Anything set in the fall was the easiest qualifier, but we also agreed that fall is a season of deeper reads after light beach read season. Thrillers for Halloween and back to school themes also made it to our fall reading list!
Grab a throw blanket and coffee or wine and curl up in a chair with one of these perfect for fall novels.
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Books to Read This Fall
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This book was a big hit among those who read it for the Decades Challenge. It takes place in New York City, split between two different times in history and two different stories.
You'll read about a survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire who works as a nurse on Ellis Island, and a survivor of 9/11 who lost her husband in the attack. Both are women learning to survive after a tragedy, and their stories are interwoven in a beautiful way. In addition to enjoying the story, everyone loved learning a little more about what it was like to work on Ellis Island in the 1910s.
If you're looking for something in the mystery/suspense genre, but hate gore, The Last Flight is a great option. It's not graphic and will keep you guessing as two women swap lives at the airport to escape their own different, difficult circumstances.
When the plane carrying one of the women crashes, the other things she is home-free. Everyone thinks she died on the plane. But can you ever fully escape your past?
Melissa read this one quickly, eager to see how the pieces would come together in the end. It didn't disappoint!
Twelve-year-old Edward boards a plane with his beloved older brother and his parents, bound for their new home and life in California, but when the plane tragically crashes, Edward emerges as the sole survivor. After recovering from his injuries, he goes to live with his mom's sister and her husband with the eyes of the world on him. Everyone is eager to hear his story.
His aunt and uncle work hard to shield him from all the attention and to allow him time to process his loss, but when Edward uncovers a stack of letters, he discovers an unexpected path to healing.
The chapters in the book alternate between Edward's current day, and a minute by minute recounting of the ill-fated flight, through which we are introduced to many of the other passengers.
Do you love playing Clue and solving mysteries? In this book, step into the life of Aiden Bishop and his stay at the Blackheath Manor.
Each morning, he wakes up starting the day over like Groundhog Day as he tries to identify the killer of Evelyn Hardcastle so he can stop the murder. However, he's not himself each day. Instead, he wakes up in the body of a different Blackheath Manor guest and uses their experiences and interactions to solve the mystery.
If you only pick one novel from this list, The Great Alone would be a winning selection. We both rated it 5 stars!
When a Vietnam POW returns home, he carries new anger and impulsively. Determined to stand by her husband, his wife agrees with his plan to move his family to Alaska to live off the grid. Soon after arriving, the harsh reality of rural Alaska sets in for 13-year-old Leni and her mom. For a while, things are better with her dad as they prepare for their first Alaskan winter, but she fears his more balanced-self is only temporary.
This is going to sound crazy, but by far, this was the most uplifting book Melissa has read this year. After loving the musical Come From Away, we were both heart-warmed by the story of Gander, Newfoundland, and the many planes full of people who landed there after flights were barred from entering US airspace on 9/11.
This book tells the true stories from those September days and exemplifies what life can be like when everyone puts themselves aside and generously gives their time, belongings, and love. In a year where it's so easy to see the bad and lose faith in humanity, this book will restore your soul.
It's the autumn of 1960 when Angie and Paul Glass receive a phone call that Paul's brother has committed suicide and his wife is missing. Angie thinks they are going to take care of their grief-stricken niece, but they discover that the enigmatic 17-year-old does not want to be nurtured.
Staying in her brother- and sister-in-law's ultra-modern house on the edge of the woods in Upstate New York, Angie begins to learn more about the complicated Glass family, and comes to question everything.
If you've ever done a little eye-rolling when dealing with other parents at your child's school, this is the book for you. Former rockstar groupie Jen is bamboozled into being the class mom for her daughter's kindergarten class. Her emails recruiting other parent volunteers are full of the things you wish you could say, but probably wouldn't.
It's a fun, irreverent back to school read that will make you laugh out loud as long as you don't take it too seriously.
Eliza is a suburban wife secreting struggling with a new, intense fear of leaving her house. She forces herself to go to the store in preparation for a visit from her college-age children. While she is there, she hears younger moms talking about a new local online forum for women. Eliza has run a similar group for years, but these strangers are calling her group boring.
In a moment of desperation and weakness, Eliza starts a rumor on her board to liven it up, and the rumor reaches further than she expected.
This book is a great mix of comedy and drama about a group of neighbors overcoming their individual problems when they’re willing to share them and lean on other women.
There is something special about books that walk the line between drama and comedy, and Katherine Center pulled it off with How to Walk Away.
Margaret is about to start her dream job and marry her dreamy boyfriend. Suddenly, her ideal future is disrupted in a terrifying moment. Now, everything has changed. As she fights to recover from an accident, she's forced to decide if she really wants to return to the life she thought was perfect or if there is a better path forward.
Looking for a horror book leading up to Halloween? While not a genre we normally read, this gothic meets horror set in 1950s Mexico is intriguing.
Socialite Noemi travels to High Place, her cousin's countryside estate, after receiving a mysterious letter begging for help. Despite her newlywed cousin's menacing new family and creepy home, Noemi isn't afraid. But should she be?
Luke is trying to adapt to his new life as a single father after his wife's death following a battle with cancer. When letters start appearing from Emily, he isn't sure who is delivering them. The first was written on her first day of treatment, with additional letters written over the course of her journey continuing to be delivered.
Melissa rated this one 4 stars and would describe it as a fall version of a beach read, with a mix of twists and predictability.
If you're looking for a sweet, cozy, not-scary book, this is a great choice. Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people. When she finds a dedication written to her in a book from her grandmother, she realizes it's a clue that her grandma may still be alive.
Follow along as she uncovers a family secret while interacting with charming and vivid characters. The story is mysterious at points, without ever being frightening.
This bittersweet, coming of age novel is full of quirky characters, starting with Polly. She had a child, Willow, in her late 50s after her other children were grown. The book starts when WIllow is 10. Because of her mom's age, Willow is obsessed with concern about her mother dying.
Polly acts anything but old, she's actually a margarita-drinking fireball of feisty energy. She's also very opposed to talking about her past, and WIllow is endlessly curious about it. It's a great look at their mother/daughter relationship, but also wider family relationships.
Quiet, small-town Louisa Clark needs a new job, but gets more than that when she begins working for wealthy Will, who was paralyzed after an accident, interrupting his perfect life of travel, sports, and big business deals.
And it has made him VERY moody. Will and his mother aren't sure Louisa is up for the challenge, but she needs the money and is determined to keep the job and to convince Will that his life is still worth living. There's no denying that this one is a heart-breaker! And if you're ready for more once you dry your tears, there are two more books in the series.
This is a bit of a non-traditional book list pick, but we tend to amp up our cooking when the weather turns cooler. Salt Fat Acid Heat isn't a cookbook full of recipes, instead, it's like a trip to a fun and forgiving culinary school.
Each section of the book is part memoir of Samin's experiences learning to be a chef and part education on how to cook delicious food. She does provide several recipes to test what you've learned, and many come with suggestions on how you can adapt them once you've got the basics down.
Melissa ordered Salt Fat Acid Heat a few months ago and enjoyed reading it. Even better, she's loved all the delicious food they've made using what she has learned.
This thriller was recommended by one of our Facebook members as an intelligent thriller that received rave reviews from all 8 members of her book club.
When single Catherine Bailey meets Lee, he seems like the perfect catch. His good looks and attentive nature lure her in, but soon she begins to experience his darker side as jealousy rages and he makes her more and more isolated from the rest of the world.
The book then flashes forward four years, with Lee behind bars, but about to be released. Catherine, who now goes by Cathy, struggles with the knowledge of his release and the other mental ramifications of her time with Lee.