Now Read This

As summer gives way to fall, here’s a trio of intriguing novels to get you through the season

the_dog_a_novel_book_cover_WEBThe Dog: A Novel by Joseph O’Neill (Pantheon, $26) is a hilarious look at success, social class and ethical challenges. Upset over a failed relationship, our nameless protagonist—a lawyer from Manhattan—takes a job in Dubai managing the wealth of a rich Lebanese family and is quickly surrounded by corruption. This book is smart, worldly and deeply philosophical. (September)

Remember the twin triumphs of Housekeeping (1980) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead (2004)? Book groups do. Now, Marilynne Robinson completes her Iowa trilogy with Lila (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26), a novel focusing on a woman who overcomes an abusive childhood and years of hard labor to find love and salvation as the wife of minister John Ames. (October)

I’m curious about Denis Johnson’s forthcoming spy thriller, The Laughing Monsters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25). He scored a cult following with Jesus’ Son (1992), tackled Vietnam with Tree of Smoke (2007), and now he’s channeling Graham Greene (and possibly Joseph Conrad) with the story of a Scandinavian operative in Africa. I expect international intrigue at the highest literary level. (November)

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