Megan Prokott is the Chicago-based book babe behind @the_spines, a beautiful Instagram page full of her favorite reads and intriguing city locations. When asked about the books she’s excited to read before 2019 comes around, she picked 10 exciting books paired with her “The Spines’ Must-Read Rationale.” Keep reading to find what @the_spines is reading this fall.

Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart

There is nothing quite like a delightfully long piece of sarcasm wrapped up in a literary bow with many, many layers of insight buried inside. Lake Success acts as a double agent inside the minds of the one percent and whatever is revealed is bound to be hilarious and… painful.

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

Reese could publish her dream journal and I’d read it. I absolutely love how she is using her Southern roots and equally-Southern grandmother as inspiration for her lifestyle book. The very pink tome is bound to be filled with the bright personality and sweetness we’ve all come to expect from her many, many years in the spotlight. I cannot wait to bend and snap this one up!

Normal People by Sally Rooney 

This book is currently making its way to me through the post from the U.K. because I’ll be reading it for my September book club. It was chosen for its coming-of-age themes and awkward main characters, though any book of Rooney’s has star potential thanks to her tendency to take on psychological deep-dives.

Cockfosters: Stories by Helen Simpson

A brief story: In 2015, I stepped off a massive airplane clutching my passport, the address of my new London flat and a floppy hat. Terrified, and taking the tube for the first time, I stepped aboard and discovered I was hurtling through the ‘burbs of London toward…Cockfosters? With that one word, I was able to simultaneously turn into a 12-year-old boy laughing at a dirty word and shake out my fear and become a much braver 20-year-old woman, on her way to a new adventure in London. 

The title of this book brought me right back there and, naturally, piqued my interest. However, Simpson’s witty writing style and the promise of her applying that wit to everyday scenarios and average humans kept this book on my “eagerly-anticipating” list.

Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen

I mean, more Chrissy Teigen. Need I go on? If you’re saying yes, you haven’t cooked anything from her delightfully quippy first cookbook, simply called Cravings, and you should go do that immediately.

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

At this point, who isn’t looking forward to this book? I spend much of my free time learning from and about our world’s most exciting entrepreneurs via podcasts and books, so a chance to understand Steve Jobs from a different perspective is crazy cool.

Southern Discomfort: A Memoir by Tena Clark

This memoir hits so many of my checkboxes. Not only is it a memoir written by a woman, but it also considers self-acceptance when a living environment isn’t on board, an imperfect family, and the unconditional love of a caretaker. This book is going to be an emotional journey and you can consider my ticket booked.

Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller is the queen of writing a book that feels eerie and disconcerting, yet completely engrossing. After finishing Swimming Lessons, I vividly remember thinking about it for days and days and trying to understand why I was drawn in seemingly against my will to every page. Bitter Orange sounds just as unusual, so I know she’ll deliver. Also, that gorgeous cover!

May We Suggest: Restaurant Menus and the Art of Persuasion by Alison Pearlman

My very favorite niche genre is food writing, so I’ve had my eye on this indie release for months. I also appreciate any unusual takes on the ordinary, and this in-depth exploration of the ability of menu design to influence a consumer is a unique iteration on a love for marketing, food and dining.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This book couldn’t sound more insane if it tried. Yet, there’s something so enticing about a deadpan tone and a chill psychopath narrator, so this book is burning a hole in my TBR stack.

(Feature image courtesy of Megan; Designed by She Reads)