It finally feels like fall, or as I call it, The Season of Armchair Reading. Here are some paperback picks:
"From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created An Icon" by Mattias Bostrom. It retells Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's personal story and follows the people who have kept Sherlock Holmes alive - right up to the current Benedict Cumberbatch TV series "Sherlock."
"What Happened" by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Should you wish to take yourself back to the 2016 election, here's the best-selling account of what went down, written by the first woman major-party candidate for U.S. president.
"The Locals" by Jonathan Dee. Dee's seventh novel struck me as so timely I wondered how quickly he wrote it: Set in a working-class New England town, it's the story of a struggling contractor and the Manhattan hedge-fund manager who improbably managed to get himself elected as mayor. A chewy saga of class and politics.
"The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet" by Henry Fountain. A New York Times science journalist examines the 9.2 earthquake that devastated southern Alaska in 1964, showing its implications for present-day earthquake science.
"Uncommon Type: Some Stories" by Tom Hanks. The actor's debut fiction collection, inspired by his love for vintage typewriters, was a best-seller last year; NPR said it "offers heartfelt charm along with nostalgia for sweeter, simpler times - even if they never really were quite so sweet or simple."
"The Twelve-Mile Straight" by Eleanor Henderson. She follows up her best-selling debut "Ten Thousand Saints" with this novel set in the Jim Crow South. A Seattle Times reviewer described it as "a masterful piece of storytelling that probes issues of injustice and race."
"Bluebird, Bluebird" by Attica Locke. Locke's new novel, set in small-town Texas, centers on Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger and his relationship with his home state. As he works to solve a dual murder, the reader is pulled into Locke's blend of simmering noir, taut police procedure and timely racial politics.
"Logical Family" by Armistead Maupin. The author of the "Tales of the City" saga published this memoir last year. One reviewer said "Teddy" (a family nickname) wonderfully conveys the author's journey, "starting his life as a closeted son of the South, before winding up as a Left Coast champion of personal liberties and a genial gay raconteur-uncle to us all."
"The Ninth Hour" by Alice McDermott. This tale begins in early-20th-century working-class Brooklyn, where an Irish immigrant, humiliated by the loss of his job, has killed himself. It follows the lives of his widow, his then-unborn child and nuns who tend to the sick and poor. It'll leave you thinking about how, in the words of one of the nuns, "the truth finds the light."
"Home Fire" by Kamila Shamsie. Winner of the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction, Shamsie's novel is loosely based on the Greek tragedy "Antigone." It's the story of three Muslim siblings in Britain whose family is shattered when one joins the Islamic State group.
"My Own Words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg." In paperback just before the hardcover debut of the biography "Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life" (by Jane Sherron De Hart), this 2016 best-seller is a collection of the Supreme Court justice's speeches and writings, some dating back to her childhood and her early career as an appellate lawyer.
"Conversations with Friends" by Sally Rooney. Rooney, a Dubliner who won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award last year, made many best-of-2017 lists for this debut novel about two 20-something best friends drawn into the orbit of a charismatic older couple.