Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that summer is slowly but surely becoming autumn. In the bookstore, the changes are marked in a variety of ways. For one, our well-loved floors are littered with increasingly more debris from dead leaves. It won’t be long now until we have to shut the door to keep piles of fallen leaves and gusts of cold air from swirling in the door and around the card racks.
Then there are the students rushing in to buy their assigned summer reading books now that there is only a week left until school starts. The teachers and librarians are calling in orders for the upcoming year, and parents are requesting educational books to help prep their kids for school during the last days of summer vacation.
Despite some of the quintessential downers of the end of summer, fall is actually an exciting time in the book world. It is the season of big releases! Publishing tends to slow down in the summer, like most of us. There are moments of excitement here and there, but largely it’s a languid time. The best summer reads were released in the spring, when the heady works of winter contemplation get set aside for breezy reads. But now the gears are turning again and we are looking forward to some fantastic new releases.
Authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, and Ann Patchett have new fiction on the docket. Mystery fans can look forward to new thrills from Louise Penny, Harlan Coben, and Carl Hiaasen. Foodies will relish new cookbooks from heavy hitters like Anthony Bourdain, Alton Brown, Ina Garten, and Marcus Samuelsson. We have our eyes on memoirs and biographies covering Bruce Springsteen, Al Capone, and the family life of John and Rose Kennedy. Plus, writer-extraordinaire Ursula K. Le Guin has two notable works coming out, a volume of her collected novellas and a compilation of essays and talks on life and books. Business and economic releases will be heavy on technology and inequality, and history releases will cover a wide swath of issues that are still relevant today, like race and religion.
Whatever your preferred genre, you can bet there are some enticing titles coming out in the next few months. Though the sun may still be shining bright and hot, it’s time to start working on your reading lists for the cold months that we book worms spend curled up under blankets, tea steaming, and fire crackling. Heck, start making your Christmas lists! So if you’re like me and love the fleeting, flower-bursting, garden-nurturing, sleep-under-the-stars, mad-dash of summer in the Rocky Mountains, take comfort in knowing that with the fading of warmth and long days comes the promise of some great reading.
-- Katie Plumb