Time for a new paperback, perhaps? Here are six good bets:
"Mrs. Osmond" by John Banville (Knopf, $15.95). Banville, the Man Booker Prize-winning author of "The Sea," here follows in the footsteps of Henry James, writing a sequel to the author's 1881 masterpiece, "The Portrait of a Lady." Picking up his plot right where James left the reader hanging so many years ago, Banville "pulls off his elaborate stunt with vigor and style," wrote Seattle Times reviewer Michael Upchurch.
"Birdcage Walk" by Helen Dunmore (Grove Atlantic, $17). The final novel from the late author, who won the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction for "A Spell of Winter" in 1996, is a Gothic tale set in Bristol and Somerset in 1792. "Dunmore could not write an ugly sentence if she tried," wrote a reviewer in The Guardian, "and she has an extraordinary gift for taking the ordinary and familiar and rendering them new."
"Ali: A Life" by Jonathan Eig (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99). Eig's biography of champion boxer Muhammad Ali won this year's PEN/ESPN award for Literary Sports Writing. Seattle Times reviewer David Takami described it as "masterful," noting that Eig "does ample justice to capturing (Ali's) extraordinary and enduring legacy."
"The Proposal" by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley, $15). Though not typically a romance reader, I was thoroughly charmed earlier this year by Guillory's debut novel "The Wedding Date." And now she's back again, with another rom-com that sounds irresistible: It's about the fallout from a premature – and rejected – marriage proposal, broadcast on a baseball scoreboard.
"Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales" by P.D. James (Knopf, $15). Should you be in need of post-Halloween reading, this posthumous volume from the British master of crime fiction was described by The New York Times as "a sophisticated collection ... all stylishly told and worthy of being read aloud by the fire."
"Where the Past Begins" by Amy Tan (HarperCollins, $16.99). The "Joy Luck Club" author's latest book is a loosely structured memoir; reading it, I wrote last year, "feels like taking up temporary residence in Tan's swift mind, a place where metaphors bloom like flowers (my favorite: writing a novel's narrative is 'a laborious and confounding experience tantamount to conducting an orchestra of ghosts') and where cinematic memories live."