New books by Haruki Murakami, Neal Stephenson, and Russell Banks.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Knopf; $30)
The latest behemoth from Japan's surrealist master, about (among other things) a woman who walks down a freeway emergency staircase and into a parallel dimension, is being hailed as his masterpiece.
REAMDE by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow; $35)
In Stephenson's first cyberthriller since 1999's Cryptonomicon, a pot smuggler discovers the perfect way to launder money: through the shadow economy for digital gold in a massively multiplayer online video game.
Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks (Ecco; $26)
The author of The Sweet Hereafter tells the harrowing tale of a young Florida man convicted of statutory rape who, after being released from prison, is forced to live in a tent city with other sex offenders.
—By Timothy Hodler