By Michael D. Schaffer and John Timpane
The Philadelphia Inquirer
While you wait for temperatures to rise and blossoms to bud, there will be good books to read. Here is a list long enough to take you from the fireside to the hammock.

“Point Omega, by Don DeLillo” (Scribner, $24). A retired man of war meets a moviemaker who wants to make a documentary about him. (February)

“Something Is Out There: Stories, by Richard Bausch” (Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95). The novelist and short-story writer ranges across the tricky landscape of family and friendship in 11 stories. (February)

“A Dark Matter,” by Peter Straub (Doubleday, $26.95). A master of horror tells of an encounter between a 1960s guru and four of his followers that left one person dead and the others emotionally scarred. (February)

“Mornings in Jenin,” by Susan Abulhawa (Bloomsbury, $15 paperback). This debut novel by Philly-area Abulhawa, which flew under the radar when it was first published by a small press, tells the story of four generations of a Palestinian family removed from their village when Israel was created in 1948. (February)

“The Man From Beijing,” by Henning Mankell (Knopf, $25.95). A judge investigating the massacre of 19 people in a Swedish village looks to 19th-century America for the crime’s motive. (February)

“The Infinities,” by John Banville (Knopf, $25.95). The gods of Olympus hover over the deathbed of a renowned mathematician as his family keeps the final vigil. (February)

“The Changeling,” by Kenzaburo Oe (Grove Press, $24). The Nobel Prize-winning author tells the story of a writer whose efforts to understand his brother-in-law’s suicide leads him to surprising results. (March)

“The Surrendered,” by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead Books, $26.95). The lives of an orphaned Korean girl, an American soldier and a missionary’s wife intersect during the Korean War in a story of love and war spanning three decades. (March)

“Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War,” by Karl Marlantes (Atlantic Monthly, $24.95). The author gave up a Rhodes scholarship during the Vietnam War and signed up with the Marines. Through his fictional alter ego, a Marine lieutenant, he tells the story of Bravo Company as it fights through mountain jungles. (April)

“The Dead Republic,” by Roddy Doyle (Viking, $26.95). Doyle brings back Irish rebel Henry Smart for another outing. This time, he is discovered by legendary Hollywood director John Ford, who ropes Henry into the production of “The Quiet Man.” Need we say that things don’t go as Henry would like? (May).

“Private Life,” by Jane Smiley. (Knopf, $26.95). The Pulitzer Prize-winner tells the story of Margaret Mayfield Early, married for decades to a man of mystifying obsessions whose first love is science. (May)

“Staying True,” by Jenny Sanford (Ballantine, $25). South Carolina governor Mark Sanford’s wife, seeking a divorce, tells of her husband’s affair. (February)

“The Bag Lady Papers,” by Alexandra Penney (Voice, $23). A woman makes money in publishing — then loses it all thanks to Bernie Madoff. (February)

“The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today,” by Ted Conover (Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95). Pulitzer Prize finalist Conover takes to the road, exploring the impact of six highways around the world on the people who use them and the lands they cross. (February)

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot (Crown, $26). Lacks was a Virginia tobacco farmer — but when she donated tissue that helped create the polio vaccine, her cells effectively became “immortal.” (February)

“The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea,” by Philip Hoare (Ecco, $27.99). They’re big, they’re blue and they’re a lot like you. (February)

“Silk Parachute,” by John McPhee (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25). A collection of essays from one of our best journalistic essayists. (March)

“Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years,” by Diarmid MacCulloch (Viking, $40). From Greece and Rome to the “culture wars” of our moment, a huge, compelling one-volume history of a huge, compelling story. (March)

“Paul and Me,” by A.E. Hotchner (Nan A. Talese, $26.95). The story of a 53-year friendship by the guy Paul Newman always thanked on the tomato-sauce bottles. (March)

“The History of White People,” by Nell Irvin Painter (W.W. Norton, $27.95). Not a biological history, but the history of an idea — white people are superior — that informed early American history. (March)

“Coco Chanel: A Life,” by Justine Picardie (It Books, $40). The woman who invented 20th-century fashion first had to invent herself. (April)

“Seeking the Cure,” by Ira Rutkow (Scribner, $26). The fascinating and singular history of medicine nowhere but in these United States. (April)

“Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” by Daniel Okrent (Simon and Schuster, $35). Longtime New York Times editor explores why we ever went dry and what happened when we did. (May)

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