There’s a dash of Walter Mitty in each of us, daydreaming we’re people we’re not, that we’re double agents, fashion models, daredevil pilots, maybe even Julia Child. Vibrant, atmospheric books let us imagine those other lives while keeping our feet firmly planted to the ground. Whether it’s the life of a determined teenager on a Native American reservation out to right a severe wrong or the machinations of a “ghostman,” someone whose criminal life is successful because he’s so good at making himself disappear, these books open worlds usually closed to us. “I write because I want to have more than one life,” Anne Tyler has said. That’s also why we read.