Recommended reading to take you into the next year

The season’s best titles for new fiction and nonfiction.


“I’ve found my consolation in the Breaks, the ten thousand shades of blue in the sky, tree bark the color of dried blood, the squabbling of birds and the rotation of stars; poetry.”     
-Allen Morris Jones, A Bloom of Bones

“I think all kids start out Hopi. They don’t separate the real from the pretend, the living from the dead, the essence from its many forms. They see a fluidity to dogness: a rez dog, Clifford the cartoon dog, a stuffed dog, a boy barking like a dog, a hot dog.” 
-Charlie Quimby, Inhabited

“I’ve spent more than half my life pointed northward, trying to answer private questions about violence and belonging and cold.”
-Blair Braverman, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube

These quotes are from three of the new fall books I’m looking forward to reading, along with Brit Bennett’s debut novel The Mothers, about secrets in a black community in Southern California, Steven Schulte’s As Precious as Blood, a history of water in HCN’s Western Slope, Colorado, home, and wildlife biologist Bruce L. Smith’s Stories from Afield.

Several longtime HCN contributors have new titles. Board member Florence Williams studies how the natural world revitalizes us in The Nature Fix. Fans of “Rants From the Hill,” Michael Branch’s blog on life in the Great Basin Desert, will relish Raising Wild. Michael Engelhard has two books: a memoir about his wildland travels, and a history of the relationship between polar bears and humans. Essayist Aaron Gilbreath describes the “journey of growing up in contemporary America” in Everything We Don’t Know, while Nick Neely’s Coast Range explores the Pacific Northwest’s geology and wildlife. And Bill McKibben recommends Piano Tide by Kathleen Dean Moore, “a savagely funny and deeply insightful novel of the tidepool and rainforest country she knows so well.”

Here are some of fall’s most promising titles, alphabetically by author. No publication month is shown for titles already available.


The Bones of Paradise Jonis Agee, Morrow

The Angel of History: A Novel Rabih Alameddine, Atlantic Monthly Press

The Legend of Jesse Smoke: A Novel Robert Bausch, Bloomsbury

The Mothers: A Novel Brit Bennett, Riverhead

The Terranauts T.C. Boyle, Ecco

Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel Lily Brooks-Dalton, Random House

The Underworld: A Novel Kevin Canty, W.W. Norton & Company, March

Huck Out West: A Novel Robert Coover, W.W. Norton & Company, January

Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul Bryan Allen Fierro, University of Arizona Press

The Kid: A Novel Ron Hansen, Scribner

Monterey Bay: A Novel Lindsay Hatton, Penguin Press

IQ Joe Ide, Mulholland Books

In the Not Quite Dark: Stories Dana Johnson, Counterpoint Press

A Bloom of Bones Allen Morris Jones, Ig Publishing

The Outside Lands: A Novel Hannah Kohler, St. Martin’s

Pull Me Under Kelly Luce, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Shelter in Place Alexander Maksik, Europa

Piano Tide: A Novel Kathleen Dean Moore, Counterpoint Press, December

The Annual Big Arsenic Fishing Contest! John Nichols, University of New Mexico Press

Mammoth: A Novel Douglas Perry, Amberjack Publishing

Inhabited Charlie Quimby, Torrey House Press

My Bad: A Mile High Noir Manuel Ramos, Arte Público Press

Freebird: A Novel Jon Raymond, Graywolf Press, January 2017

The Talker: Stories Mary Sojourner, Torrey House Press, March 2017

Black Wave Michelle Tea, Amethyst Editions


The Grid: The Fraying Wires between Americans and Our Energy Future Gretchen Bakke, Bloomsbury

Alaska Range: Exploring the Last Great Wild Carl Battreall, Mountaineers Books 

Raising Wild: Dispatches from a Home in the Wilderness Michael Branch, Roost Books

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North Blair Braverman, Ecco

Through Early Yellowstone: Adventuring by Bicycle, Covered Wagon, Foot, Horseback, and Skis ed. Janet Chapple, Granite Peak Publications

The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West Peter Cozzens, Penguin Random House

Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West Sara Dant, Wiley-Blackwell

The Man Who Thought He Owned Water: On the Brink with American Farms, Cities and Food Tershia d’Elgin, University Press of Colorado and Utah State University Press

Where the Wind Dreams of Staying: Searching for Purpose and Place in the West Eric Dieterle, Oregon State University Press

Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet ed. Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen, Trinity University Press

American Wild: Explorations from the Grand Canyon to the Arctic Ocean Michael Engelhard, Hiraeth Press

Ice Bear: The Cultural History of an Arctic Icon Michael Engelhard, University of Washington Press

Walking to Listen Andrew Forsthoefel, Bloomsbury

Everything We Don’t Know: Essays Aaron Gilbreath, Curbside Splendor

Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary Joe Jackson Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Where Water is Gold: Life and Livelihood in Alaska’s Bristol Bay Carl Johnson, Mountaineers Books 

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature J. Drew Lanham, Milkweed Editions

Yellowstone Ranger Jerry Mernin, Riverbend Publishing

Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream Char Miller, Trinity University Press

Wild America: A Personal Celebration of the National Parks David Muench and Roly Smith, Rucksack Readers

Coast Range: A Collection from the Pacific Edge Nick Neely, Counterpoint

The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam Christopher Pollon, Harbour Publishing

Through a Green Lens: Fifty Years of Writing for Nature Robert Michael Pyle, Oregon State University

The Northern Rockies: A Fire Survey and The Southwest: A Fire Survey Stephen J. Pyne, University of Arizona Press

The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians Naomi Schaefer Riley, Encounter Books

Wildlife Politics Bruce Rocheleau, Cambridge University Press, March 2017

Temperance Creek: A Memoir Pamela Royes, Counterpoint Press

Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert: La vida no vale nada ed. Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith et al., University of Arizona Press

Turning Homeward: Restoring Hope and Nature in the Urban Wild Adrienne Ross Scanlan, Mountaineers Books

As Precious as Blood: The Western Slope in Colorado’s Water Wars, 1900–1970 Steven C. Schulte, University Press of Colorado

Saving Wyoming’s Hoback: The Grassroots Movement that Stopped Natural Gas Development Florence Rose Shepard and Susan Marsh, University of Utah Press

Stories from Afield: Adventures with Wild Things in Wild Places Bruce L. Smith, University of Nebraska Press

Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics Darren F. Speece, University of Washington Press

Land of Enchantment: A Memoir Leigh Stein, Plume

The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America Mark Sundeen, Riverhead, January 2017

Underground Ranger: Adventures in Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Other Remarkable Places Doug Thompson, University of New Mexico Press

Beaver’s Fire: A Regional Portfolio (1970-2010) George Venn, Redbat Books

Babe in the Woods: Building a Life, One Log at a Time Yvonne Wakefield, Boldface Books

No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy, St. Martin’s/Dunne

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative Florence Williams, W.W. Norton & Company, February 2017

Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks Mark Woods, Thomas Dunne Books

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