Humans of New York
October 15 (St. Martin’s)
The first of two collections from the popular blog of the same name, Humans of New York is the coffee-table rarity that’s both visually arresting and disarmingly deep. Since he started his photographic census in 2010, Brandon Stanton has captured more than 5,000 people’s images and recorded more than 50 of their life stories. The photographs in this volume, some of which have never been published before, capture the city’s inhabitants with a commendable eye for demographic diversity and everyday street fashion. But it’s Stanton’s interviews with his subjects, usually excerpted from their rawest moments, that are the most captivating as they highlight both the hardship and the little victories of an often-unforgiving city.
October 22 (Little Brown & Company)
When 13-year-old Theo Decker survives an accident that kills his mother, he gets absorbed into his wealthy family friends’ decadent lives. Alienation sets in, as does persistent, acute longing for his mother, and Theo clings to a small token that reminds him of her: a tiny, strange painting that, as he grows older, draws him into art’s dark, dangerous New York netherworld.
Known for her long-gestating but critically acclaimed forays into the disturbing inner lives of traumatized kids (a la 1992’s The Secret History and its 2002 follow-up The Little Friend), Tartt will likely seize the opportunity to once again showcase her unique, unsettling narrative power.
We Are Water
October 22 (HarperCollins)
Artist Annie Oh has been married for 27 years and has raised three children when she falls in love with Viveca, the wealthy, well-connected art dealer who jumpstarted Annie’s career—so she sheds the life she’s known and begins planning a new one with Viveca. Set in a small New England town during the first years of the Obama administration, We Are Water tells the story of two women whose impending same-sex marriage is newly legal but nonetheless disruptive to Annie’s suddenly shattered family.
Wally Lamb, a former writing instructor and facilitator of a writing program in a women’s prison, returns to the fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, where he’s set some of his past works, like 2008’s The Hour I First Believed and the 1998 bestseller I Know This Much Is True. The latter was selected alongside his first novel, 1992’s She’s Come Undone, for Oprah’s Book Club.
Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! on PBS
October 29 (Viking)
The woman who brought Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Upstairs, Downstairs to your television set shares the story of how PBS’s Masterpiece series—the longest-running drama series in the country—grew from small public broadcasting project to Anglophile television powerhouse. Since its inception in 1971, Masterpiece has adapted numerous biographies and literature classics for television, and Eaton, whose decades-long career as its executive processor earned her a spot on Time’s Most Influential People list, documented much of it. The book includes Eaton’s personal photos, interviews with directors and writers, and anecdotes about some of Masterpiece’s biggest names, including Maggie Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, and even Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.