USA TODAY book critics pick 10 books you shouldn't miss.
1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown, fiction)
This overstuffed, modern-day Dickensian adventure about an orphaned young man hiding a famous stolen painting is a fiction-lover's feast.
2. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown)
In imagining different versions of the life of Ursula Todd (born, over and over again, in 1910 England), Atkinson also offers a brilliant meditation on the novelist's power to invent.
3. Nine Inches by Tom Perrotta (St. Martin's Press, fiction)
These 10 new short stories by the suburban satirist combine sly humor with a touching poignancy and show how he's grown as a writer.
4. Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (The Penguin Press, non-fiction)
Sadly, there's no Sarah Palin time this time, but there's still plenty of juicy behind-the-scenes intrigue as two savvy political writers recount the 2012 presidential election.
5. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf, fiction)
A sad but deeply humane story of an immigrant Indian family damaged by events back in Calcutta – sure to stick with you.
Bob Minzesheimer's Top 5:
1. The Son by Philipp Meyer (Ecco, fiction)
A beautifully brutal family saga about paying the price of power over nearly 200 years of Texas history.
2. Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, non-fiction)
A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's intimate and searing account of what happens to members of an infantry battalion after returning home from Iraq.
3. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (Riverhead, fiction)
An irreverent reimagining of abolitionist John Brown's ill-fated 1859 raid through the eyes of a young escaped slave; National Book Award winner.
4. Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater by Michael Sokolove (Riverhead, non-fiction)
A personal profile of an inspiring teacher in Levittown, Pa., written by one of his former students.
5. The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, non-fiction)
The best-selling historian weaves a narrative about two presidents (friends turned rivals) and crusading reporters.