My Favorite Things: Books for Fall

I’m a reader. In fact, that’s probably why I’m a writer.
As a child, I would stay up late and wake up early to get lost in a story. I liked action and adventure, historical and modern, mystery and humor, but mostly I liked a kiss at the end. (I am utterly convinced that there is not a storyline in the world that cannot be improved by a kiss at the end. Seriously, try me.) I would easily tear through a couple books a week if I liked them. I read less now than I once did because cooking and working and… jkjk I read less now than I once did because Netflix. But Rory Gilmore reads a lot so maybe watching Gilmore Girls can act as osmosis? Probably. We’ll go with that.

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Rory reading (er, smelling) books and me receiving the benefits of osmosis. Win/win.

But every year when fall roles around, I get the fresh desire to devour another stack of books. Like, actually literally devour – not “Rory Osmosis” the situation. Something about the crisp air and bright leaves screams “BOOK. BLANKET. STAT.” And so, I must oblige.

Here is a totally-not-complete-list of some of my favorites for the fall:

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Oh, and everyone is invited to my apartment to see my absolutely darling new bookshelf. It is old and blue and the cutest and you simply must come stare at it with me for an hour or two some Saturday afternoon.

#1. Anne of Green Gables:

Ahhhh, sweet sigh of relief. Have you been stressed out about your friends being absolute angry nut-cases on Facebook too? Have you been contemplating the meaning of life and if you have a purpose in all this? Confused and stressed about how you have somehow managed to pay rent late for the last million months?
Enter, Anne.
Anne Shirley is my favorite type of escapism. She sees the world through a beautiful, poetic, hilariously dramatic lens. She is spunky, loyal, stubborn, and wildly intelligent – ruffling the feathers of Prince Edward Island, an otherwise simple, pleasant place.
Anne somehow makes you delightfully nostalgic for a life you’ve never lived. This book absolutely requires a pleasant day (fall or winter will do) and a cozy wool blanket. You can read Anne in the spring, but in that case, you absolutely must do so outside. Do not argue with me on this.

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#2. Shauna Niequist:

Really any Shauna book will do, but these two are my favorites. Cold Tangerines reminds you that life is hard but absolutely worth celebrating… even when autumn hits and the sun goes down at, oh I don’t know, NOON. We still fight for joy. We still celebrate.
Bread and Wine talks about loving people and includes recipes for food so I obviously do not need to say anything more about that.
Cook up something yummy, dig into these books, and enjoy a quiet autumn night with Shauna’s innate ability to make her reader’s laugh and sob within pages of each other – an amazing quality of hers when you cuddly at home; an annoying quality when the person next to me on the airplane thinks I’ve utterly lost it.

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#3. Through Painted Deserts:

Are you someone who is perfectly content with where they are in life and knows the correct ways to deal with questions, doubts, and emotions? Yes? Well, then get out of here. A person like you is far too emotionally stable to be reading this blog. The rest of us do not need your emotional stability looking down on us with your warm, compassionate, mature eyes.
I need change of scenery. Often. When my emotions are high and energy is low, I like to hop in a car and go. There’s music and gorgeous scenery (especially in the fall, oh my word), there’s time to simply think – and inevitably, at the end of every road trip, there are friends or family waiting for me. Consistent and numerable road trips keep me sane, friends.
So if you are planning on traveling anytime soon, pick up this book. If you have no trips planned, are low on vacation days, or are financially strapped, read with caution, because you will 100% feel the urge to sell all your possessions and hit the road somewhere in the midst of these pages. This book makes you want to see and go and throw caution to the wind and experience life and people and places fully. Not a bad thing, if you ask me.
Donald Miller, the author, is said to not love this book. He is crazy and doesn’t know anything. Don’t listen to him.

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#4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns):

Everyone can stop trying because Mindy Kaling has done the deed and written comedy gold. GOLD, I tell you! Hard day at work? Sit with this book over pizza and wine (look at you classy faux Italian, you) and laugh all your heartache away. Yes, actually laugh. I’m a pretty darn fun person, but books do not make me LOL. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, however, makes me laugh until tears come to my eyes over, and over, and over.
Again, in the fall, when the sun starts going down at breakfast, I need joy books.
This is one.
Kelly Kapoor forever.

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Thanks, Mindy.

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My “is everyone hanging out without me?” face.

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#5. Pride and Prejudice:

I told you right off the bat, I prefer a story with kiss at the end. We’ve been through #1. Anne the childlike idealist, #2. Shauna the actual human person with great life stories and advice, #3. Donald the adventurer, and #4. Mindy the comic. The natural conclusion to this totally-not-complete-list is to share in the lives of the five Bennet sisters and their handsome suiters.
Elizabeth Bennet is all the best parts of womanhood. She wears the dress but the hems are muddy. She marries the man, but only after scoffing at a previous proposal. She smiles and participates in polite conversation, but underneath, she is equal parts eye roll and scathing wit.
Pride and Prejudice can be read on any day, in any season, with any attitude; and, with it being an old classic, you can feel somewhat haughty while reading in public places. Which, let’s be honest, is why many of us continue reading at all.
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Pour the wine, get cozy, read these (and more, obviously) books, and enjoy the benefits of feeling superior to your peers forever, my friends. Autumn demands it.

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