Who better than your friendly neighborhood bookstore to recommend what you should be diving into this autumn and winter? Well, how about five of your friendly neighborhood bookstores? Here's what you should be putting on your nightstand before 2018 checks out.
From Loganberry Books (13051 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights):
The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman. Weinman is an international expert on crime fiction, but this is her meticulously researched and grippingly told true crime book on the real events that inspired Vladimir Nabakov to write Lolita.
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini. This illustrated short story inspired by the plight of Syrian refugees, by the author of The Kite Runner, is a beautiful book for both children and adults.
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. The highly anticipated debut novel by John Green's brother (The Fault In Our Stars) follows a young woman who unexpectedly becomes an overnight celebrity.
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar. A big, fat, totally engrossing historical novel set in 18th-century Britain, ranging from the parlors of aristocracy to the seamy underworld of carnival sideshows.
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. This touching little novel about friendship has been an international phenomenon, and this fall, American readers finally get the chance to meet Nana the Cat, and her traveling companion, Satoru, as they hit the road to revisit old friends and memories.
From Mac's Backs (1820 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights):
Beautiful Country, Burn Again by Ben Fountain. In a sweeping work of reportage set over the course of 2016, Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk) recounts a surreal year of politics and an exploration of the third American existential crisis.
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. The Japanese master novelist (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Kafka On The Shore) is back, with a story that centers on a painter dealing with his separation from his wife.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Rape by Sohaila Abdulali. Thirty years ago, Abdulali was brutally gang-raped as a teenager in India. Her book is about changing the conversation around rape culture, questioning our assumptions, and deciding how we want to raise the next generation.
Rust Belt Arcana by Matt Stansberry, with illustrations by David Wilson. Akron native Stansberry and Stow native Wilson teamed up with Belt Publishing to tell a story that explores the Rust Belt's natural history through tarot cards.
Joy Enough: A Memoir by Sarah McColl. From a bracing new voice comes this life-affirming memoir of a daughter making and remaking her life in her mother's image.
From Visible Voice (2258 Professor Ave., Tremont):
Lake Success by Gary Shteygart. The bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story returns with a biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times that focuses on a hedge-fund titan, his wife, and the breakdown of their marriage.
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. The New York Times bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, and recipient of numerous literary awards, returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.
The Spy and The Traitor by Ben MacIntyre. This spy tale is the thrilling true story of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian double agent whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.
These Truths by Jill Lapore. The New Yorker writer and award-winning historian offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history.
Big Game by Mark Leibovich. The author of the bestselling This Town turns his focus to the NFL for an equally merciless probing of America's biggest cultural force, at a moment of peak success and high anxiety.
From Appletree Books (12419 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights):
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen. This novel is an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.
The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune keep hitting beleaguered English professor Jason Fitger right between the eyes in this hilarious and eagerly awaited sequel to the cult classic of anhedonic academe, the Thurber Prize-winning Dear Committee Members.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith. Lethal White is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series from the international bestselling author Galbraith, who may be better known to you as J.K. Rowling.
Labryinth of the Spirits by Carols Ruiz Zafon. This riveting series finale of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series is a heart-pounding thriller and nail-biting work of suspense which introduces a sexy, seductive new heroine whose investigation shines a light on the dark history of Franco's Spain.
White Darkness by David Grann. A powerful true story of adventure and obsession in the Antarctic, lavishly illustrated with color photographs.
From Fireside Books (29 North Franklin St., Chagrin Falls):
Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin. In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth and exercise of leadership.
Cooking Like A Pro by Ina Garten. A brand-new collection of recipes, tips, and techniques, so readers can cook with confidence no matter how much experience they have in the kitchen.
Past Tense by Lee Child. Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. An intimate, powerful and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny. The new Chief Inspector Gamache novel from the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author.
Scene's bonus recommendations:
Your Duck Is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg. A new collection of brilliantly observant short stories from a master of the form.
Boomer1 by Daniel Torday. A new novel from the author of the critically acclaimed The Last Flight of Poxl West
Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III. The House of Sand and Fog author's first novel in a decade is a masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.
Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories by Mary-lee Chai. In this collection, readers will find a complex blend of cultures spanning China, the Chinese diaspora in America, and finally, the world at large.
Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin. A collection of previously uncompiled stories from the short-story master and literary sensation.