Yesterday was the first rainy and not painfully hot day here, which means I’m getting all into fall. Just like most people on my Instagram feed, I’m breaking out some light sweaters and cozy cardigans and praying for the weather to cool down. In the meantime, I’m putting together a fall-inspired to-be-read pile!
I’ll flat out admit that I’m not great at sticking to TBRs. I love building them, but I’m sucky at following them. Nonetheless!!! they’re still a good way for me to prioritise some long-forgotten books from my general TBR shelves.
Do let me know what books you’re looking forward to this fall!
História da Vida Privada em Portugal: Idade Média by José Mattoso (coord.)
Of course, this novel had to be on the list. I bought it because I love Ali Smith’s writing and the cover is stunning. I tried getting into it a few years back, but I didn’t get very far. Now, I’m ready to try over and hopefully love it.
Autumn is the first of the seasonal quartet. There’s not much to say about it except that it seems to be set in modern-day Britain after Brexit. The synopsis on Goodreads and on the back cover are very vague, which is probably for the best.
Catch me on Instagram sharing pictures of this beauty because damn.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
This Rainbow Rowell graphic novel sounds like the perfect thing for a fall afternoon. It’s set in a pumpkin patch in Omaha, Nebraska, over the course of one night. Josiah and Deja have been friends all throughout high school since they started working the same shifts at a pumpkin patch. This is their last year working there, but they’re determined to make the most of it.
Honestly, this sounds like the perfect fall afternoon read. I’ve already leafed through the opening pages and the art style is so cute! The pumpkin patch also gave me major state fair vibes, with all its attractions and food stalls, which I loved this summer. I’m so excited to read this, if that weren’t clear enough.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Don’t ask me why I associate this book with fall, I don’t know. The truth is that my physical copy has golden and brown tones on the cover and spine, which are totally fall colors. I also recently got it and feel like I should finally read it, which will come in handy this year for some of my literature classes.
Things Fall Apart is a modern African classic. It tells the story of Okonkwo, who is described as the best warrior alive. He is an almost mythic-like creature and known all over West Africa. But he is also known for having a fiery and unstable temper. When outsiders threaten to disrupt the traditions of his clan, Okonkwo takes violent action.
It sounds like an enlightened read and one I’m definitely excited to dig into.
The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth L. Cline
What impact does your wardrobe have on the environment? How much do you know about the world of fast fashion? These are just two of the questions you’ll know how to answer after reading The Conscious Closet. The author dives into the topic of environmentalism and consumerism to raise awareness for how damaging to the planet fashion really is.
Every time the seasons change, we see more and more advertising for new clothing lines. It’s hard to succumb to the temptation of buying new pieces of clothing, even if we don’t really need them, especially when they cost so little. I fall into this trap very often, but I try to be more mindful of my spending habits.
2019 is the year I have gotten more in touch with environmentalism, and this seems to be on the required reading list for that.
Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi
Pablo dropped out of university after a year and works in a bodega selling snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s avoiding calls from the student loan office and has no idea where his life is headed next. Leanna is the total opposite: her entire life has revolved around success—and fame. But now, she finds herself in a life slump, not really sure how to move forward. When the two meet at 4:00am during a Brooklyn snowstorm, they form a connection and try to keep things secretive for a while, until they can’t anymore.
Yes, I wasn’t a fan of Choi’s last novel. Yes, I’m trying to get into this one despite that. This one sounds a lot more interesting to me, maybe because Pablo sounds like a super cool character. Besides, it’s almost a university-setting book!!! And those are, undeniably, the best fall books.
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Frances is pursuing a writing career in Dublin. Her best friend, Bobbi, is her biggest supporter and a self-possessed woman. One day, at a poetry reading, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, whose world the two girls quickly get sucked into. But when Frances is reluctantly impressed by Melissa’s husband, Nick, her friendship with Bobbi starts to fracture.
Again, this novel gives off massive university vibes, even if not set at a university. Besides, Sally Rooney is one of my all-time favorite writers, so I know I won’t be disappointed by this novel.
Harvard Square by André Aciman
Harvard Square is set at Harvard University in 1977 and follows Jewish-Egyptian grad student. He will soon become the assimilated American professor he has long set his heart. But when he meets a brash, charismatic, outspoken Arab cab driver nicknamed Kalashnikov, he starts to neglect his studies. Together, they carouse the bars of Cambridge and skinny dip in Walden Pond, until finals season, when the cab driver faces deportation.
I’m buddy reading Call Me By Your Name with a friend and I’m intrigued to pick this particular Aciman novel up. The college setting makes this a perfect fall read. On top of that, it sounds heartbreaking, which is what I’m here for.
Stay and Fight by Maline Ffitch
Helen arrives in Appalachian Ohio with a head full of dreams of living off the land with her boyfriend. Before winter starts, he calls it quits, abandoning Helen to her devices. With the help of her boss and a neighboring couple, she makes it to spring. As a thank you, Helen invited her new adopted family to live with her in a communal fashion.
I know, that plot sounds a bit short and boring, but I’ve heard so many phenomenal things about Stay and Fight. The dust jacket says this is “disruptively political,” which is (apparently) all I need in a novel to enjoy it. It’s also set in Appalachia, a region I’m absolutely fascinated by.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A group of four friends move from a small Massachusetts college to New York City to make a living. They’re broke, adrift, ambitious, and hopeful. There is kind and handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted and sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry into the art world; Malcon, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and the withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who is at the center of the group. Over the decades, their friendships evolve and face challenges and traumas.
This has to be the book I’ve been most intimidated by and excited about for over three years now. I’ve heard so many positive reviews and this sounds like the best book to curl up with. It’s most likely going to be depressing, heart-wrenching, and engrossing, which I’m all for.
Just Kids by Patti Smith
To end off this list, I’m including Just Kids, one of Patti Smith’s memoirs. This is her first book of prose and it explores her life and career in the 1960s and 1970s, when the world memorised her name.
I don’t know much about Smith’s life, except for a song here and there. Nonetheless, I’m very happy to pick it up this fall. I need some inspiration in my life, and I have a feeling this will give me just that.