My Autumn Reading List
This list needs no introduction because we all know how wonderful it is to sit on the couch with a good book, with the cool autumn breeze coming in through the windows, a blankie on your lap, a hot cup of coffee with salted caramel creamer... fuzzy socks, James Bay on Pandora... a Yankee Candle Pumpkin Buttercream candle...
Where were we?
Oh yes, reading. Sorry, I drifted off an Autumn la la land for a minute there.
The temps are finally going to dip below 75 and that means it's my favorite time of year. The perfect atmosphere for reading on the couch. Here are the many, many books I hope to get my hands on this Fall and you should too!
Karolina's Twins by Ronald Balson - Inspired by true events involving childhood friends who survived the Holocaust together, this is a story told in retrospect of the secrets and sacrifices two young women made and how those decisions effected the generations that came after them.
The Wangs of the World by Jade Chang (One of Entertainment Weekly's Most Anticipated Titles of 2016) A rich Chinese immigrant family, a cosmetics empire....and a financial crisis. Which of the three doesn't belong? Family matriarch Charles Wangs wants to gather his children reconvene in New York to recover from losing their fortune. But with a wife still obsessed with her 1,000 count sheets, a son wound tightly in a love affair with a woman in New Orleans and a daughter who refuses to give up her Manolos in California, it's going to be quite the challenge. From their foreclosed home in Bel Air across the country, this promises to be a family saga full of wit and charm.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett - How does one kiss send an earthquake through the next 5 decades? Two families thrust together because the parents join their children into one blended mashup (gee, this sounds familiar) in hopes of living the life they've always dreamed. You know, one where the two people who are married actually like each other. The children grow up together, forming unbreakable bonds and kinship. Everything is fine until one of the siblings, Franny, begins dating a famous author, who, upon listening to Franny tell the stories of her childhood, decides to base his next novel on her family. Secrets, pasts long buried and old grievances will come to the surface and rewrite the history that the family had once thought was a perfectly happily ever after...
The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam - Dinish is running from that war that is tearing his country apart. As an evacuee from Sir Lanka, Dinish has curled up on the world, barely surviving the war that wages around him. Alone and without family, he is desperate when a man approaches him with a proposal: marry his daughter, Ganga, in order to save themselves and find a better life. Because married couples are less likely to be forced into fighting and abused by the army, their chances of survival are doubled. The two strangers embark on a journey where they only have each other even though they are strangers. This is story rich in culture, survival and perseverance and is described as an amazingly written account of the human experience.
Leave Me by Gayle Forman- Let's be honest- if you are a mom, a wife, a woman with responsibility and obligation, there are times when you think about missing your exit and keeping your foot on the gas pedal in order to have just a few more minutes to yourself. You are so caught up in to-do lists, schedules, work and life balance that you've stopped noticing the world around you. That tunnel vision is large and in charge in Maribeth Klein's life. She's just like us- tired. So tired in fact, that she doesn't even realize she's had a heart attack. Once she realizes that her recuperation from the heart attack seems to be an inconvenience to her family, she actually does keep the metal to the pedal. She packs her bags and leaves in order to get a clear view of her life and what it means to be a woman, a mother and claim back the life that she let go to shambles.
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman a forbidden love story, tropical St. Thomas and historically famous artist Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism. This story has all of the right ingredients: an amazing account of Pissarro's mother Rachel, a strong willed young girl who dreams of living in Paris, but instead, is married off to a much older man and forced to stay in her small, tightly knit community. Until her arranged marriage is suddenly over and she finds herself meeting the eyes of Frederick, the nephew of her late husband. That look will set the course for Rachel's new life...
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue - It's 2007 and Cameroonian immigrants Jende and Neni are barely surviving with their son in Harlem. Until Jende gets a job as a chauffeur for a rich executive. Their lives take a turn for the better, especially when Neni even finds work for the family in their summer home. All is well...until the financial stability of the world is rocked and cracks form around the couple and their employers. Trust is challenged and the facades they were depending on start to crumble. Can their life in American, their marriage, their future, survive?
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch - Imagine being asked "Are you happy with your life?" before being knocked unconscious, only to awake and find that the life you had is gone and replaced with a mysterious world where nothing you had before exists... Imagine being Jason Desson, who once was an ordinary college physics professor but now, is apparently a genius who has achieved something impossible and now is dealing with with its scary aftermath. This mystery is going to be the perfect October read, filled with dangerous foes and dark, terrifying battles.
The Nix by Nathan Hill - What does the Democratic National Convention, an estranged mother and a small Iowa town have in common? Samuel, a struggling writer, is about to find out. Because apparently, the mother who walked out on him as a child is also the same woman on the news who is being portrayed as a militant radical, shown throwing rocks at the presidential candidate. How those two can possibly be the same woman is what Sam vows to find out. And what better way to find out a person's true past than to write their biography?
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple - From the author of Where'd You Go Bernadette, this quirky and hilarious novel about Eleanor Flood promises to bring the same punch and humor as Bernadette, which has me signing up even before I read it's description. Semple's characters are wry, unique but also strange and I can't help but feel a kindred spirit in Flood, who just wants to have a nice, normal life. She vows that today will different. Today, she will shrug off her insecurities and be the mother and wife that her son and husband need her to be. No more lazy Eleanor. Except now life has different plan, one where her husband has up and gone, her son has a mind of his own and someone from her past shows up with a story that's going to make a lot of people very uncomfortable.
Mischling by Affinity Konar - I have been in a book hangover with anything WWII related ever since reading Sarah's Key so this book holds a promising reprieve. Identical twin sisters Pearl and Stasha are prisoners of war at Auschwitz, with their parents.It's 1944 and in their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. Until one of them disappears...
The Mothers by Brit Bennett - This promising debut novel has me giddy with excitement. Young love, a small town and big secrets. I know I have a pattern with these types of storylines but I promise, these won't ever get old. The setting: a contemporary black community in California. The characters: A rebellious 17-year old, a pastor's son and an unborn child. See, I told you it'd be interesting!
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena - We can't all be Mrs. Kravitz, lurking behind the curtains and witnessing every indiscretion that goes on in the neighborhood. But that witness is exactly what Anne and Marco Conti are going to need when a terrible crime occurs and fingers are pointed at them. How could that happen? To everyone else, the couple is the idealistic pair, with their perfect lawn and angelic baby. However, nothing is perfect and the couple soon realizes that the other is keeping dark secrets that no one saw coming, even the people who live right next door.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer - Never turn down the opportunity to laugh at yourself, which is exactly what comedian Amy Schumer does in this snarky, tongue-in-cheek memoir about her sexcapades, her rise to the top of entertainment and her life as a quirky young girl with jokes no one else gets.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead- Growing up on a plantation was anything but easy. Added to that, growing up as a young girl, coming into womanhood would have presented a whole other slew of challenges. That's where you'l find Cora, an outcast, who struggles to find a place in her family's life. Until a new slave arrives and tells Cora about a movement going on she never dreamed could be real: the "Underground Railroad," and she is instantly overcome with a sense of purpose. These tails of what slaves endured during pre-Civil War American are rich, haunting and staunch with bravery and grit.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick - I've been captivated by Kendrick ever since Up In The Air and Happy Christmas and especially because of her wickedly funny banter on Twitter, so her memoir is hands down something I will devour page by page.
Follow along as I review and react to my list: