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It’s that time of year when the leaves are turning and the breeze is cooling. And I’m itching for a good book to read by the fire. If you too have been missing your fuzzy socks and mugs of piping hot caffeine, then look no further! Here, I’ve selected ten of my must reads for this Fall Reading List.
When I think of fall, I get those warm fuzzies; can practically taste the bonfire smoke; and miss my family ‘til my heart hurts. That’s why these suggestions cover all the best fall themes of hope, forgiveness, and family.
But of course, it wouldn’t be fall without a hint of murder mystery to get you into the soon to be Halloween spirit. And a few of these titles will do just that!
This may be an introductory Fall Reading List, but keep your creeper eyes peeled, because there will be a full-fledged Halloween reading list on the horizon. Sign up for notifications and be the first to find out what’s on the list!
*The descriptions were taken from book covers and Amazon, some were shortened for the sake of the list.
Now on to the Fall Reading List!
1. Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward
Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.
2. The Address: A Novel by Fiona Davis
Two women living 100 years apart are connected through history by a luxurious New York apartment house.
After a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, Sara Smythe found herself leaving London on the heels of opportunity. She would be the female manager of what promised to be the greatest apartment house in the world, The Dakota—no mean feat for a servant in 1884.
Penniless and fresh out of rehab in 1985, Bailey Camden is granddaughter to the ward of the famed architect Theodore Camden. But it’s her cousin Melinda who inherits the lavish Dakota and hires Bailey to oversee its renovations. Renovations that will strip the history from the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived and died in.
But, The Dakota can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.
3. The Future She Left Behind by Marin Thomas
Cast aside by her cheating husband, Katelyn Chandler is ready to pack it all in and drive home to Little Springs, Texas. She wants a chance to regroup, reconnect with her mother, and get back to her art.
But Shirley Pratt—master manipulator, elitist snob, and Katelyn's terror of a live-in monster-in-law—has other ideas. Shirley insists on joining Katelyn's trip after her son tries to pack her off to a retirement community. Katelyn has no choice but to play peacekeeper between the ornery old woman and the proud matrons of Little Springs. Yet the small town seems to be changing Shirley. And as Katelyn weighs the wisdom of picking up where she left off with Jackson Mendoza, the town bad boy and her high school sweetheart, she must find a way to believe in the strength of her dreams.
4. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Release Date: Sept. 12
When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules--a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.
When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders--a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman--have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes--and save himself in the process--before Lark's long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.
5. Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.
An ocean away, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.
The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.
6. The Good People by Hannah Kent
Release Date: Sept. 19
Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent's startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue child from a superstitious community.
Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheál, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nóra just as rumours begin to spread that Micheál is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.
7. The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker
Italy 1899: Fiery-tempered medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist séance in Naples. A reporter photographs the miracle, and skeptical psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate. When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent, challenging the scientific and academic elite of Europe to test Alessandra's mysterious powers. She will help him rewrite Science. He will help her escape her sadistic husband Pigotti.
But, Nigel Huxley is convinced she's simply another vulgar trickster. The icy detective for England's Society for the Investigation of Mediums launches a plot to trap and expose her. Meanwhile, the Vatican is quietly digging up her childhood secrets, desperate to discredit her supernatural powers; her abusive husband Pigotti is coming to kill her; and the tarot cards predict catastrophe.
Inspired by the true-life story of celebrated Italian medium Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918).
8. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
There's a murderer on the loose―but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.
The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home―unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.
9. Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson
Release Date: Sept. 12
When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth — but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents’ jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive.
And since the vuvv crave anything they deem "classic" Earth culture (doo-wop music, still-life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go — and what he’s willing to sacrifice — to give the vuvv what they want.
10. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell―of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence. Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.
Thanks for checking out this first Fall Reading List! I have so many other reading list ideas in store so stay tuned.
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Let me know what you'll be reading this fall in the comments below!