Aspen Times Weekly book review: The Fall Reading List
Summer is the time for outdoor pursuits — hiking, camping, biking, gardening, tubing, traveling. The long days and warm sunshine don’t encourage much reading beyond your standard beachside thrillers. For months now, serious novels, nonfiction, even magazines have been piling up in teetering stacks around my house, and there’s a fearsome backlog on my Kindle.
Now that the nights are getting cooler and longer, I’m finally thinking about settling down to read. I have to slim down my piles before they collapse in a massive book-a-lanche and bury the dog.
A few of the new titles I’m excited about include “Gold Fame Citrus” by award-winning Nevada author Claire Vaye Watkins: “Set in an increasingly plausible-seeming future in which drought has transformed Southern California into a howling wasteland … two refugees of the water wars (are) holed up in a starlet’s abandoned mansion in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon. Seeking lusher landscapes, the pair head east, risking attack by patrolling authorities, roving desperadoes, and the unrelenting sun.” As a contrast to that all-too-imaginable apocalypse, I’m also eager to check out William Finnegan’s memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.” It’s an adventure story, an intellectual autobiography and a social history — “The kind of book that makes you squirm in your seat on the subway, gaze out the window at work, and Google Map the quickest route to the beach,” says the Paris Review Daily. And several High Country News contributors have produced terrific new works, including Mary Emerick, Kurt Caswell, Samuel Western, Todd Wilkinson and Laura Pritchett.
Below is a list of some of the most interesting fiction titles published between June and next winter, organized by author’s last name. If a book is already available, no publication month is noted.
The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende, Atria, November
Vintage, David Baker, Simon & Schuster
Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals, by Marc Beaudin,
Elk River Books
Studies in the Hereafter, Sean Bernard, Red Hen Press
How Winter Began, Joy Castro, University of Nebraska Press, October
And West is West, Ron Childress, Algonquin Press, October
Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg, Gallery/Scout Press
The Last September, Nina de Gramont, Algonquin
Undermajordomo Minor, Patrick DeWitt, Ecco
Last Bus to Wisdom, Ivan Doig, Riverhead
Geography of Water, Mary Emerick, University of Alaska Press, November
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, Kelli Estes, Sourcebooks Landmark
A Collapse of Horses: A Collection of Stories, Brian Evenson, Coffee House Press, February
The Girl from the Garden, Parnaz Foroutan, Harper Collins
Half an Inch of Water: Stories, Percival Everett, Graywolf Press
Dark Reservations: A Mystery, John Fortunato, St. Martin’s Press, October
Mountain Rampage, Scott Graham, Torrey House Press
Buffalo Trail: A Novel of the American West, Jeff Guinn, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, October
Not on Fire, but Burning, Greg Hrbek, Melville House
Dryland, Sara Jaffe, Tin House Press
Love in the Anthropocene, Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam, OR Books
The Last Pilot, Benjamin Johncock, Picador
The Story of My Teeth, Valeria Luiselli, Coffee House Press
Red Lightning, Laura Pritchett, Counterpoint
Still Life Las Vegas, James Sie, St. Martin’s Press
Western Weird (Manifest West Series), Mark Todd (ed.), Western Press Books
Dragonfish, Vu Tran, W.W. Norton
All the Stars in the Heavens, Adriana Trigiani, Harper Collins, October
Maud’s Line, Margaret Verble, Houghton Mifflin
The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War, William T. Vollmann, Viking
Gold Fame Citrus, Claire Vaye Watkins, Riverhead
Canyons, Samuel Western, Fithian Press
The Longest Night, Andria Williams, Random House, January
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa, Little, Brown/Boudreaux, January
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Many locations on Basalt Mountain were barren as recently as two months ago. However, nutrients unlocked during the Lake Christine Fire and a wet winter have sparked a remarkable recovery. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is leading fire ecology tours to discuss the changes.