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Reading list: 20 ‘buzzy’ books for Fall 2021

There's rich variety here, from some of the best writers in the country.

Last week we introduced you to fall books from Minnesota writers. Today we turn to those outside the state, with 20 “buzzy” books that are on all the magazine and website Best of Fall lists. There’s rich variety here, from some of the best writers in the country. Enjoy.

SANDRA CISNEROS, “Marita, I Remember You/ Martia, te recuerdo”

The author’s first new fiction in nearly a decade is a dual language paperback original about three adventurous young women seeking their fortunes in Paris and the experiences young women must endure when they are immigrants.

ANTHONY DOERR, “Cloud Cuckoo Land”

Set in Constantinople in the 15th century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now.

KEN FOLLETT, “Never”

Described in Kirkus’ starred review as “A complex, scary thriller that feels too plausible for comfort. On one level, it’s a great entertainment, on another, a window into a sobering possibility.”

JONATHAN FRANZEN, “Crossroads: A Novel: A Key to All Mythologies, Volume 1

Members of the Hildebrandt family — father, mother, two sons and a daughter — seek freedom from their lives in 1971 Chicago.

JOHN GRISHAM, “The Judge’s List”

In Grisham’s 37th novel, investigator Lucy Stoltz (from “The Whistler”) follows the trail of a serial killer and closes in on a shocking suspect — a sitting judge.

LAUREN GROFF,  “Matrix”

In the 12th century, Marie de France is exiled from the royal court and sent to England to be the new prioress of an abbey where she devotes herself to family, country and her new sisters. (See today’s Literary Events calendar for her virtual appearance this week.)

JOY HARJO, “Poet Woman”

From three-time U.S. Poet Laureate comes a memoir fusing poetry and prose that captures the lives of her Creek Nation family.

ALICE HOFFMAN, “The Book of Magic”

Conclusion of the Practical Magic series in which the Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for more than 300 years, but things are about to change. Three generations of Owens women work to break a curse.

JOHN le CARRE, “Silverview”

The 26th novel from the late author of “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and other espionage novels, to be published Oct. 12 in the week he would have been 90. It’s about a bookshop owner and a spy chief in London.

GREGORY MAGUIRE, “The Brides of Maracoor”

First book in an all-new, three-book “Wicked” spinoff sequel series that welcomes Elphaba’s granddaughter and a few familiar faces from Oz in a new setting with a new cast of characters.

OBAMA/SPRINGSTEEN, “RENEGADES: Born in the USA; Dreams.Myths.Music”

Collection of candid, intimate conversations between former President Barack Obama and musician/author Bruce Springsteen that began in Spotify’s co-produced podcast of the same name, in which they tell stories and ruminate about life, music and their love of America.

SUSAN ORLEAN, “On Animals”

Sixteen of the author’s favorite essays about animals, including a New Jersey woman with 23 pet tigers and Orlean’s experiences attending the World Taxidermy Championships in Illinois.

ANN PATCHETT, “These Precious Days”

Essays about home, family, friendship and writing.

RICHARD POWERS, “Bewilderment”

Pulitzer Prize-winner for “The Overstory” introduces us to an astrobiologist who searches the cosmos for other life while raising his unusual son alone after the death of his wife. He agrees to allow the boy to undergo experimental neurological treatment using recorded patterns of his mother’s brain waves.

SALLY ROONEY, “Beautiful World, Where Are You”

Two men and two women, still young but just barely, come together and pull apart, while worrying about the world.

DAVID SEDARIS, “A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020)”

Thurber Prize winner and frequent visitor to the Twin Cities muses about an ever-changing background as he writes in hotel dining rooms and odd Japanese inns, recording how you once really hated George W. Bush and Trump was a laughingstock on French TV.

WOLE SOYINKA, “Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth”

First Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature publishes his first novel in nearly half a century, a satiric, irreverent fictional meditation on how power and greed can corrupt the soul of a nation. In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from a hospital for use in ritualist practices.

ELIZABETH STROUT, “Oh William!”

Pulitzer Prize-winner explores mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep.

AMOR TOWLES, “The Lincoln Highway”

From the author of “A Gentleman in Moscow” comes a novel spanning 10 days, set in 1950s America, about a young man released from a Nebraska juvenile work farm whose plans change when two friends take him to the City of New York.

COLSON WHITHEAD, “Harlem Shuffle”

An intricately plotted multi-generational family saga disguised as a heist story set against the backdrop of 1960s New York.

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