5 novels for the new year

If you're a fiction reader, you are going to want to pick up at least one of these early 2011 novels.

1.Clara and Mr. Tiffany, by Susan Vreeland

"Clara and Mr. Tiffany," by Susan Vreeland (Random House, 432 pp.) Vreeland, author of “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” once again builds a novel around the life of a famous artist and a major piece of art. This time her story, set in New York’s Gilded Age, imagines the Tiffany leaded-glass lamp as the creation of Clara Driscoll, the studio manager of Louis Tiffany Comfort. (January)

What to read? 3 intriguing memoirs for early 2011

Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe, by Stuart McLean

"Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe," by Stuart McLean (Penguin, 262 pp.) Canadian author and radio personality Stuart McLean adds to his charming series of "Vinyl Cafe" books, which, through interlocking short stories, chronicle the life of a suburban Toronto record store owner and his family and friends. (February)

What to read? 15 promising titles for early 2011

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, by Alexander McCall Smith

"The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party," by Alexander McCall Smith (Knopf Doubleday, 256 pp.) In the twelfth installment of the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series, Precious Ramotswe searches for her little white van even as she investigates a case of rural jealousy. Meanwhile, Grace Makutsi hopes for a wedding. (March)

What to read? 8 noteworthy biographies coming in early 2011

The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

"The Paris Wife," by Paula McLain (Random House, 336 pp.) Novelist and memoirist Paula McLain traces the life of Hadley Hemingway, first wife of Ernest Hemingway, in this evocative novel set largely in Paris in the Jazz Age. (February)

The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht

"The Tiger's Wife," by Téa Obreht (Random House, 352 pp.) Here's the book the literati can't wait to get their hands on. Belgrade-born Téa Obreht, recently named one of the New Yorker's "20 writers under 40" to watch, offers this story, set in the present-day Balkans, of a young physician who plunges into her grandfather's mysterious past. (March)