There is something about fall that just feels like Reading season, maybe it’s that time between the time change, when the sun takes a little longer to rise in the mornings and is quicker to set in the evenings. The days feel smoother to me, and its easier for me to carve out some time to sit with my book and travel to another place, another time. With this being said, I decided to create a book list to share with you all, and this is a good one. Some I have read, others I haven’t, but there’s a little bit of everything. A charcuterie board of books so to speak. There’s some books to keep you on the edge of your seat, some that will make you think, a few that will just help you have a good day, and you can’t forget about those books that have been around a while; an old book can still teach us some new tricks, and of course what is an Autumn book list without some good old historical fiction because there is the way it was and the way it’s written.
Ok, now that all of that is taken care of, I can jump into sharing some great books that are on both my To Be Read pile and my Have Been Read pile…and I’m going to tell you that I wasn’t kidding when I said this is slowing becoming my “I Autumn be doing something else but instead I’m reading” List! Let’s get started….
Edge of your seat book…..
There is something about the crisp air, the smell of fading leaves as they begin to fall to their demise and how the night creeps in on the day that puts me into a mood for a good mystery, thriller, or suspense. So what better to start the first ever #imawordtraveler Autumn Book List than with a few books that have some promising elements of a good read for this season.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
The Rules of Blackheath
*Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
*There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
*We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.
Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
When glamorous socialite Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it’s clear something is desperately amiss. Noemí’s chic gowns and perfect lipstick are more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she immediately heads to High Place, a remote mansion in the Mexican countryside, determined to discover what is so affecting her cousin. Tough and smart, she possesses an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
Books that make go Hmmmm…
Books are like food to me, and sometimes I am just “hungry” for a good deep read, that causes me to process what I am reading, and to reflect on the effects it might have on me personally. How I think and feel about certain things, or perhaps to be reminding of what I do have and where I am in this journey of life. Here are some of the books that have the potential to start a chain reaction in your mind, thought provoking books that encourage you to step outside of where you are and look around.
All the Ugly Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives. As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander
One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug-of-war with her twin when her sister is killed. Unable to accept her own guilt, Myrthen excludes herself from all forms of friendship and affection and begins a twisted, haunted life dedicated to God. Meanwhile, her neighbor Alta Krol longs to be an artist even as her days are taken up caring for her widowed father and siblings. Everything changes when Myrthen marries the man Alta loves. Fourteen years later, we meet Lidia, a teenage girl in the same town, and her precocious son, Gabriel. When Gabriel starts telling eerily prescient stories that hint at Verra’s long-buried secrets, it’s not long before the townspeople begin to suspect that the boy harbors evil spirits–an irresistible state of affairs for Myrthen and her obsession with salvation.
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy – two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia – trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?”-
It’s gonna be a good day….Books
Ok so little bit of “real talk”…I’m a sucker for a feel-good book…the happy ending book, the people get better book, the “they end up together in the end” book. There is something that is therapeutic in reading a book that is just a feel-good book.
Blackmore by Julianne Donaldson
At eighteen, Kate Worthington knows she should be getting serious about marriage, but her restless heart won’t let her settle down. To escape her mother’s meddlesome influence, she dreams of traveling with her spinster aunt to exotic India. But when the opportunity arises, Kate finds herself making a bargain with her mother: she will be allowed to go only if she spends a season at the family’s wealthy estate, Blackmoore, where she must secure and reject three marriage proposals. Enlisting the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield, Kate sets out to collect her proposals so she can be on her way. But Henry’s decision to help threatens to destroy both of their dreams in ways they could never imagine.
Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto
Three years after her husband Max’s death, Shelley feels no more adjusted to being a widow than she did that first terrible day. That is, until the doorbell rings. Standing on her front step is a young man who looks so much like Max – same smile, same eyes, same age, same adorable bump in his nose – he could be Max’s long-lost relation. He introduces himself as Paolo, an Italian editor of American coffee table books, and shows Shelley some childhood photos. Paolo tells her that the man in the photos, the bearded man who Paolo says is his grandfather though he never seems to age, is Max. Her Max. And he is alive and well. As outrageous as Paolo’s claims seem – how could her husband be alive? And if he is, why hasn’t he looked her up? – Shelley desperately wants to know the truth. She and Paolo jet across the globe to track Max down – if it is really Max. Along the way, Shelley recounts the European package tour where they had met. As she relives Max’s stories of bloody Parisian barricades, medieval Austrian kitchens, and buried Roman boathouses, Shelley begins to piece together the story of who her husband was and what these new revelations mean for her “happily ever after.” And as she and Paolo get closer to the truth, Shelley discovers that not all stories end where they are supposed to.
The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan Haji first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
In a small town in Sweden it appears to be an ordinary day. But look more closely, and you’ll see a mysterious masked figure approaching a bank… Two hours later, chaos has descended. A bungled attempted robbery has developed into a hostage situation – and the offender is refusing to communicate their demands to the police. Within the building, fear quickly turns to irritation for the seven strangers trapped inside. If this is to be their last day on earth, shouldn’t it be a bit more dramatic? But as the minutes tick by, they begin to suspect that the criminal mastermind holding them hostage might be more in need of rescuing than they are . . .
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.So they decide to try a two-month swap.Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects. But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love?
Musical Chairs: A Novel by Amy Poepple
Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling breaks up with her over email, her twin twenty-somethings arrive unexpectedly, and her elderly father announces he’s getting married. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.
Sometimes the old book can teach us some new tricks….Books
It’s easy to get caught up in the next new read, the recently published, the “talk of the town” book, however some of the best stories are those that have the bent pages, the highlighter marks, the name in the cover. Those books that are loved enough avoid the Goodwill box and get their own place on the shelf. This is some of those good books that still have some tricks up their sleeve.
84 Charring Cross by Helen Hanff
It all began in 1949 with a letter enquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road, London. As Helene’s warm and witty letters gradually break down the reserve of bookseller Frank Doel, a friendship across the miles flourishes, lasting twenty years. No doubt it would have continued, but in 1969 the firm’s secretary wrote to let Helene know of Frank’s death. “If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road’, Helene later writes to a London-bound friend, ‘kiss it for me. I owe it so much.”
Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith
In Brooklyn, New York, in 1927, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law to marry him. Little did they know how difficult their first year of marriage would be, in a faraway place with little money and few friends. But Carl and Annie come to realize that the struggles and uncertainty of poverty and hardship can be overcome by the strength of a loving, loyal relationship. An unsentimental yet uplifting story, Joy in the Morning is a timeless and radiant novel of marriage and young love.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This story is about of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle’s walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has “captured the castle” – and the heart of the reader – in one of literature’s most enchanting entertainments.
A Year in Provenance by Peter Mayle
In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January’s frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine.
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
In All Creatures Great and Small, we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. From caring for his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth.
There is the way it was and the way it’s written…Books
I don’t know how many times, while reading really good historical fiction, I will lay down and take to the internet to fact check… Sometimes I’m amazed at how I didn’t know about the Paris Commune, a radical socialist, anti-religion, and revolutionary government that ruled Paris for 2 months. I love being able to travel back into time, and walk around in the past, but one of my favourite things about historical fiction is seeing the difference between the way it was and the way it has been written.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, the Nazis would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons and destroying two million homes. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson gives a new and brilliantly cinematic account of how Britain’s most iconic leader set about unifying the nation at its most vulnerable moment, and teaching “the art of being fearless.”
And They Called it Camelot: a novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Few of us can claim to be the authors of our fate. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy knows no other choice. With the eyes of the world watching, Jackie uses her effortless charm and keen intelligence to carve a place for herself among the men of history and weave a fairy tale for the American people, embodying a senator’s wife, a devoted mother, a First Lady – a queen in her own right. But all reigns must come to an end. Once JFK travels to Dallas and the clock ticks down those thousand days of magic in Camelot, Jackie is forced to pick up the ruined fragments of her life and forge herself into a new identity that is all her own, that of an American legend.
The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams ,Lauren Willig, Karen White
Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history.
Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . . Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . . As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.
I wish you happy Travels this Autumn
So as you brew your tea, settle down into your favourite seat, and unpause the story in your book, I wish you happy travels this season!! The Reading Season!