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The Fall 15
There is much to love about autumn, not least that it’s the season when readers get to curl up with some of the biggest, most anticipated books of the year. We gathered this bounty of must-reads—an Octoberfest to savor.

1 / THE TESTAMENTS BY MARGARET ATWOOD

The grande dame of dystopian fiction revisits the way-too-closefor-comfort totalitarian world of Gilead in this magnificent sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Filled with her signature pitch-black humor and blistering critiques of patriarchy gone wild, Atwood’s follow-up expands the universe of the original in spine-tingling ways—for starters, by revealing the backstory of the villainous Aunt Lydia.

2 / HEAVEN, MY HOME BY ATTICA LOCKE

When a 9-year-old goes missing on a vast lake, who do you call? In this scalp-prickling encore to her Edgar-winning Bluebird, Bluebird, Locke brings back intrepid Texas Ranger Darren Matthews, who tracks the boy’s trail to the town of Jefferson, a gumbo of race and class prejudices captured in vivid detail: “a Miller High Life... a premade bologna sandwich... bluesy zydeco on the radio.”

3 / WHOSE STORY IS THIS? BY REBECCA SOLNIT

In 20 essential essays, the firebrand feminist thinker probes such zeitgeisty topics as whether “the fall of men has been greatly exaggerated” and male anger is “a public safety issue.” Ultimately, Solnit concludes, we are “moving on to a future with more people and more voices and more possibilities.”

4 / THE SECRETS WE KEPT BY LARA PRESCOTT

This cinematic Cold War thriller spins a seductive spy drama from the covert mission to publish Boris Pasternak’s classic Russian romance Doctor Zhivago as a strategy to undermine the Soviets—a real-life plot unveiled several years ago in the Washington Post. Among the cast of this fictional rendering are Pasternak’s muse and mistress, and the tight-lipped ladies of the CIA’s secretarial pool who see and hear all.

5 / GIRL BY EDNA O’BRIEN

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October 2019