Fall of Giants
By Ken Follett
1,008 pages; Dutton
No one does fat historical epics better. This one begins a trilogy that will cover the 20th century—pretty much all of it. Get the reader's guide
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
By Danielle Evans
240 pages; Riverhead
An accomplished debut collection about young African-American overachievers who struggle with sexuality, class, and racial identity.
City of Tranquil Light
By Bo Caldwell
304 pages; Holt
A bittersweet novel about a missionary couple passionately devoted to each other and to their adopted country, China.
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
By Bill Bryson
512 pages; Doubleday
How to learn history without leaving the house? Study such ordinary items as fuses and the toilet. Gimmicky, but because it's Bryson, it works.
By Nicole Krauss
289 pages; Norton
A well-traveled desk links multiple narratives of memory and loss in this haunting novel that spans New York, Jerusalem, and London. Get the reader's guide
Fury: A Memoir
By Koren Zailckas
336 pages; Viking
After getting sober, the author of Smashed discovers she has another debilitating problem—rage.
By Michael Cunningham
256 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A visit from his disturbingly attractive, drug-addicted brother-in-law throws a Manhattan art dealer into an existential crisis. Mayhem ensues. Get the reader's guide
Adam & Eve
By Sena Jeter Naslund
352 pages; William Morrow
An anthropologist's discovery threatens traditional religious interpretations of the Genesis story in this heady novel by the author of Ahab's Wife. Get the reader's guide
World and Town
By Gish Jen
400 pages; Knopf
Cultures clash in this tale of small-town America and the inhabitants who think they can live both globally and locally.