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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Books: New and Noteworthy

'The Casual Vacancy' by J.K. Rowling comes out next week.

'The Casual Vacancy' by J.K. Rowling comes out next week.

'The Casual Vacancy' by J.K. Rowling comes out next week.

We scope out the hottest books on sale the week of Sept. 23.

1. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown, $35, fiction, on sale Sept. 27)

What it's about: Behind the pretty facade of Pagford, England, lies a town torn apart by a council election, in Rowling's first novel aimed at adults.

The buzz: Perhaps the most anticipated book of the fall, as the world waits to see if Rowling, author of the blockbuster Harry Potter books for young readers, can deliver for a new audience.

2. Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young (Blue Rider Press, $30, non-fiction, on sale Sept. 25)

What it's about: The rocker looks back on his rich life and career, from Buffalo Springfield, to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to Crazy Horse and solo efforts.

The buzz: Young is one of the most prominent musicians (along with Pete Townshend) to write his own story in a fall season crowded with memoirs by rockers.

3. Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy; foreword by Caroline Kennedy; selected and introduced by Ted Widmer (Hyperion, $40, non-fiction, on sale Sept. 25)

What it's about: Recordings of JFK grappling with the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the Space Race and other issues; included are two CDs with 2.5 hours of remastered audio.

The buzz: Follows Hyperion's publication a year ago of Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, which entered USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list at No. 3.

4. Love Anthony by Lisa Genova (Gallery, $26, fiction, on sale Sept. 25)

What it's about: In the latest novel by the author of Still Alice, a writer finds herself channeling the voice of her friend's son, an autistic boy named Anthony who died when he was 8.

The buzz: Love Anthony is an October Indie Next Pick , recommended by independent booksellers. "Anthony is unforgettable," says Kathleen Dixon of Islandtime Books & More, in Washington Island, Wis.

5. One Last Strike by Tony La Russa (William Morrow, $27.99, non-fiction, on sale Sept. 25)

What it's about: The now-retired manager tells the comeback story of how he led the St. Louis Cardinals to victory in the 2011 World Series.

The buzz: With the Cardinals again in contention for a wild card spot, La Russa's behind-the-scenes tale is perfectly timed for the baseball fan.

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