The fine print

Local book lovers weigh in on new fall book releases

So many books, so little time. For new fall releases, RN&R went to some of Reno’s more discerning bibliophiles—the owners and employees of local book stores—to sort through the book catalogues and find out what’s on their autumn reading wish list.

Tell me sweet little lies

The buzz in fiction right now is Jonathan Franzen, whose 2001 novel The Corrections was on many bestseller lists. His newest release is Freedom. Caddie Dufurrena at Barnes & Noble in Reno describes it as a novel about how the real world can infringe on your plans. “It starts out with a pretty much normal American family that’s very environmentally aware,” she says. “The dad actually has a job as an environmental lawyer, and the mom is kind of the cheerleader of the neighborhood; she organizes them into doing environmentally conscious things. She’s the perfect mother, perfect wife picture. But as their son gets to be a teenager and gets reckless, as teens sometimes do, their life kind of falls apart. The dad starts to work for a coal company instead.” But her personal pick is Ape House, released Sept. 9. It’s by Sara Gruen, who wrote Water for Elephants. Gruen’s latest features a female scientist working in a lab with apes who know sign language. After an explosion frees the apes and they wind up on a reality television show, the protagonist sets out to rescue them.

Sundance Bookstore’s Christine Kelly notes that a new translation of Doctor Zhivago will be out Oct. 10, and John Grisham’s latest thriller, Confessions, comes out Oct. 26.

Nothing but the truth

In nonfiction, Kelly says Life, a “serious autobiography” by Keith Richards is expected to be a big seller. Set an Oct. 26 release, it’s 480 pages with lots of photos and a million copy print run. At the other end of well-known personalities is White House Diary (Sept. 20), an actual diary penned by Jimmy Carter while he was president. “It should be insightful into the choices he was making at that time, the relationships he had, and the philanthropic work he’s gone on to do,” says Duferrena. Also look for Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (due Oct. 12); Composing a Further Life (Sept. 14), Catherine Bateson’s look at the latter stage of adulthood; and At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Oct. 5).

That’s a good one

Who couldn’t use a good laugh right about now?

“The new Jon Stewart,” says Kelly. “It’s called Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. That is due this September [21], and I don’t know that I need to say more.”

Then there’s Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris. Due Nov. 2, it has chapter titles like “Fake Candle Making,” “The Joy of Poverty” and “Crafting for Jesus.” “It’s about how to make really wacky, wrong things out of nothing,” says Kelly. And from Amy’s hilarious and prolific brother David Sedaris is Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, due Sept. 28.

Wasted on the young

The crew over at Grassroots Books, including manager Vicki Sellows, is all atwitter about Mockingjay, a newly released young adult novel from Suzanne Collins and the final (rumored to be best) book of The Hunger Games trilogy.

So childish

For the little ones, the titular heroinne will have to save the day again in Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique when rain threatens to spoil her little sister’s birthday party. This latest from the popular series comes out Oct. 12.