Hello Autumn! There is something about the return to a new school year, cooler weather, warmer layers and a mug of hot cocoa or a pumpkin spiced latte that makes me want to read more than usual. It doesn’t always happen with the demands of mothering young children and attempting to keep my house in a state of semi-organized, well let’s just admit it, chaos.
They say the New Year is a time for resolutions, but don’t you find autumn to be a time for organization and more purposeful living? Kat over at Callapidder Days has been doing a fun Fall into Reading challenge for a few years now and I always love participating. She writes that the reading event is “essentially … a fun, low-pressure reading challenge open to anyone and everyone. It will take place September 22nd-December 21st (which, as you may have guessed, lines up with the fall of 2012).” To participate simply “create a list of books you’d like to read or finish this fall. This is the only real requirement for participating in the challenge.”
Easy, right? So obviously this is where I tell you about the books I’m planning to read this Fall. Per usual, my reading whims are a bit larger than I anticipate being able to get through in the autumn season, but that won’t stop me from trying! I typically read about 2 books per month, but I’m striving for 10 books knowing full well that 6 might be closer to reality. That’s just the kind of daredevil bookworm I am!
I’m currently just about finished reading Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller : “This compelling and wise memoir follows the timeline of early motherhood from pregnancy through toddlerhood. Momma Zen takes readers on a transformative journey, charting a mother’s growth beyond naive expectations and disorientation to finding fulfillment in ordinary tasks, developing greater self-awareness and acceptance—to the gradual discovery of “maternal bliss,” a state of abiding happiness and ease that is available to us all. ”
I feel like I’m so close to finishing this one that it would be cheating to include it in the challenge, but I wanted to mention it anyway because I’m enjoying it so much (and if I only end up reading like 3 other books I might pat myself on the back and say “But it’s really 4, because remember Momma Zen?” - update – finished on September 24th
Here are the 10 books I’m hoping to read this Fall
Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra : “Deepak Chopra brings the Buddha back to life in this gripping “New York Times” bestselling novel about the young prince who abandoned his inheritance to discover his true calling. This iconic journey changed the world forever, and the truths revealed continue to influence every corner of the globe today.”
How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran: “Caitlin Moran puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of women’s issues today with her irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious How to Be a Woman. “Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary,” (Elle UK), Moran’s debut was an instant runaway bestseller in England as well as an Amazon UK Top Ten book of the year; still riding high on bestseller lists months after publication, it is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Now poised to take American womanhood by storm, here is a book that Vanity Fair calls “the U.K. version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants….You will laugh out loud, wince, and–in my case–feel proud to be the same gender as the author.”” (I just won this in a book giveaway and knew I’d want to read it this fall – Entre Nous was my weakest link and thus the first book to be cut) – Finished November 6th -
For Book Club:
The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang (October Pick): “In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America. But lacking a written language of their own, the Hmong experience has been primarily recorded by others. Driven to tell her family’s story after her grandmother’s death, The Latehomecomer is Kao Kalia Yang’s tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard.” - Finished October 23, 2012 -
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (November Pick): “Weiner spent a decade as a foreign correspondent reporting from such discontented locales as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Indonesia. Unhappy people living in profoundly unstable states, he notes, inspire pathos and make for good copy, but not for good karma. So Weiner, admitted grump and self-help book aficionado, undertook a year’s research to travel the globe, looking for the “unheralded happy places.” The result is this book, equal parts laugh-out-loud funny and philosophical, a journey into both the definition of and the destination for true contentment.” - Finished November 27, 2012 : full review -
A new author I’m loving:
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman : “For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally endured that fate as well; as children, the sisters were outsiders. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, but all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared brought them back-almost as if by magic…” - Finished October 11th -
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman : “The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.” – Finished December 6, 2012 : full review -
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen : “A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.” - finished December 14, 2012 –
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: “Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers.” (I just picked up a copy of this at a used bookstore and couldn’t resist adding it to the challenge – for the sake of not confusing myself, I’m replacing Sherlock Holmes with this. Bonus points – it’s shorter.) – Finished October 28, 2012 -
Just For Fun:
Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner : “Sarah’s Quilt, the long-awaited sequel to These Is My Words, continues the dramatic story of Sarah Agnes Prine. Beloved by readers and book clubs from coast to coast, These Is My Words told the spellbinding story of an extraordinary pioneer woman and her struggle to make a home in the Arizona Territories. Now Sarah returns.”
Divergent by Veronica Roth : “When sixteen-year-old Tris makes her choice. She cannot foresee how drastically her life will change. Or that the perfect society in which she lives is about to unfold into a dystopian world of electrifying decisions, stunning consequences, heartbreaking betrayals and unexpected romance.” - Finished October 7th : full review -
Last minute addition:
Home For the Holidays (Mother Daughter Book Club #5) by Heather Vogel Frederick : “This year, the girls are everywhere but home for the holidays. From a tropical cruise to a ski trip to Switzerland, it promises to be a Christmas to remember. Becca, Megan, Emma, Cassidy, and Jess have plenty of reading material to bring on their trips too, because the book club is tackling the Betsy-Tacy series before their next meeting on New Year’s Eve.” - finished December 18th -
So that’s my list! And there are other books sitting pretty on my bookshelf saying, “Why didn’t you pick me?” And I replied, “I’m not sure – there are just too many of you!” and then they responded, “Well if the books you picked don’t make you happy, remember you’ll always have me.” And I promised to remember that – because life is too short to be spent reading books that don’t treat you right – so if you find me changing my challenge drastically, you’ll know it’s because I started listening to the Books in my Head – and call the authorities.
10 / 10 books. 100% done!