There's a lot to like about autumn. It's the season of changing leaves, simmering vats of spiced cider, and the sort of crisp outdoor temperatures that make you want to curl up in an armchair, next to a fire, with a really good book. (Preferably wearing that super soft, striped sweater you've been sitting on since you found it on sale in late March, if you're anything like me—go on, break it out, we'll wait.)
If you're still looking for some inspiration on the book front, you're in luck: We've polled our team for their must-reads this fall (no cookbooks allowed!). Scroll on for the picks, and let us know in the comments which books you're most excited to get cozy with this fall.
My Struggle: Book Six by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I've followed this epic, six-volume autobiographical novel from the very first installment (can't quite believe that was about 1,500 pages ago!), and have been continually captivated by Knausgaard's deep, honest exploration of his own consciousness, his relationships with family, friends, and contemporaries, the difficulties and joys of parenthood, his personal and professional triumphs and failings, and so much more. It's been a long time coming, and I'm both glad and sad for the saga to come to a close.
I'm looking forward to reading Less by Andrew Sean Greer. It's about a failed novelist named Arthur Less, who, after receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, leaves on an international journey to escape his problems. On the way, he reinvents himself, connects with his past, and (naturally) falls in love. This book won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize and I've been waiting for it for months at my library.
Trevor Adams, Merchandising Coordinator
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley. Such an intriguing memoir of a man who went to gay conversion therapy at the insistence of his Baptist parents. His journey is oftentimes horrifying, but his raw humor shines through in the darkest moments. He interlaces the narrative through moments in time weaving a well-written story. A definite must-read!
Nothing left me more confused (and frustrated and delighted) than the last season of Twin Peaks. After I finish The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje, I'm hoping Mark Frost's Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier can help answer at least some of the questions I've been sitting on for the past year.
I’ve preordered Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, Killing Commendatore, out in October. People keep calling it an homage to The Great Gatsby, and Fitzgerald was one of my favorites. I imagine this is in reference to the subject matter rather than to the style and tone of the writing, as Murakami and Fitzgerald couldn’t be more different. But as a history fan of the early 20th century in America (especially its art and literature!) I think I’ll enjoy this on the way to wherever I decide to travel this fall.
Next up on my reading list is Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart, a novel about a New York City hedge fund manager packing up and leaving his old life behind. I loved Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story and have been eagerly awaiting this release.
I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood by Tiana Clark. I’m obsessed with this big, bounding, heartbreaking, and heartening first book of poems from Clark. Inside: elegies for Walter Scott, Kalief Browder, an epic with the ghost of Nina Simone, a poem riffing off a Rihanna music video, even. Check out "Nashville," which came out in the New Yorker last year, and go see her perform live if you can.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. This is the kind of book strangers will stop you on the subway to talk about. The memoir is so mind-boggling, there's a very good chance you'll be overcome with the need to talk about it, too. It follows the remarkable story (an understatement) of the narrator from growing up in rural Idaho with her "survivalist" family to the halls of Cambridge University. You will gasp, you will feel sick to your stomach, and you will be amazed by her strength and grit. 10/10 recommend curling up with on a chilly fall day.
Courtney Knight, Customer Care Specialist
11/22/63 by Stephen King. This is a King novel for people who normally shy away from King because they don't like the horror genre. A very intense tale involving time travel, a past resisting change, and the tangled webs one can weave while operating from the best of intentions, it's definitely a must-read.
Something to Keep You Warm While you Read
What are you most looking forward to reading this fall? Let us know in the comments!
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Ella Quittner is a a writer at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.