Fall books offer journeys of the mind

  • Staff

Here in western Colorado, most days unfold under azure skies and stubbornly brilliant sunshine. When rains do visit, they're usually brief -- an hour, or maybe two. So when autumn unexpectedly shrouds our valleys under thick gray clouds that dribble for days on end, our world feels utterly transformed -- the pillowy, unfamiliar heavens almost magical.

These chilly days deliver a simple pleasure: permission to stay indoors, nose-deep in an engrossing read. This fall, we're looking forward to being further transported by two up-and-coming authors who dwell in the surreal. There's Rise, by L. Annette Binder, a collection of "fairy tales," according to Goodreads, that take place in the author's home state of Colorado, with characters that exist "at the fringes of everyday life." And there's Kira Brady's debut novel, Hearts of Darkness, an eerie thriller set in an imaginary, seedier version of Seattle, involving a battle between supernatural clans.

A number of literary heavyweights also have new work out, including Sherman Alexie, Ivan Doig, Louise Erdrich, Michael Chabon and Rick Bass. John Nichols delivers a comedic quest for familial redemption in New Mexico's mountains; Barbara Kingsolver, a stirring and human tale about global climate change; and Timothy Egan, the story of photographer Edward Curtis, who spent his career documenting dozens of American Indian tribes.

We're also proud to welcome new books by members of the High Country News family. Former HCN intern Josh Garrett-Davis' Ghost Dances is a coming-of-age memoir and cultural and natural history of the Great Plains. HCN book critic Erica Olsen has a new collection of short stories with Western settings; board member Wendy Pabich, a book on water conservation. And contributing editor Craig Childs introduces Apocalyptic Planet, a lyrical exploration of our ever-changing environments. Following are some of the more intriguing arrivals. Cally Carswell

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


Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories Sherman Alexie, Grove, October

Rise L. Annette Binder, Sarabande

A Growing Season Sue Boggio and Mare Pearl, University of New Mexico Press

Hearts of Darkness Kira Brady, Kensington/Zebra

Telegraph Avenue: A Novel Michael Chabon, Harper

Have You Seen Marie? Sandra Cisneros, Knopf, October

The Bartender's Tale Ivan Doig, Riverhead

The Round House: A Novel Louise Erdrich, Harper, October

The Last Shepherd Martin Etchart, University of Nevada Press, November

An Unattended Death Victoria Jenkins, Permanent Press, October

Blackberry Winter: A Novel Sarah Jio, Plume

At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories Kij Johnson, Small Beer Press

Flight Behavior Barbara Kingsolver, Harper, November

The Block Captain's Daughter Demetria Martinez, University of Oklahoma Press

Grind Mark Maynard, Torrey House Press, December

The Snow Leopard's Tale Thomas McIntyre, Bangtail Press

The Roots of the Olive Tree: A Novel Courtney Miller Santo, William Morrow

Magnificence: A Novel Lydia Millet, W.W. Norton, November

Lament in the Night Shosôn Nagahara, Kaya Press, October

Panorama City Antoine Nelson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

On Top of Spoon Mountain John Nichols, University of New Mexico Press

Recapture and Other Stories Erica Olsen, Torrey House Press, October

The Salt God's Daughter Ilie Ruby, Soft Skull Press

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel Maria Semple, Little, Brown and Co.

The Forgetting Tree: A Novel Tatjana Soli, St. Martin's Press

The Case of D.B. Cooper's Parachute William L. Sullivan, Navillus Press, October

The Care And Feeding Of Exotic Pets Diana Wagman, Ig Publishing, November

The Soledad Crucifixion Nancy Wood, University of New Mexico Press

Masha'allah and Other Stories Mariah K. Young, Heyday, November


Four Thousand Hooks: A True Story of Fishing and Coming of Age on the High Seas of Alaska Dean J. Adams, University of Washington Press, October

Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western Mary Lea Bandy and Kevin Stoehr, University of California Press, October

Falling In Love With Joseph Smith: My Search for the Real Prophet Jane Barnes, Tarcher/Penguin

The Black Rhinos Of Namibia: Searching for Survivors in the African Desert Rick Bass, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

An Eternity Of Eagles:  The Human History of the Most Fascinating Bird in the World Stephen Bodio, Lyons Press, October

Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth Craig Childs, Pantheon

River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado Wade Davis, Island Press, October

Horizon's Lens: My Time on the Turning World Elizabeth Dodd, University of Nebraska Press

Hell of a Vision: Regionalism and the Modern American West Robert L. Dorman, University of Arizona Press, October

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis Timothy Egan, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October

Both Flesh and Not David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, November

Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains Josh Garrett-Davis, Little, Brown and Company

Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe Charlotte Gill, Greystone Books, October

The Distance Between Us: A Memoir Reyna Grande, Atria Books

Call Of The American Wild: A Tenderfoot's Escape to Alaska Guy Grieve, Skyhorse Publishing

The Spine Of The Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken Mary Ellen Hannibal, Lyons Press

Harvest: An Adventure into the Heart of America's Family Farms Richard Horan, Perennial/HarperCollins, October

Snow Leopard: Stories from the Roof of the World Don Hunter, University Press of Colorado

Its Head Came Off By Accident: A Memoir Muffy Mead-Ferro, TwoDot/Globe Pequot

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir Deborah A. Miranda, Heyday, January 2013

Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (Without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower), and Found Nirvana Wendy J. Pabich, Sasquatch Books

Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter Steven Rinella, Spiegel & Grau

Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail Suzanne Roberts, Bison Books

On A Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson William Souder, Crown

The Dangerous Animals Club Stephen Tobolowsky, Simon & Schuster

Shepherds of Coyote Rocks: Public Lands, Private Herds and the Natural World Cat Urbigkit, Countryman Press

The Essential West: Collected Essays Elliott West, University of Oklahoma Press, October

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