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Know the West

Fall books for the sweetly socked-in


The changes seem to happen overnight: Even under the stifling lid of late-summer days, September's dusk begins to come on cool, its mornings curling at the edges with damp chill like the pages of a book. Along the ditches and river, the cottonwood leaves are first to drop, scattering the ground with gold. Tea becomes a staple. The worn armchair in the corner beckons.

But what best to stack close at hand for the quiet hours of fall and winter? We've gathered some of the most intriguing recent and upcoming Western titles, listed below in alphabetical order by author, for your consideration.

Among them, there's the memoir Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, wherein Wyoming's Alexandra Fuller entwines her mother's, her father's and her own histories, from Scotland and England to civil war-torn Africa; and Billy the Kid and Other Plays, a collection of several dramatic works by New Mexico's renowned Rudolfo Anaya.

There are also some notable debut novels. Publishers Weekly describes Bonnie Nadzam's Lamb -- a tale of a misguided middle-aged man who abducts an unpopular preteen for a roadtrip to the Rockies -- as a "21st century spin" on Lolita. Meanwhile, Anna Solomon's page-turner about a Ukrainian mail-order bride who lands in frontier South Dakota, The Little Bride, has earned her comparisons to Alice Munro, Amy Bloom and Willa Cather.

And don't miss Dave Madden's The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd & Obsessive World of Taxidermy, which plumbs our sometimes-weird relationship with animals and takes readers all the way to the Taxidermy World Championships.

(NOTE: If a book is currently available, no publication month is shown)

Billy the Kid and Other Plays: Rudolfo Anaya, University of Oklahoma Press, December

Rock Bottom: Sarah Andrews, Minotaur Books, November

Other Desert Cities: Jon Robin Baitz, Grove Press, November

Back of Beyond: C.J. Box, Minotaur Books

Emory's Gift: W. Bruce Cameron, Forge Books

The Last Mountains: Rick Craig, Geyser Books

The Territory: A Novel: Tricia Fields, Minotaur Books, October

Before the End, After the Beginning: Dagoberto Gilb, Grove Press, November

The Great Leader: Jim Harrison, Grove Press, October

Secrets of the Wolves: A Novel: Dorothy Hearst, Simon & Schuster

Contents May Have Shifted: A Novel: Pam Houston, W. W. Norton & Company, February

Train Dreams: A Novella: Denis Johnson, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Luminous Airplanes: A Novel: Paul La Farge, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Solomon's Oak: A Novel: Jo-Ann Mapson, Bloomsbury USA

Mother Lode: Mark Maynard, Torrey House Press, December

Lola, California: A Novel: Edie Meidav, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Ghost Lights: A Novel: Lydia Millet, W.W. Norton & Company, October

Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events: Stories: Kevin Moffett, Harper, January

Lamb: Bonnie Nadzam, Other Press

The Buddha in the Attic: Julie Otsuka, Knopf

The Scholar of Moab: Steve L. Peck, Torrey House Press, October

Suffer in Silence: A Novel of Navy SEAL Training: David Reid, St. Martin's Press

The Little Bride: Anna Solomon, Riverhead Trade

Monstress: Stories: Lysley Tenorio, Ecco, January 

The Plume Hunter: Renee Thompson, Torrey House Press, December

Black Thunder: An Ella Clah Novel: Aimee Thurlo and David Thurlo, Forge Books, October

The Barbarian Nurseries: A Novel: Héctor Tobar, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

We the Animals: A Novel: Justin Torres, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Liberty Lanes: Robin Troy, University of Nevada Press

Blue Heaven: Willard Wyman, University of Oklahoma Press


The Glimpse Traveler: Marianne Boruch, Breakaway Books

An Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt: Stephen Brennan, editor; Skyhorse Publishing, October

Where the Tall Grass Grows: Becoming Indigenous and the Mythological Legacy of the American West: Bobby Bridger, Fulcrum Publishing

Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints: Sam Brower, Bloomsbury USA

Deep Trails in the Old West: A Frontier Memoir: Frank Clifford, University of Oklahoma Press, October

Arctic Autumn: A Journey to Season's Edge: Pete Dunne, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness: Alexandra Fuller, The Penguin Press

Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper: Geoffrey Gray, Random House

Rainbow Bridge to Monument Valley: Making the Modern Old West: Thomas J. Harvey, University of Oklahoma Press, October

Historical Atlas of Washington and Oregon: Derek Hayes, University of California Press, November

Back to Bizkaia: A Basque-American Memoir: Vince J. Juaristi, University of Nevada Press, October

Calexico: True Lives of the Borderlands: Peter Laufer, University of Arizona Press

Faith of Cranes: Finding Hope and Family in Alaska: Hank Lentfer, The Mountaineers Books, October

The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd & Obsessive World of Taxidermy: Dave Madden, St. Martin's Press

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World: Emma Marris, Bloomsbury USA

Following the Last Wild Wolves: Ian McAllister, Greystone

Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains: Keith Heyer Meldahl, University of California Press, November

The Grand Canyon Reader: Edited by Lance Newman, University of California Press, October

The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America's: Eden Lisa Park and David Pellow, New York University Press

All Indians Do Not Live in Teepees (or Casinos): Catherine C. Robbins, University of Nebraska Press, October

The White Dove of the Desert: Edna San Miguel, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press, November

Answer Them Nothing: Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs: Debra Weyermann, Chicago Review

Wet Britches and Muddy Boots: A History of Travel in Victorian America: John J. White Jr., Indiana University Press, December

Don't Shoot the Gentile: James C. Work, University of Oklahoma Press, October

Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge: Mark Yarm, Crown Archetype

A Safeway in Arizona: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America: Tom Zoellner, Viking Adult, December

Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love, and Language from the Insect World: Marlene Zuk, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt