As summer fades into fall, I am busier than ever with work and school, and have been trying to find a balance between reading for school and reading for fun. For me, summers mean lazy days on the beach filled with endless time to read what I want to read, which often counterintuitively becomes the season in which I read the least. What this means is that I get a lot of fun reading done when I am busiest with school, because I need to actually think about fitting fun reading into my schedule. This fall, I am incredibly excited about a whole bunch of books ranging from mysteries and thrillers (always great October reads), to literary fiction, to nonfiction. I like to think that I am somewhat of an eclectic reader, so here is a list of books that I cannot wait to read this fall!
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean is an incredibly talented essayist who has written for The New Yorker and has also written a brilliant non-fiction book called The Orchid Thief. She is a writer who I stumbled upon in a class, and since then, I have actively sought out her books because of her fresh approach to reporting and journalism. The Library Book is a soon-to-be-released non-fiction book that focuses on the most devastating library fire in American history, where 400,000 books were destroyed and 700,000 more were damaged. The fire was never solved, and this book delves into all aspects of the case.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
I love Liane Moriarty’s books. Though I haven’t yet made my way through all of them, I plan to. They are delightful page-turners, often with some thriller themes in them, and are always refreshing and dynamic, keeping me absolutely invested in the story until the last page. So, naturally, when I found out she had another one coming out soon, I got very, very, very excited. Nine Perfect Strangers is a psychological thriller set in a health resort, that follows nine strangers (surprise!). I don’t know much else about it, but that is always how I love to dive into a Liane Moriarty book – they always surprise me in the very best ways.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
The Silence of the Girls is currently sitting near the top of my TBR pile, and it is calling my name. This book is essentially a feminist retelling of The Iliad and I just absolutely love the sound of that. I love the idea of reclaiming a story and telling it in a new and dynamic way from a voice that otherwise would have gone unheard, and I have heard such great things about this one.
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock has been lauded as a beautiful novel that explores obsession and wonder through a gorgeously atmospheric, magical realist lens, and I cannot wait to read it. I have always loved mermaids and all one has to do is look up the synopsis to see why this book sounds like such a great read. I love the idea of a mermaid being discovered, and the ways in which the discoverer’s life might be forever changed. This is a prime example of a book that came onto my radar when some of my favorite fellow bookstagrammers started raving about it (namely @literaryjo) and I can’t wait to crack this one open.
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger
I love a good psychological thriller, and with October looming large, the spookier the read, the better (in my own humble opinion). I am most definitely not alone in this, but I love reading on the scarier side as Halloween approaches, and this sounds like such a fun, scary read.
I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan
I’ve read a few of Gilly Macmillan’s books in the past, and though it’s been a few years, and so I, therefore, remember very little, I do remember loving the way she crafts a story. I’ve already said this, but I will say it again: I love a good psychological thriller leading up to Halloween, and I’ve read enough of Macmillan’s work to know that it will deliver all the heart-pounding, scary feels.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I am late to the game on this one, I know… but I could not leave this off my list, especially since our patron saint of good books, Reese Witherspoon, chose it for her September book club pick. I don’t always agree with Reese’s book choices (for example, I almost never seem to like the psychological thrillers/murder mysteries she chooses), but her literary fiction picks always seem to really resonate with me. Also, not only has Reese raved about this one, but it seems like all of Bookstagram has read this book and loved it.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
OK, so this is far from a recent release, but I couldn’t resist including it on my list. It is one of my all-time favorite books and is on the syllabus for one of my classes this semester, and I am just way too excited to get the opportunity to read it for the second time in a classroom setting. I love Virginia Woolf, and I think that this book is truly a masterpiece. I love her characters, I love how time operates in the narrative, and I love that the values shift in such a way that a dinner scene takes up 40 pages and death barely gets a sentence. So, technically this is going to be a reread for me, but I’m so excited about it.