Will J.K. Rowling's fans want to read one of her books without Harry Potter on the pages?That's the big question -- and perhaps the big gamble -- involving one of the biggest book releases of the fall.After seven global bestsellers about a beloved boy wizard, Rowling has chosen to write something completely different.The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown, $35) is her first novel for a grown-up audience, 512 pages about a seemingly idyllic English town and "what lies behind the pretty facade" of this community.Rowling's last novel, 2007's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold more than 11 million copies on its first day of release in the U.S. and the U.K.The Casual Vacancy needs only to move a fraction of that much merchandise to be considered a huge success. And given that many of her devoted readers are now adults, maybe there's no risk in her moving into the adult marketplace.Still, there's an element of uncertainty because it's not Harry Potter and the Casual Vacancy.More than 2 million copies of the book, which wasn't made available for advance review, will start lining bookstore shelves Thursday.But while Rowling is the publishing powerhouse of the season, hers is by no means the only new release worthy of our attention in the months to come.Here is a guide to some of this fall's biggest and most anticipated releases.FictionLive by Nightby Dennis LehaneWilliam Morrow, $27.99, on sale Oct. 2Lehane, whose bestsellers include Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone, is one of the top crime writers in the business. His latest, his first stand-alone novel in four years, is a Prohibition-era tale set in Boston, Florida and Cuba, populated by tough gangsters, petty criminals and two unforgettable dames.The Twelveby Justin CroninBallantine, $28, Oct. 16The Passage, Cronin's postapocalyptic vampire tale, was the scariest and most elegantly written horror novel of 2010. The Twelve is his second book in the trilogy, in which surviving humans hunt for the 12 original "virals" who must be destroyed in order to save what's left of the world and humanity.Phantomby Jo NesbøKnopf, $25.95, Oct. 2This Norwegian crime writer is red-hot. Martin Scorsese is planning to make a movie out of The Snowman, one of Nesbø's bestsellers featuring Oslo detective Harry Hole. In Phantom, Harry sets out to prove that the son of his lady love is innocent of murder, an investigation that pits him against drug dealers and crooked cops.Back to Bloodby Tom WolfeLittle, Brown, $30, Oct. 23The release of a new Tom Wolfe book is always a momentous event, even though his last novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons in 2004, was something of a disappointment. The new book is a sprawling crime story set in the melting pot of Miami, where Cuban immigrants rub elbows with crazy artists and shady Russians.The Bone Bedby Patricia CornwellPutnam, $28.50, Oct. 16Cornwell's series character, medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, investigates a paleontologist's disappearance in a case that involves a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.Sweet Toothby Ian McEwanNan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.95, Nov. 13The author of Atonement is back with a story about spies and swinging 1970s London, in which a smart and beautiful Cambridge student is recruited into the MI5.The Racketeerby John GrishamDoubleday, $28.95, Oct. 23The master of the legal thriller is back with the story of a lawyer-turned-prison inmate who knows the facts behind the murder of a federal judge.Also worth noting:The Round House, by Louise Erdrich (Harper, $27.99, Oct. 2)Astray, by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown, $25.99, Oct. 30)Sutton, by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion, $27.99, Tuesday)Eight Girls Taking Pictures, by Whitney Otto (Scribner, $25, Nov. 6)The Black Box, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, $27.99, Nov. 26)The Lawgiver, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, Nov. 13)NYPD Red, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp (Little, Brown, $27.99, Oct. 8)Red Rain, by R.L. Stine (Touchstone, $24.99, Oct. 9)Celebrity memoirs and biographiesWaging Heavy Peaceby Neil YoungBlue Rider, $30, on sale TuesdayThe legendary rocker, now embracing a contemplative existence in Hawaii, reflects on his wild life and times, from the Buffalo Springfield years, to the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young era, to life with Crazy Horse.Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Storyby Arnold SchwarzeneggerSimon & Schuster, $35, Oct. 1The Governator promised he'd be back. His autobiography recounts his improbable journey from Austrian bodybuilder, to one of the most famous movie stars in the world, to governor of California.Joseph Anton:A Memoirby Salman RushdieRandom House, $30, in storesThe title of this book is the alias Rushdie used when he was hiding after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini called for his death for the alleged blasphemy of The Satanic Verses. This is the story of his life living underground.Who I Am:A Memoirby Pete TownshendHarper, $32.50, Oct. 8The iconic guitarist from the Who remembers all the great stories, from meeting Roger Daltrey, to creating the rock opera Tommy, to nearly dying on numerous occasions because of his wild rock 'n' roll lifestyle.Steven Spielberg: A Retrospectiveby Richard SchickelSterling, $35, Oct. 2This book contains commentary and excerpts from a series of interviews with the famed director of E.T., Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Showcased throughout are more than 400 images, many of them behind-the-scenes movie photos.Also worth noting:Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand, by William J. Mann (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30, Oct. 9)The John Lennon Letters, edited by Hunter Davies (Little, Brown, $29.99, Oct. 9)History and politicsThomas Jefferson: The Art of Powerby Jon MeachamRandom House, $35, Nov. 13The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion, about the life of Andrew Jackson, turns his attention to Jefferson, a rare individual who succeeded as both a politician and a philosopher.Custerby Larry McMurtrySimon & Schuster, $35, Nov. 6In a lavishly illustrated volume, the Pulitzer-winning author of Lonesome Dove delivers a portrait of the life and legacy of the West's most legendary figure, Gen. George Armstrong Custer.Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelotby Bill O'Reilly and Martin DugardHenry Holt, $28, Oct. 2In the follow-up to his bestselling Killing Lincoln, O'Reilly recounts the events surrounding another event that shocked the nation and changed American history, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Courtby Jeffrey ToobinDoubleday, $28.95, in storesCNN's senior legal analyst examines ideological differences between the John Roberts Supreme Court and the Obama administration -- and the court's decision to uphold much of Obama's healthcare legislation.The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valorby Jake TapperLittle, Brown, $29.99, Nov. 13The senior White House correspondent for ABC News recounts the valor and sacrifice of one of America's deadliest Afghanistan battles, in which 53 U.S. troops were outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters.Also worth noting:Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy, edited by Ted Widmer, foreword by Caroline Kennedy (Hyperion, $40, Tuesday)The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, by David Nasaw (Penguin Press, $40, Nov. 13)Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves, by Henry Wiencek (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, Oct. 16)And a few moreCelebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friendsby Pippa MiddletonViking Adult, $50, Oct. 30In her first book, the sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, future queen, reveals the secrets to hosting a successful party, with recipes, tips and detailed instructions on how to throw a memorable event.The End of Your Life Book Clubby Will SchwalbeKnopf, $25, Oct. 2In a true story, a son and his mother, who is dying of cancer, form a "book club" in order to have something to talk about in the hospital -- and they wind up bonding in a way they never had before.America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren'tby Stephen ColbertGrand Central, $28.99, Oct. 2Comedy Central's polarizing fake pundit offers his remedy to what's ailing America: subjects ranging from healthcare, to the economy, to food ("Feel free to deep-fry this book -- it's a rich source of fiber").