politics, but was awfully good at it,” said Meacham, a former Newsweek editor.

A handful of works prove there is no age limit for the writing profession. Critic and anthologist M.H. Abrams, who turned 100 this summer, has a book of essays, “The Fourth Dimension of a Poem.”

Herman Wouk, 97, and author of “The Caine Mutiny” and “The Winds of War,” has a new and comic novel, “The Lawgiver.”

Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 92, has a new book of verse, “Time of Useful Consciousness,” an expansive personal and social history that honors his beloved San Francisco.

Most rock stars will stick to the memoir: Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Pete Townshend, Courtney Love, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart.

Stewart, whose memoir is called “Rod: The Autobiography,” said during a recent telephone interview that he enjoyed the work — talking into a microphone, jotting down notes, a bottle of wine at his side.

Humor books include the complete “Calvin &Hobbes” and the latest Calvin Trillin verse, “Dogfight: An Occasionally Interrupted Narrative Poem About the Presidential Campaign.”

But the main event is a clash of titans, and titles: Stephen Colbert’s “America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t” vs. The Onion’s “Book of Known Knowledge: A Definitive Encyclopaedia of Existing Information.”

A promise from Colbert: “‘America Again’ will singlebookedly pull this country back from the brink. It features everything from chapters, to page numbers, to fonts.”

A response from The Onion: “Any information that could possibly be gleaned from Mr. Colbert’s book, or any other book, for that matter, can be found tenfold in ‘The Onion Book of Known Knowledge,’ which contains all information in the history of the universe.

“If such a reading endeavor should appear too daunting to readers, by all means, they should purchase Mr. Colbert’s book.”

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