Fall reading is here, and Literary awards seasons comes with it. The Man Booker Prize and the Nobel for Literature have been announced and for some of us this is the moment when we start feeling the pressure to read the really good books, the ones the critics are heralding and the smart people are talking about. You know the type; erudite and committed souls who would never fall asleep on a book.
Well, we are owning the reading envy, and the sleeping part because who, besides Bill Gates has all that time and brain power? Nevertheless, we’ve managed to compile our new fall reading list by reading half of these and gathering recommendations and intelligence on the other half. The list is part smarty pants and part really painful honest pants and in no particular order beyond the first one, which we have just read and loved. and is certain to win some prizes although after earning that Oprah nod, who cares? Shop our fall reading favorites below:
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nahisi Coates
Slavery was certainly the darkest period of our America history and Coates tackles the experience of one man, a gifted slave or “tasker” and tells us an imaginative tale with such beautiful grace that even though we’ve some knowledge of the darkness that was slavery, now we actually feel the darkness. Each page is a wonder.
This fall brings a gift-like trifecta of new novels by our favorite contemporary female writers: Hoffman, Patchett and Strout and don’t miss Atwood , who is back and as great as ever.
Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout
When we first met Olive, we never imagined that we would love her. Oddly enough, Olive Kittridge is a new archetype: tough and curmudgeonly, seldom in doubt but often wrong. Strout is on our shortlist of favorite writers and Olive is both briney and completely delicious.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
She had us at sibling love and an old house that holds decades of terrible stories. Patchett does not disappoint. We love her as much as the two main characters, a brother and sister, love and protect and hold one another back.
The World That We Knew:A novel by Alice Hoffman
Set in 1941, at the peak of humanity’s darkness, Hoffman’s latest and “perhaps her best novel “says one of her agents, is an incredible story teller. We are saving this one for a long flight over the ocean. Catch us if we drown in tears.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Even though many of us spoke of “handmaid burnout” we couldn’t NOT read Atwood’s continuation. The novel opens 15 years after Handmaids Tale and the dystopian world of Gilead is even stronger but also rotting from the inside. No spoiling to be spent, here but Aunt Lydia is back and boy is she interesting.
Call us snoop mamas, but we are really interested in Moore’s rags to riches story. Clearly, this is a woman who was repeatedly slammed into the fishbowl but continues, continuing on. We have heard the writing, like the author, is gorgeous, too.
She Said by Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
“Masterful journalism,” says anyone we asked. The compelling story of how the now all too familiar Harvey Weinstein story came together for these Pulitzer deserving reporters. On our list…for sure.
Now we know the name and personal story of Chanel Miller, the young woman who was assaulted on the Stanford campus by college athlete Brock Turner, we can never “un-know” her name. What a brilliantly written, accounting of her sexual assault and what came after. You won’t be able to put this book down.
A Year Without A Name by Grace Cyrus Dunham
A friend, avid reader and articulate disseminator of book news said: ” This is a tough memoir of becoming a trans man. There is a lot of sex and drugs but it is a very human story about identity and uncertainty about who one is and how we are in the world.” Thank you, Iris.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
One of our younger colleagues is reading Secret History for the very first time and oh, how we envy her the shock of discovery. If you’ve never read this novel ,do and we bet you will keep harkening back to the publication date because this just has to be a brand-new novel, hasn’t it?