As usual, fall is when the big guns come out. Exciting novels by major writers like Ha Jin, Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco, Jeffrey Eugenides and Russell Banks. An important life of George Kennan, and of writers Kurt Vonnegut, Lorine Niedecker and William Carlos Williams. Short stories by a master writer, an inventive memoir of China's social transformation, the best-written recent book on Pakistan, meditations on the Arab condition, and a reassessment of the cultural politics of Russia in the 1930s. And an important book on the recent healthcare reform from someone who's seen it all.