The season of beach reads is at a close. Fall — crisp nights, hot tea, the call of hibernation satisfied by a good book — requires a refresh of our to-be-read list. We asked the knowledgeable folks at two local bookstores to tell us which books they’re looking forward to reading this season. Here’s what they picked.

FICTION, from Beth Leonard, co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick

702358_80076-Story-of-the-Lost-Chi“The Story of the Lost Child.” By Elena Ferrante. Translated by Ann Goldstein. Europa Editions. Sept. 1. 464 pages. Paperback. $18

Elena Ferrante has written a masterpiece in four volumes, called the Neapolitan Novels. Spanning decades, it’s the saga of the lives of and friendship between two brilliant girls who grow up together in a neighborhood on the periphery of postwar Naples Italy. For readers of the first three books, “My Brilliant Friend,” “The Story of a New Name” and “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay,”the publication of this final volume couldn’t be more welcome. For those who haven’t yet read any of the books, the pleasure of reading the entire story without interruption shouldn’t be missed.

“A Strangeness In My Mind.” By Orhan Pamuk. Translated by Ekin Oklan. Knopf. Oct. 20. 624 pages. Hardcover. $28.95702358_80076-A-Strangeness

First Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul. This Eurasian city is one of the most intriguing places on earth, and no one writes about Istanbul like native son and Nobel Prize-winning writer Orhan Pamuk. In his ninth novel, the author of “My Name Is Red” and “Snow” tells the story of Mevlut Karataş, a 12-year-old boy who leaves his poor village in Anatolia to become a vendor on the streets of Istanbul in 1969. Told from the perspective of different characters “A Strangeness In My Mind” is more than a coming-of-age story. It is also about the transformation of a city and a fascinating one at that.


702358_80076-Thirteen-Ways“Thirteen Ways of Looking.” By Colum McCann. Random House. Oct. 13. 256 pages. Hardcover. $26.

It is always a cause for celebration when Colum McCann, author of “Zoli,” “TransAtlantic” and “Let the Great World Spin,” brings out a new book. “Thirteen Ways of Looking,” his first collection of shorter fiction in over 10 years, is comprised of the title novella and three short stories. Each explores the role that chance plays in the lives of real people and all are written with empathy, humor and compassion. This is storytelling from a master.

NONFICTION, from the staff at Longfellow Books, Portland

“Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboard, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers.” By Simon Winchester. Harper. Oct. 27. 480 pages. Hardcover. $28.99.702358_80076-Pacific

The Pacific Ocean will shape the future of the world. That’s the argument that Simon Winchester makes here, as he weaves together history and culture, geo-politics and geology. He explores how the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, how the Atlantic connected Europe and the New World, and the influence today of the vast ocean between the Bering Strait and Cape Horn.

For those that enjoy a fresh take on the world we live in, this is a must-read.


— Ari Gersen

702358_80076-The-Witch-of-Lime-Str“The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction and Houdini in the Spirit World.” By David Jaher. Crown. Oct. 6. 448 pages. Hardcover. $28.

Amid the 1920s, people everywhere are still mourning the great loss of life after the first World War. The popularity of Spiritualism spreads like wildfire and séances are in vogue, as self-proclaimed spirit mediums attempt to offer the mourning some sense of comfort, or maybe try their fraudulent parlor tricks on a zealous dinner party. As an international debate unfolds, involving scientists and celebrities alike, the Scientific American heads a contest to award anyone who can actually prove their talents to a panel of experts. One of the judges? None other than Harry Houdini, who apparently has his own talent of exposing the con artists of this phenomena, having started his career as one. Here he meets the most popular and credible psychic in the country, and the rivalry begins.

After recently watching (and loving) Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, I can’t wait to read this historical account of illusion vs. truth, and the suspense in between.

— Meg Lewis

“The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire.” By WikiLeaks, with introduction by Julian Assange. Verso. Aug. 25. 624 pages. Hardcover. $29.95.702358_80076-Thirteen-Ways

This is a book for anyone with interest in the mechanics, reasoning, and conscience of globalism and its agents who lacks the time (or expertise) to parse hundreds of thousands of pages of diplomatic argot searching for a thread of relevance. Each chapter has been interpreted and condensed by an expert in the topic, giving context, employing exemplary primary quotes, and illuminating the historical arc of some of the most important and concerning issues of today’s geopolitical landscape.

This book provides accessible insight into nearly every major news topic of today: Syria, Afghanistan, the Arab spring, Ukraine, global banking and finance, the emergence of ISIS and more.

— Jack Marrie

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