Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Melissa's Top Autumnal Reads

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As we all know, books, like clothing and produce, have seasons. I'm not talking about seasons of life, which, of course they do, but actual seasons of the year. A few years ago, a friend of mine lent me a book in late March. I saw the cover, and was immediately struck by it's beauty and I thought, this must be saved for October. The following are books that I've loved reading in autumn when the air is cool and crisp, leaves crunch underfoot, and my closet is fully stocked with knit sweaters. At least, those things would be true if I didn't live in Las Vegas.

1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I don't know what it is about the arrival of autumn, but each September I have this urge to reread the Harry Potter series, starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Have you heard of it? It's this small little book about a young boy who discovers he's a wizard, and he's just been accepted to the finest wizarding school in all the world. Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of it, it's pretty underground.

2) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

This is the book my friend lent me. Isn't the cover gorgeous? Combine the aesthetic beauty with the story within and its a recipe for great literature. Kate Morton is one of my favorites, and this little tale of long lost family, betrayal and a forgotten secret kept me up at night while I devoured it, along with a cup of hot chocolate.

3) Happier at Home by Gretchen Ruben

Sometimes I just need a little boost of happiness, and Gretchen is the happiness guru. I love the advice she offers in this book. In it, she talks about how she views the start of a school year, and September as a whole, as a rebirth, a time to start fresh. I agree, which is why I love to read this book at the beginning of the school year, even before my kids were old enough to join the masses in school.

4) The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

This is a fairly recent favorite. I read this book last fall and fell in love. It's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read, and I immediately went out and started purchasing copies for my friends. The Shoemakers Wife by Adriana Trigiani is an epic story of the immigrant experience at the turn of the century. Trigiani stated that this book is based on her own grandparents, and that the book took over twenty years to write. It is a slow, beautiful burn. The writing is exquisite, the storytelling unparalleled, and the characters are real and multidimensional. This book will take you to the Italian Alps and turn of the century New York City. Incredible.

5) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This whimsical tale captured my heart a few Novembers ago. It is an enchanting story of competition, a long living feud, magic, and a beautiful love story as a bonus. Fans of the movie The Prestige will love it.

6) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This story needs no introduction. One of my favorites for any season, but especially fall, this book sheds light on the myth of the American dream. Throw in some sleazy characters, a likable narrator, and beautiful prose by Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald and we have a winner.

7) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Another book that needs no introduction. What better book for fall than this Gothic romance, featuring one of the greatest heroines in all of literature? After reading Jane Eyre, you MUST locate the 2006 Masterpiece Theater's miniseries staring Ruth Wilson and Tony Stephens. Swoon.

What are your favorite Fall reads? 

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