1. What Pet Should I Get?, by Dr. Seuss Oh, who knows the places you’ll go! The publishers, anyway, are planning a bank trip — Random House ordered a first printing of a million copies for WPSIG, believed to have been created by Seuss between 1958 and 1962 and then discovered, lost, and rediscovered by his widow.
  2. Meanwhile There Are Letters, by Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald The correspondence between southern novelist Welty and Canadian crime writer Macdonald amounts to an epistolary meet-cute, one touched with what if — Welty never wed, and Macdonald’s marriage was mild, facts hinted at in these letters’ gentle swings between platonic and romantic love.
  3. Let Me Tell You, by Shirley Jackson A master of suspense, Jackson wrote sentences that crept up on the reader, knife in hand. Throughout these previously unpublished pieces, whether short stories about Main Street murders or Jackson’s description of her own eerie writing process, the author’s mordant wit and nuanced prose are shiver-inducing.
  4. 33 Days, by Léon Werth (1878–1955) If English-language readers know Werth, it’s likely as the man to whom Antoine de Saint-Exupéry dedicated his classic The Little Prince. A nonfiction account of the Jewish Werth’s flight from Paris after the Nazi invasion, 33 Days, now in its first English translation, proves that the author was no mere footnote.
  5. Ideal, by Ayn Rand Some novels hold the power to shape lives. Objectivist goddess Rand’s Hollywood allegory Ideal is not one of them. Troubled starlet Kay Gonda goes on the lam and shows up at the homes of six fans who have written to her. People say stuff like “The doctor’s bills is something fierce.”
  6. My Generation: Collected Nonfiction, by William Styron A problem with being successful is that people will pay you to do things other than what you did to become a success. Styron was a great novelist; My Generation suggests that he was only a pretty good nonfiction writer.
  7. Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf Haruf passed away this past November at 71, but not before finishing Our Souls at Night, a glowing sunset of a novel. Returning to his fictional Colorado town of Holt, Haruf traces, with unsentimental grace, the tentative romance of 70-something widowers Addie and Louis.
  8. The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz Okay, here’s a bit of a fudge: Lagercrantz is alive. But Stieg Larsson, who wrote the megaselling series of which this novel is a continuation, passed away in 2004. Larsson’s literary estate tapped Lagercrantz to further the story of goth-hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist.