Westchester Magazine's Guide to Fall 2011 Events and Activities in Westchester County, NY: Novels, Books, and Fall Reading Lists

Local, indie booksellers predict literary masters and big adventures will find their way onto our fall reading lists.


â¯â¯â¯ Why Read Moby-Dick?

By Nathaniel Philbrick
October 13, Viking Adult
It’s an American classic and all, but, ugh, 700 pages about a whale? Really? Nathaniel Philbrick, author of the equally seafaring In the Heart of the Sea, makes a case for why you should sit down and finally read something that’s a thousand times longer than a Facebook status.

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â¯â¯â¯ You Deserve Nothing

By Alexander Maksik
August 30, Europa Editions
This debut novel is about one of those life-changing teachers, like the ones depicted in Dead Poets Society or Stand and Deliver. The twist: In this book, the main character is not so morally upstanding, as he’s having an affair with one of his students. 

â¯â¯â¯ The Secret in Their Eyes

By Eduardo Sacheri
October 18, Other Press
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean we have to put the pulp away. This novel is about a detective in 1970s Argentina who decides to revisit the details of an old case in order to write a book. The Secret in Their Eyes has already been adapted to a feature film in Argentina—and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2010.

â¯â¯â¯ Charles Dickens: A Life

By Claire Tomalin
October 27, The Penguin Press
You know his epic and oh-so-British tales, but what was Dickens’s own life like? Was he a put-upon youth, like Oliver Twist and David Copperfield? Literary biographer Claire Tomalin (Thomas Hardy) sets out to investigate, and the tale she uncovers can only be described as, well, Dickensian.

â¯â¯â¯ The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern
September 13, Doubleday
A mysterious circus comes to town, with black-and-white striped tents and a sign promising that it opens at dusk and closes at dawn. But, while fanciful acts may be happening in the ring, the real drama happens outside of it—a love story between two young magicians with allegiances to rival mentors.

For Young Adults
(ages 10 to 14)

â¯â¯â¯ Dead End in Norvelt

By Jack Gantos
September 13, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
This young-adult novel comes to us from Jack Gantos—author of the Joey Pigza and Rotten Ralph books—and happens to be about a nose-bleeding, grounded-for-life character…named Jack Gantos. Things get even stranger when he’s conscripted to type out obituaries for his town’s elders, an entryway into the strangest summer he’s ever had. It’s an unusual coming-of-age tale without a wizard wand in sight—imagine that.

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For Middle Readers
(ages 8+)

â¯â¯â¯ Wonderstruck

By Brian Selznick
September 13, Scholastic
Fans of the Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret will immediately recognize Brian Selznick’s style at work. His chapters alternate between short bursts of prose and sketched illustrations, both of which are needed to understand the story—which takes place on two parallel timelines, in 1927 and 1977.

For Young Readers
(ages 5 to 9)

â¯â¯â¯ I Will Come Back for You: A Family in Hiding During World War II

By Marisabina Russo
September 27, Schwartz & Wade
This picture book tells a story of growing up in Italy during World War II in a way that’s accessible to children. It comes to us from local author Marisabina Russo, a resident of Northern Westchester, who also wrote and illustrated the delightful A Very Big Bunny and The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds.

Want more recommendations? Visit the bookstores that contributed their suggestions.

⯠Anderson’s Book Shop
Larchmont (914) 834-6900

⯠Just Books
Old Greenwich, CT
(203) 637-0707; justbooks.org

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⯠The Voracious Reader
(914) 630-4581; thevoraciousreader.com

photo by Allison Dulman

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