By Vincent Lam
Weinstein Books, September, $24
It's Grey's Anatomy for the literary set. Lam's debut work, which won Canada's prestigious Giller Prize for fiction, goes inside the world of what it takes to become a doctor. It's a world Lam knows well - he's an emergency physician at East General Hospital in Toronto. His characters deal with trauma and drama as they wend their way through the early years of their life in medicine. Folks with a fear of needles, be forewarned: This may not be the one for you.
An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England: A Novel
By Brock Clarke
Algonquin Books, September, $24
Brock Clarke's latest novel has been getting some dandy reviews. And, though it's a mystery, lit lovers of all stripes will find something in it that they'll love - after all, the mystery is about figuring out who's burning down the homes of some of America's most famous writers, from Edith Wharton's to Herman Melville's. And the writing? Darn good stuff.
Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel
By Yannick Murphy
Little, Brown and Company, November, $24
This one will certainly deserve a wider audience than it will get - at first. But there's something about the elegance of the writing that makes me believe that it will slowly but surely end up with a big fan base. A fictional telling of the life of Mata Hari, Murphy's rather sexy novel takes readers deep into the life of a very intriguing character.
I Am America (And So Can You!)
By Stephen Colbert
Grand Central Publishing, October, $26
If you don't find Comedy Central's The Colbert Report funny, don't buy the book. If you do find it funny, buy the book. It's that simple. This is the TV show brought to dead trees. And the snippet I read of it? Darn funny. And now you know what I watch on TV too.
Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever
By Susan Warren
Bloomsbury USA, September, $25
Who doesn't love a good giant-vegetable story? No, really. I mean, giant vegetables are funny. But for some truly dedicated growers, they're serious business. Every year, authors offer us a look into a variety of quirky subcultures - I'm still hooked on Stefan Fatsis's competitive-Scrabble book, Word Freak - and this season, Susan Warren gives us one of the most interesting peeks with this book about her journey into the world of competitive veggie growing. It'll be fun to see how Warren, a Wall Street Journal editor, builds the narrative; after all, it's not the easiest task in the world to turn a tale of watching a pumpkin grow into high drama.