This summer wasn’t a summer of reading for me. It was a summer of shooing away a toddler from outlets, of teaching a 5-year-old the differences between a redwood and a willow. It was an outside summer, a keep-em-busy summer, a run-em-wild summer, and on most nights, we all fell into bed with dirty feet and tangled hair.
Still, I snuck in a few reads between groceries and tire swings, and each were every bit as good as I’d hoped. (The ones that weren’t as good as I’d hoped won’t show up here, of course, because I quit them a chapter or two in. Of the two camps, I’m firmly planted in the “Life’s too short to finish a book you’re not into” one.)
And so, if you’re in need of some good old-fashioned nightstand clutter, might I recommend these for your fall list?
I’ve had no less than eight girlfriends tell me to read this, and quick. I finally snagged it at the library a few months ago, and as much as I hate to re-read books, this is one I’d return to time and time again. It’s a story about a father’s unfailing love for his daughter and a daughter’s undying admiration for her father, written in “that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap.” If you’ve ever found yourself secretly yearning to be adopted into the Braverman clan, you’ll find the mayhem and magic of the Corrigans to be a pretty close second. Full of hope and heartbreak, humor and truth, ordinary love and extraordinary joy. Grab it here for $6.
Themes: Family, Humor, Resilience
A few years ago, my friend Tsh circumnavigated the globe with her husband and three kids in tow, and the result is a lovely, wise memoir that points us all toward both the adventure and acceptance we search for daily. At Home in The World is a battle cry to celebrate the gift of today – each detour and delight – in whatever zip code we may land. Grab it here for $16.
Themes: Adventure, Discovery, Comfort
Never have I wanted to rush to the phone and call each and every one of my girlfriends quite like this read. After 26-year transplant survivor Amy finds herself with donor heart failure, she moves across the country to await a grueling treatment plan with her husband and a rotating cast of nine loyal girlfriends. Written on each page is undeniable evidence of the power of a woman’s tribe, and how – often – it takes a collective village of different voices to sing hope into one woman’s heart. Grab it here for $16.
Themes: Friendship, Wellness, Human Spirit
This one’s the only novel on my list (thank you to Amber for the rec after this post!), and it was – hands down – the most enlightening. The story of a racist parent, a dying baby, an African American nurse and a white public defender, each perspective weaves together a truer-than-true account of what it means to be silenced in an increasingly noisy world. I found a bit of myself in the portrayal of every character – each painted with triumphant clarity – and on the final page, understood a small sliver of what it means to fight an uphill battle with grace and heart. Grab it here for $17.
Themes: Privilege, Hope, Justice
I read this one on a recent nonstop flight and found myself unable to put it down until everyone else deplaned (even then, reluctantly). Jeannette tells the true story of her difficult childhood with such grace, equanimity and – dare I say? – magic. I rooted for the Walls family on every single page – through every shred of surprise and disappointment and unending prospect. Grab it here for $16.
Themes: Family, Resilience, Character
Tell me, what’s on your fall reading list? I’d love to hear!