My Fall Book Guide is here! Is there ever a better time to cozy up inside with a great book than on a cold evening? Now that Daylight Savings has hit, it’s dark so much earlier. It makes me want to pick up my current book even more. I know a lot of you will be traveling in the coming weeks for the holidays too so book recommendations are crucial this time of year for those long plane rides. It can also be hard to disconnect and relax this time of year with so much going on and so much holiday stimulation.
Reading helps me decompress at the end of every day and gives me some quiet time to take a break from the fast pace of the holiday hustle and bustle around me. So, if you’ve been meaning to start a new book for forever, now is the time to check my Fall Reading List 2019!
Fall Reading List 2019
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A classic! In case you’re living under a rock, the new movie adaptation of Little Women is coming out Christmas Day. Have you seen the trailer? It looks fantastic! I hadn’t read Little Women in years and years but I knew I wanted to read it again before the movie. I suggested it for my book club and was so excited when multiple other women said they had the same idea! So, it’s our November book pick. It is such a beautiful coming of age story of sisterhood, female relationships, and true love set during the Civil War era. You are probably already familiar with the characters but you will absolutely fall in love with sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy! I highly recommend! It’s great to pick up a classic every now and then.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Did you read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes? If you were like me and couldn’t put the book down, then you might want to add Moyes’s newest book, The Giver of Stars, to your list (P.S. yes, I read After You and no, I didn’t love it). I was particularly excited to pick this book up because it’s Jojo Moyes’s first historical fiction novel. The book is set in Kentucky during the Depression-era. The story is about five women who run a traveling library that provides books and other reading materials to families living in the mountains of Kentucky who don’t otherwise have access to or the means to buy books. What an incredible concept! I fell in love with one of the main characters, Alice. I got super wrapped up in what was happening in her marriage and truly wasn’t sure how it was going to pan out as I was reading. She’s a daring English girl who comes to America with her new husband with high hopes but no idea what to expect. Alice, the library leader Margery (I loved her love story too!), and the other three women, don’t let any societal pressures bring them down in this heartwarming story. Admittedly, it took me a little to get into this book but I really enjoyed it once I did.
Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
I don’t read tons of thrillers because they keep me up at night but I did recently read and enjoy Someone We Know. Yes, it scared me but what thriller doesn’t?! It was a fun and fast read! The basis of the book is that a murder takes place in an upstate New York suburb with ramifications that rattle the entire town. The investigation into the murder pulls the curtain back on the quintessential suburb to reveal everyone’s secrets and true colors. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get into the writing or into the story (because the opening scene is incredibly gruesome) but then the book really picked up for me as the character development of multiple neighbors progressed. The story jumps between numerous families who all have something at stake.
The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams
I’m a huge Beatriz Williams fan! I absolutely love her historical fiction writing, her incredible female characters, and her sweeping tales of family relations. I just finished her newest book, The Golden Hour, and was so charmed by it. The story jumps around between two women and two time periods: Lulu’s story unfolds during WWII and Elfriede’s story unfolds during the turn of the 20thcentury and WWI. I found both women interesting but I was the most drawn in my Lulu’s charisma, wit, and spunk. Lulu is a society writer in New York who is sent down to the Bahamas in 1941 to cover the infamous Duke and Duchess of Windsor (aka Wallis and Edward – the ones who almost brought down the British monarchy). As Lulu infiltrates their inner circle, she gets wrapped up in drama and scandal as well as her own love story. After the wealthiest man on Nassau is murdered, Lulu’s love disappears and she sets out to find him. All the while, Elfriede’s story is unfolding in Europe, which builds the backstory of Lulu’s love, Benedict Thorpe. It’s a fun, fast read!
American Royals by Katherine McGee
All royal obsessed people out there need to read this book! American Royals is an alternate reality set in present day. The premise is that, when American won the Revolutionary War, the country established a monarchy with George Washington at the head. The House of Washington still holds the thrown today, which is when the story takes place. It’s circled around Princess Beatrice (the future queen), Princess Samantha (Beatrice’s younger sister, the “spare”), and Prince Jefferson. However, the book is told from the perspective of four women: Princess Beatrice, Princess Samantha, and two girls vying for Prince Jefferson’s heart (Daphne and Nina). Even though the book is told by four characters, I promise it’s not confusing! The book covers it all from delicious love stories to the pressures of fame and fortune to secrets and social climbers. I read this in three days! When I read it, I had no idea it was the first book in what will be a series so I’m now reeling from the ending and waiting for the next book!
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
The prequel to Lilac Girls! Lilac Girls was such a phenomenal (although extremely difficult) read so I couldn’t wait to pick up this prequel that takes place during WWI. It follows the lives of three women, one of whom is Eliza Ferriday, the mother of Caroline Ferriday from Lilac Girls. You don’t have to have read Lilac Girls to read Lost Roses and it doesn’t matter which order you read the books in as they are really stand-alone novels with the Ferriday family as the connection. Lost Roses goes back and forth in its chapters between the stories of three women with intertwined lives. Eliza is an American girl who is friends with Sofya. Sofya is a member of the Russian aristocracy and a cousin of the Romanovs. Varinka is a peasant girl hired by Sofya to do work for her family. The book tells the story of these women during WWI and really paints a picture of what life was like in Russia during WWI and the Russia Revolution. Martha Hall Kelly has a gift when it comes to portraying strong female characters, depicting love and loss, showing the extremities of class divide, revealing the atrocities of wartime Europe, and so much more.
The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
If you’re a book lover, then you will find this book to be a load of fun. The author sprinkles in lots of book and character references throughout the book! The book itself also centers around the publishing industry in the 1980s so there is a lot to love for literature lovers. 25-year-old Eve Rosen is disillusioned with her job as an assistant at New Yorker Magazine so she decides to switch things up and work as a summer intern in Cape Cod for famed author Henry Grey. I love coastal New England so I relished the way the author describes Cape Cod in the book! Over the course of the summer, Eve experiences more of the publishing world, falls for Henry Grey’s son, becomes quite attached to Henry Grey himself, and learns so much about herself. At the end of the summer, the Greys host their famed “Book Party” where all the guests dress up as literary characters. The climax of the book really takes place during this party where all the characters of the book come together to ring in the end of the summer! I’d call this book better than you average beach read!
Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen
Two thrillers for me is a lot (see my description of Someone We Know for the other one)! I’m such an easy scare but there is a part of me that can’t turn down a well-reviewed thriller, which is exactly why I picked up Lying Next to Me. Adam and Sophie Warner take their young daughter on a trip in Washington for a weekend on a lake. The story kicks off when Adam helplessly watches a hundred yards from shore as Sophie is kidnapped by a stranger. Sophie disappears and the local detective investigates what happened on the day of Sophie’s abduction. The guests of the two neighboring cabins are all brought into the story as so much entanglement unfolds that you don’t see coming. I don’t often love books with characters that I don’t like but I’d say this book is an exception. You really love to hate the characters all why wondering what the heck happened.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
I thoroughly enjoy this book! Beartown takes place in a small town in the forest called, you guessed it, Beartown. Beartown is a dying town that has very little going for it except for hockey. Hockey absolutely unites the town. Since the town is so united around hockey, it only takes one night to bring this all down and cause a massive divide in the town. The night in question is the night the junior ice hockey team team wins a huge game. After the game, the team and the “popular” kids head to the star player’s house for a party. What happens that night changes everything and leaves a young girl traumatized. My heart broke during parts of this book and absolutely swelled with compassion at others. My favorite character was Benji – I really loved him and his character development. Beartown has a sequel too, which I’m dying to read. Did I mention that it’s by Fredrik Backman, the author of A Man Called Ove? So, you know it’s good! P.S. I’ve never been a big hockey fan and I still completely loved this book.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
This is the story of two New York families, the Gleesons and the Stanhopes and the lifelong relationship that evolves between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope. The families become neighbors and start families at the same time (i.e. children Kate and Peter). One fateful night of tragedy changes everything and Kate and Peter will spend years having their relationship tested all while grappling with their beginnings. While the story of this book is great, I thought was really drove the book and made it stand out was the character development. It is a real character study as each character is written with such thoughtfulness. This is a true family drama with characters that really draw you in!
What’s on my nightstand: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street by Karen White. Florida by Lauren Groff, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Happy reading book worms!