My Fall TBR List
Like I said in my Summer TBR List post, I’ve never been great at following a set reading list. And that’s probably why the summer is over, and I still have 3 of those books left to read. Oh well. But I decided that I did want to put a few books on my fall radar. Hopefully, I’ll be good and read most of these before Thanksgiving!
Faithful Place - Tana French
Goodreads Description: That which was buried is brought to light and wreaks hell -- on no one more so than Frank Mackey, beloved undercover guru and burly hero first mentioned in French's second book about the Undercover Squad, The Likeness.
Faithful Place is Frank's old neighborhood, the town he fled twenty-two years ago, abandoning an abusive alcoholic father, harpy mother, and two brothers and sisters who never made it out. They say going home is never easy, but for Frank, investigating the cold case of the just-discovered body of his teenage girlfriend, it is a tangled, dangerous journey, fraught with mean motivations, black secrets, and tenuous alliances. Because he is too close to the case, and because the Place (including his family) harbors a deep-rooted distrust of cops, Frank must undergo his investigation furtively, using all the skills picked up from years of undercover work to trace the killer and the events of the night that changed his life.
Why I’m Excited: I enjoyed In the Woods and loved The Likeness, the first two books in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Series. Frank Mackey was such a huge part of The Likeness, and I am excited to read his own book. Plus reading Tana French just seems better when you can be wrapped up in blankets next to a fire with a glass of wine, right?
Peace Like a River - Leif Enger
Goodreads Description: Once in a great while, we encounter a novel in our voluminous reading that begs to be read aloud. Leif Enger's debut, Peace Like a River, is one such work. His richly evocative novel, narrated by an asthmatic 11-year-old named Reuben Land, is the story of Reuben's unusual family and their journey across the frozen Badlands of the Dakotas in search of his fugitive older brother. Charged with the murder of two locals who terrorized their family, Davy has fled, understanding that the scales of justice will not weigh in his favor. But Reuben, his father, Jeremiah—a man of faith so deep he has been known to produce miracles—and Reuben's little sister, Swede, follow closely behind the fleeing Davy.
Affecting and dynamic, Peace Like a River is at once a tragedy, a romance, and an unflagging exploration into the spirituality and magic possible in the everyday world, and in that of the world awaiting us on the other side of life. In Enger's superb debut effort, we witness a wondrous celebration of family, faith, and spirit, the likes of which we haven't seen in a long, long time—and the birth of a classic work of literature.
Why I’m Excited: I picked this up at our library book sale a few months ago because Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended it. It was even one of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club picks. I haven’t read many books sets in that area, but I do enjoy a good family book. I’m hoping this lives up to the hype.
A Quiet Life in the Country - T.E. Kinsey
Goodreads Description: Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…
As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.
Why I’m Excited: I’ve had this on my Kindle for a long time. So many of my #bookstagram follows have raved about this book, particularly the audiobook. I’m not big into audiobooks, but I am always excited about a cosy British mystery.
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
Goodreads Description: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
Why I’m Excited: My mom and I loved the movie (we're big Alfred Hitchcock fans) and often quote the first line to each other. But I’ve never read the book. It’s about time I rectified that. Then I'll be up for a rewatch of the movie.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem - Joan Didion
Goodreads Description: Upon its publication in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem confirmed Joan Didion as one of the most prominent writers on the literary scene. Her unblinking vision and deadpan tone have influenced subsequent generations of reporters and essayists, changing our expectations of style, voice, and the artistic possibilities of nonfiction.
In essay after essay, Didion captures the dislocation of the 1960s, the disorientation of a country shredding itself apart with social change. Her essays not only describe the subject at hand—the murderous housewife, the little girl trailing the rock group, the millionaire bunkered in his mansion—but also offer a broader vision of America, one that is both terrifying and tender, ominous and uniquely her own.
Why I’m Excited: I have read several of Joan Didion’s books this year. I want to read her whole backlist, and I’m slowing making my way through. This is one of the quintessential Didion essay collections, so I’m anxious to read it.
The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry
Goodreads Description: Set in Victorian London and an Essex village in the 1890's, and enlivened by the debates on scientific and medical discovery which defined the era, The Essex Serpent has at its heart the story of two extraordinary people who fall for each other, but not in the usual way.
They are Cora Seaborne and Will Ransome. Cora is a well-to-do London widow who moves to the Essex parish of Aldwinter, and Will is the local vicar. They meet as their village is engulfed by rumours that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced the beast may be a real undiscovered species. But Will sees his parishioners' agitation as a moral panic, a deviation from true faith. Although they can agree on absolutely nothing, as the seasons turn around them in this quiet corner of England, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart.
Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.
Why I’m Excited: The Essex Serpent is one of the books that was on my original Unread Shelf post, but I just have not gotten around to it yet. But it seems like a good book to read in the fall.
The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory
Goodreads Description: When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise--or happen in front of 45,000 people. When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans...
At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…
Why I’m Excited: I absolutely adored The Wedding Date and will gladly read anything Jasmine Guillory wants to write. Carlos was Drew’s best friend in The Wedding Date, so I’m really excited that he gets his own story. I’m anxiously awaiting this one!
The Virgin Suicides - Jeffrey Eugenides
Goodreads Description: The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters' breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.
Why I’m Excited: I have read only one Eugenides, The Marriage Plot, and thought it was okay. But as this is supposed to be THE Eugenides novel, I thought I would give it a try.
Fingers crossed that I read these books in the next few months, but I’m trying not to put pressure on myself about it. That’s the fastest way for me to put off reading anything and just watching To All the Boys I've Loved Before on repeat. I also just realized that 3 of these books are set in England, plus Faithful Place in Dublin. I'm sensing a theme here for my Anglophile heart. I am looking forward to these books and cozy reading weather!
What are you planning to read this fall?