The White House announced President Obama’s summer vacation reading list. As USA Today reminded us, the Lahiri and Salter novels were part of his 2013 Christmas book shopping spree:
All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri
All That Is, by James Salter
Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow
Between The World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Fall 2015 reported from Publishers Weekly
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, Aug.) – Daywalt and Jeffers’s The Day the Crayons Quit has been a stalwart on bestseller lists since it was published in 2013. This very funny follow-up sees the crayons writing postcards to their young owner after being left out of town on vacation, lost within the sofa, or otherwise abused.
The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (HMH, Sept.) – More than 30 years after the publication of bedtime favorite The Napping House, this husband-and-wife team takes readers back to a dwelling, where a certain granny, boy, dog, and cat are having trouble falling asleep under the light of an enormous moon.
Happy! by Pharrell Williams (Putnam, Oct.) – “Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.” Hmm, could a picture book adaptation of Williams’s chart-topping pop song essentially turn out to be a 21st-century version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It?” Readers can find out come October.
Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook/Porter, Oct.) – The Steads made a name for themselves with the Caldecott Medal–winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee and have been accumulating accolades ever since. Their latest tells of a boy who creates a pair of protector-companions as he adjusts to his new home.
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (Chronicle, Aug.) – Who says ghosts don’t have feelings? Not Barnett and Robinson, whose “ghost story” is alternately funny, sad, and sweet as a lonesome spirit named Leo tries to make a connection that doesn’t leave the other party fleeing in terror.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (Feiwel and Friends, Sept.) – Applegate is back with her first middle-grade novel since The One and Only Ivan, which won the 2013 Newbery Medal. In this equally sensitive story, fifth-grader Jackson worries that the reappearance of his childhood imaginary friend portends the return of problems for his family, too.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet, Nov.) – With more than 150 million copies in print, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is something of a global juggernaut, and this 10th entry in the series will be published simultaneously in 90 countries on November 3.
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (Random/Lamb, Aug.) – Stead returns to the Manhattan environs of her Newbery Medal–winning When You Reach Me as she explores the entwined and sometimes precarious friendships among a group of seventh-graders, shifting smoothly and perceptively between multiple points of view.
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion, Oct.) – Having delved into Greek and Egyptian mythology in his Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles series, Riordan moves on to Norse legends in this first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. Riordan’s fans should be ecstatic; trolls and frost giants, less so.
The Marvels by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, Sept.) – A shipwreck, the world of London theater, a home meticulously maintained as it would have existed in the 18th-century, and the magic of storytelling combine in Selznick’s latest, a full 500 pages of which consist solely of his intricately detailed pencil drawings.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s Griffin, Sept.) – Rowell netted a substantial young adult (and adult) following with her YA novels Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Now she returns to the world of Fangirl—or, more specifically, the Harry Potteresque fantasyland that figured prominently in that book.
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (Little, Brown, Aug.) – Three years after The Diviners, Bray takes readers back to her eerie version of Jazz Age New York City, where the bootleg gin flows freely, psychic “Diviners” are a bona fide craze—and people are succumbing to their dreams. Permanently.
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (Quirk, Sept.) – Riggs brings to a close the series that began in 2011 with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, stories filled with monsters and children with unusual talents. Fans needn’t despair, though—the Tim Burton–directed film version of Miss Peregrine is slated to arrive in March.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (HarperTeen, Oct.) – Ness turns his eye on paranormal tropes and conventions as he skewers the idea of “Chosen One” heroes, focusing instead on the kids just trying to live a normal life in the background—Buffy and Bella’s ordinary, mortal classmates in Sunnydale and Forks, essentially.
Winter by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel and Friends, Nov.) – Now that Meyer has worked her way through futuristic retellings of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, she wraps up her Lunar Chronicles series this fall. Drawing from Snow White, Meyer unites the heroines from her previous books as they attempt to take on Queen Levana once and for all.
The Center for Fiction announced seven novels nominated for its annual First Novel Prize:
After the Parade by Lori Ostlund (Scribner)
Against the Country by Ben Metcalf (Random House)
Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam (Penguin)
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus (Farrar, Straus)