Remember These Names | Wyatt’s World

October ushers in the heart of the “big book” season, and for any author, especially those just breaking in, landing a fall publication date is impressive. Here are five who have earned such an honor and deserve attention this month and beyond.

  • The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst (Algonquin).
    Babst not only got invited to the fall party, she did it the first time out of the gate. Her finely written and compelling debut is set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a New Orleans family with deep roots to the city rebuild the lives that were all but washed away. Babst’s debut will join the canon of books on the storm, led by Jesmyn Ward.
  • American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee (Crown).
    Poised to become a key narrative nonfiction author, Blakeslee received accolades last fall for his debut work, Tulia, a true crime account about race and wrongful conviction. Here, he returns with a mesmerizing story of wolves, especially the life and death of O-Six and her role in Yellowstone National Park and in the politics of land, ranching, and hunting.
  • Righteous by Joe Ide (Mulholland: Little, Brown).
    Ide got the nod last year for his sharp and compelling first novel, IQ, which went on to earn the Shamus Award, an Edgar nomination, and recognition on multiple “best of 2016” lists. This second book in the Isaiah Quintabe,”IQ,” mysteries, sure to gather even more readers, sees IQ this time working on two cases, both with very personal ties.
  • Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (Catapult).
    Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize and thrice long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, including for this newest novel, McGregor might be a name in the back of the mind that clearly deserves to be toward the forefront. This lyrically wrought and finely observed story centers on an English village where a teenage girl goes missing—and much life and time passes in her wake.
  • theMystery.doc by Matthew McIntosh (Grove).
    From a story line point of view, this 1,000-plus-page inquiry into the nature of the novel is sometimes about an author who cannot remember his life but also an experiment in the various ways writers tell stories, consisting of an intriguing mix of styles and formats.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

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