All Over But the Shoutin' RICK BRAGG
A moving memoir traces Bragg's rise from impoverished youth and murder suspect to 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times feature writer. (Pantheon)

Underworld DON DELILLO
In his 11th novel, DeLillo tries to stuff all of Cold War America into 827 pages. That means J. Edgar Hoover and Lenny Bruce, as well as a suburban mom and a kid from Harlem. Somehow it works. (Scribner)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down ANNE FADIMAN
When a young Hmong refugee from Laos falls ill, her tribe's ancient ideas about medicine clash disastrously with those of her American doctors. Fadiman's sensitive reporting explores a vast cultural gap. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

What Falls Away MIA FARROW
She did it her way. In an intelligent, affecting memoir, Farrow revisits her career, loves and proclivity for adopting kids. She also slings some mud—guess who gets dirty? (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)

Into Thin Air JON KRAKAUER
This frightening, visceral story of the deadly 1996 expedition to Mount Everest grips a reader like frostbite. (Villard)

Cold Mountain CHARLES FRAZIER
A wounded Confederate soldier heads home to the woman he left behind. His odyssey—and the parallel ordeal of the sweetheart who waits for him—drives this haunting first novel. (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Personal History KATHARINE GRAHAM
From her cosseted childhood to her years heading a media empire that helped bring down a President, Graham weaves a fascinating story of growth and power. (Knopf)

Jackie Robinson: A Biography ARNOLD RAMPERSAD
A definitive bio of the Dodger Hall-of-Famer and civil rights leader reveals him to have been a quietly courageous, devoted family man. (Knopf)

The God of Small Things ARUNDHATI ROY
In an elegant fictional debut, a young woman returns home to confront a childhood tragedy in southern India, where caste systems and communism coexist. (Random House)