With warm weather fading into the distance behind us as we all retreat indoors for the season, there’s no better time to crack open a great book. So pour something pumpkin flavored, light a candle, curl up in a blanket, and grab the 10 books you should be reading this fall!
I love this book because we can all agree that cancer sucks and knowing exactly how it affected the life of a fellow blogger made me feel closer to her and further from my grief.
Synopsis: Ty Alexander of Gorgeous in Grey is one of the top bloggers today. She has a tremendous personal connection with her readers. This is never more apparent than when she speaks about her mother. Unfortunately, the pain of loss is universal. Yet, we all grieve differently. For Alexander, the grieving process is one that she lives with day-to-day. Learning from her pain, Alexander connects with her readers on a deeply emotional level in her debut book, Things I Wish I Knew before My Mom Died. From grief counseling to sharing insightful true stories, Alexander offers comfort, reassurance, and hope in the face of sorrow.
This was the first book I picked up when I moved to Chicago and it was so good I read half of it before I even made it to the cashier, then read most of aloud to my wife. It was too good not to share!
Synopsis: Before this goes any further, it should be made clear that, despite her nickname of the Gold Coast Madam, Rose Laws never considered herself a madam, per se. She was an agent who connected call girls with clients.
Laws, who is now 81, will be at After-Words bookstore (23 E. Illinois) from 6 to 7:30 PM on Thursday to read from her new memoir. In order to capitalize on Laws’s tabloid fame—she received her nickname after an FBI raid and subsequent arrest in 2002, and served 22 months in prison—the publisher titled the book Gold Coast Madam. But Laws herself prefers Storms and Rainbows. To her mind, her story is less about sex work than about a woman who had to make her own way in the world with the tools she had: a substandard education, a head of naturally red hair, and a pair of 34DDDs.
This book delivers exactly what it promises: SUSPENSE and I enjoyed every page.
Synopsis: Rural Wisconsin, 1909. In the bitter cold, Ralph Truitt, a successful businessman, stands alone on a train platform waiting for the woman who answered his newspaper advertisement for “a reliable wife.” But when Catherine Land steps off the train from Chicago, she’s not the “simple, honest woman” that Ralph is expecting. She is both complex and devious, haunted by a terrible past and motivated by greed. Her plan is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is that Truitt – a passionate man with his own dark secrets -has plans of his own for his new wife. Isolated on a remote estate and imprisoned by relentless snow, the story of Ralph and Catherine unfolds in unimaginable ways. With echoes of Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, Robert Goolrick’s intoxicating debut novel delivers a classic tale of suspenseful seduction, set in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.
From start to finish I couldn’t put this book down, but as soon as I did I ordered all of the authors additional books which were all good reads.
Synopsis: In Caucasia—Danzy Senna’s extraordinary debut novel and national bestseller—Birdie and Cole are the daughters of a black father and a white mother, intellectuals and activists in the Civil Rights Movement in 1970s Boston. The sisters are so close that they have created a private language, yet to the outside world they can’t be sisters: Birdie appears to be white, while Cole is dark enough to fit in with the other kids at the Afrocentric school they attend. For Birdie, Cole is the mirror in which she can see her own blackness. Then their parents’ marriage falls apart. Their father’s new black girlfriend won’t even look at Birdie, while their mother gives her life over to the Movement: at night the sisters watch mysterious men arrive with bundles shaped like rifles.
When you’re a black woman in America but don’t fit the stereotypes, you have a lot of explaining to do so it was nice to read book from this point of view.
Synopsis: Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she’s been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she’s been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that . . . white people music?”); she’s been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she’s been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she’s ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.
This book took me a on a journey like no other, it was so profound and thought provoking.
Synopsis: When the seventh child of the Peace family, named Perfect, turns eight, her mother Emma Jean tells her bewildered daughter, “You was born a boy. I made you a girl. But that ain’t what you was supposed to be. So, from now on, you gon’ be a boy. It’ll be a little strange at first, but you’ll get used to it, and this’ll be over after while.” From this point forward, his life becomes a bizarre kaleidoscope of events. Meanwhile, the Peace family is forced to question everything they thought they knew about gender, sexuality, unconditional love, and fulfillment.
I recently started watching the captivating show based on this book so I’m waiting to read it. But if its half as good as the show, it’s well worth a read.
Synopsis: When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.
This book and its sequel took me on a journey through countries, and cultures so intriguing it inspired a family trip.
Synopsis: Tamila Soroush wanted it all. But in the Islamic Republic of Iran, dreams are a dangerous thing for a girl. Knowing they can never come true, Tami abandons them. . . . Until her twenty-fifth birthday, when her parents give her a one-way ticket to America, hoping she will “go and wake up her luck.” If they have their way, Tami will never return to Iran . . . which means she has three months to find a husband in America. Three months before she’s sent back for good.
From her first Victoria’s Secret bra to her first ride on a motor scooter to her first country line-dance, Tami drinks in the freedom of an American girl. Inspired to pursue her passion for photography, she even captures her adventures on film. But looming over her is the fact that she must find an Iranian-born husband before her visa expires. To complicate matters, her friendship with Ike, a young American man, has grown stronger. And it is becoming harder for Tami to ignore the forbidden feelings she has for him.
It’s in her English as a second language classes that Tami finds a support system. With the encouragement of headstrong Eva, loyal Nadia, and Agata and Josef, who are carving out a love story of their own, perhaps Tami can keep dreaming—and find a way to stay in America.
I was hesitant to read this one because I tend to shy away from books filled with mythical creatures, but I’m more than glad I was talked into it.
Synopsis: Naomi lives an almost idyllic life in Jamaica. She has a daughter who adores her, a close-knit community that looks out for its own, and paradise as her playground. But she secretly longs for the touch of other women. It is a longing she finally gets to satisfy during a trip into the tourist heart of Jamaica. When she surrenders to the seduction of a compelling stranger, however, she is savagely transformed into Belle, a ruthless beast whose hungers know no bounds. Now Belle is part of a vampire clan, reveling in an existence that lays bare the dark hungers within every soul. Part of her hates her new world, but another part glories in it and in the explosive sexual connection she shares with the powerful head of the clan. But as magical as her new world is, it also has its dangers. Dangers that threaten the people she loves.
Synopsis: In Jade Chang’s highly entertaining debut novel The Wangs vs. the World, Taiwanese-born American businessman Charles Wang loses his fortune to the 2008 recession and must unite his children to start fresh in China. Along with their stepmother Barbra, the Wangs set off on a road trip across the country, all the way struggling to deal with their new financial situation — and each other. A meditation on what it means to be an immigrant in America, The Wangs vs. the World shows the often surprising ways hardship can bring a dysfunctional family closer together.