It’s not quite fall yet, but let’s just say the fall reading season has begun. Here are six promising new paperbacks.
“The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy” by Anne de Courcy (St. Martin’s Press, $17.99). Just in time for the “Downton Abbey” movie (in theaters Sept. 20) comes this book, a history of women like the show’s fictional Countess of Grantham. “‘Downton Abbey’ fans will swoon over this trip through the privileged turn-of-the-century world of cash, class, and coronets,” wrote Kirkus Reviews.
“The Verdun Affair” by Nick Dybek (Simon & Schuster, $17). Dybek set his novel in post-World War I France, where a lonely young American meets a woman looking for her missing husband. Last year I wrote that it was “a quiet story, about love and war and what happens when there’s nothing left,” and that its author had a knack for “a cinematic, wistfully noirish atmosphere of romance, in a world where love now seems beside the point.”
“Heart: A History” by Sandeep Jauhar (Picador, $18). Jauhar, a cardiologist and author of “Doctored” and “Intern,” here examines the history of the human heart, and of the procedures performed on the only organ that can move itself.
“She Would Be King” by Wayetu Moore (Graywolf Press, $16). Moore’s debut novel takes place in her native Liberia; it’s both a narrative of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 19th century and a magical-realism adventure.
“The Man Who Came Uptown” by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown, $15.99). Pelecanos, a master of D.C.-set noir, weaves this tale around a book-loving ex-con and a rogue private eye. An NPR critic wrote it is “a book that is a modern storytelling master’s paean to the power of books, literature, librarians, and booksellers.”
“The Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece” by Sarah Weinman (HarperCollins, $17.99). Weinman conducted an investigation into the 1948 case that she says inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel “Lolita.” “In “The Real Lolita,” Weinman has compassionately given Sally Horner pride of place once more in her own life,” wrote a Washington Post reviewer.