I’m ready to Fall Into Reading in 2011!

Total Books Read this Fall: 6

The autumn season marks the beginning of a lot of my favorite things: pretty knitwear, hot cocoa & cider, Thanksgiving desserts, the leaves changing colors, and of course… the Fall into Reading challenge hosted by Kat @ Callapidder Days! Fall is a great season to curl up with a good book and maybe a warm, yummy drink and lose yourself in a fun story while the weather gets crisper by the day.

I’ve been participating in this challenge for a couple of years now and I always enjoy it. Not only does it give me an opportunity to organize my reading and hopefully conquer a bit of my ever growing to-be-read pile ; it also gives me a chance to babble about my reading habits on my little blog and check out all the awesome books other people are reading – you know, so I can feed my book addiction. It’s a win / win situation, unless you’re my bank account.

So, in order to begin the challenge, the first thing I have to do is pick some books that I want to read between the dates of September 23rd and December 22nd. I typically read about 2 books a month – one of those books each month usually being for my book club.

So I’m assuming I’ll read about 6 books this fall, but just for fun, I’m going to shoot for 8 books!

So here are some of the books I’m considering. I like to give myself a little wiggle room to pick and choose so I’m going to list 10 books that I’d love to read this fall, but I only plan to read 8 of them. Mkay?

First there is the book I’m currently reading and will obviously need to finish before reading anything else!

Finding Aster by Dina McQueenI am currently 29% through Finding Aster by Dina McQueen, a book that I’ll be reviewing here as soon as I finish reading it. It’s the story of Dina’s decision to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia, or as GoodReads.com would say, “a fascinating memoir that follows one woman’s journey to motherhood via international adoption. Dina’s process begins with major surgery that leaves her unable to bear children. After recovery begins and burgeoning health finds her ready to discover what’s next, she and her husband decide to become parents. The journey that began in illness pushes Dina into places she never thought she would go, both within herself as a woman, and in the outside world to Africa.” So I’m about 70 pages in so far and mostly enjoying the book and definitely looking forward to reading more about the process of international adoption, something I don’t anticipate ever doing myself but still a topic that intrigues me. Have you adopted or known someone that’s adopted a child? – update : book finished September 25th : see review here

Next are the two books my book club will be discussing this fall:

  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo IshiguroNever Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro : Here’s the description from goodreads.com: “One of Kazuo Ishiguro’s greatest novelistic skills is his restraint. A writer who never reveals more than we need to know, he doles out details in small, carefully rationed increments, like delicacies too rich to squander — leaving readers craving more. Nowhere is this skill more apparent than in this dark, dystopian tale of three former friends, all alumni of a British boarding school, who unravel a horrifying secret about their alma mater.” This book sounds really good and it was a very popular pick in our book club, too, so I’m looking forward to the discussion. – update : book finished October 22, 2011 –
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen SimonsonMajor Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson : Description from goodreads: “The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more.” I’m still sort of on the fence about this one, but hopefully I’ll enjoy it. – update – Abandoned this one, just not feeling it

I’m a big fan of celebrity memoirs and I’ve got two sitting on my desk right now, just begging me to read them:

  • A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin ChenowethA Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth : I just adore Kristen Chenoweth in everything I’ve seen her in and this book looks sooooooo fun. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is all the mandatory reading that keeps getting in my way. So I’m hoping to find time to read it this fall and really looking forward to it. Description from goodreads: “In this lively, laugh-out-loud book, Kristin shares her journey from Oklahoma beauty queen to Broadway leading lady, reflecting on how faith and family have kept her grounded in the dysfunctional rodeo of show biz. The daughter of an engineer and a nurse, Kristin was singing in front of thousands at Baptist conventions by age twelve and winning beauty pageants by age twenty-two. (Well, actually she was second runner-up almost every freaking time. But, hey, she’s not bitter.) On her way to a career as a professional opera singer, she stopped in New York to visit a friend and went on a whim to an audition. Through a combination of talent, hard work, and (she’s quick to add) the grace of God, Kristin took Broadway by storm. But of course, into every storm, the occasional drizzle of disaster must fall. update – finished October 8, 2011 –
  • Unbearable Lightness by Portia De RossiUnbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi : This one might be the polar opposite of A Little Bit Wicked in that it probably isn’t going to be funny at all, but I’m still really interested in this one – it’s all about Portia De Rossi’s struggles with her eating disorder, something I’ve never dealt with personally, but I’m very much wanting to know more about especially now that I’m raising a daughter – I know this is a topic that touches far too many girls and women out there and I’d love to hear about it from the perspective of someone who has been there and recovered. And truthfully, I love her and Ellen Degeneres so much, I’d read pretty much anything either of them has to say.

I’ve also got some fun chick lit books that I’m setting aside for when I need a bit of light reading:

  • Certain Girls by Jennifer WeinerCertain Girls by Jennifer Weiner : This is the sequal to Good in Bed, the first book of Weiner’s I ever read, and one of my favorites. “Readers fell in love with Connie Shapiro the smart, sharp tongued, bighearted heroine in Good in Bed who found her happy ending after her mother came out of the closet, her father fell out of her life, and her exboyfriend started chronicling ther ex sex life in the pages of a nationa magazine. Now connie’s back, after a her first novel, a fictionalized and highly sexualized version of her life became an overnight bestseller she dropped out of the public eye and became a mom writing under a psyudonmy and writing sci fi Adapting to life in the subburbs is not as easy as she thought it would be. – currently reading –
  • Something Borrowed by Emily GiffinSomething Borrowed by Emily Giffin : I keep seeing trailers for the movie version of this book and OMG I need to hurry up and read the book before I break down and see the movie! “Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way.– finished December 10, 2011 –

And lastly, three books that are of the more smart read variety that I’ve been waiting to read for awhile:

  • The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen KentThe Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent : This one is all about the Salem Witches which I think makes it a perfect fall read! Also, I’m related to some people involved in the whole Salem thing, which makes it extra fun for me. Here’s a description of the book: “Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha’s courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.” – finished November 14, 2011 –
  • Little Bee by Chris CleaveLittle Bee by Chris Cleave : This is a book my book club discussed shortly before I joined it and I totally feel like I missed out on something great, so I’m hoping to read this soon and be in the loop on all the awesome I’ve heard about. “This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again – the story starts there …” The book description is a bit vague and apparently on purpose as they are very careful not to give anything away, wanting the reader to really experience it with no preconceived notions or “spoilers” – is the book going to live up to it’s hype? I’ll let you know! – skipping this one, too heavy –
  • Shades of Grey by Jasper FfordeShades of Grey by Jasper Fforde : I am such a huge fan of Fforde’s Thursday Next series and I recently picked up this book which is the first in a new series that I’m pretty excited about. Fforde’s books are very detailed and complex and chock full of fun literary goodness (at least in the TN series) – not a light read by any means, but always a good one. “Part social satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, Shades of Grey tells of a battle against overwhelming odds. In a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing, Eddie Russet belongs to the low-level House of Red and can see his own colorβ€”but no other. The sky, the grass, and everything in between are all just shades of grey, and must be colorized by artificial means.

So, those are the books that I’m hoping to read this fall, with just the tiniest bit of wiggle room and of course, knowing me – I’m apt to change my mind a bit between now and winter. But if I can at least accomplish my goal of reading 8 books this fall, I’ll be pretty proud.

Are you participating in Fall into Reading? What books are on your Must Read list?

24 thoughts on “I’m ready to Fall Into Reading in 2011!

  1. I read Never Let Me Go a while ago, it was an interesting book. I’m curious how your book club’s discussion will go. My book club did Little Bee and the opinions were mostly extremes – the people that loved it really loved it, and the ones that hated it absolutely loathed it. I was somewhere in the middle. I’ve been wanting to read Portia De Rossi’s book, I should add it to the list.

    I read both Certain Girls and Something Borrowed and enjoyed both. Make sure you follow Something Borrowed with Something Blue! The Salem Witch Trials always intrigue me so I’m also interested in The Heretic’s Daughter.

    Great list!

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  2. Oh you have some very good books here, and I love the variety! I’ve only read Little Bee on that list (for book club). It’s hard to say if it lives up to the hype. I’ll be interested to hear what you think. I generally have some level of disappointment with any book that’s hyped up that much. Enjoy the challenge!

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  3. You’re cracking me up–love the qualifier! πŸ™‚ And with a sigh, I’ll admit that you just caused me to add THREE TITLES to my “want to read” list. One of them is Finding Aster as we adopted three of our children, although they were adopted domestically, not internationally.

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  4. Your list is inspiring to me. I’ve been wanting to read Major Pettigrew. Need to get it back on my library list. And, the Kristin Chenowith book looks fun too. Also I want to read Little Bee and Certain Girls. Too much to read, too little time!! And, I already have a list plenty long. πŸ™‚ Happy Reading!

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  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting – you have a good list! I want to read Something Borrowed too then head to see the movie πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

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  6. I’ve never read any of the books on your list, but have been wanting to read Something Borrowed. I just rented the movie last night and really liked it, so since the books are always usually better, i have high hopes for it! πŸ™‚

    Happy Reading!

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  7. The Heretics Daughter sounds really interesting as does the book about adoption. We have a family at church that adopted a little boy (about the same age as my one daughter). He is such a sweetie.

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  8. Very interesting list! I love it that you read one book at a time! I keep telling myself that I will–one day–adopt that practice…it has yet to occur. πŸ™‚ Happy reading! And thanks for the comment on my post.

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  9. Great variety, Jen! I just had the Major Pettigrew book recommended to me by a friend… might have to check it out. And I’ve been curious about the Kristin Chenoweth book, too — looks good! And Jasper Fforde… it’s been a while since I picked up one of his books but this one makes me curious again. Thanks for being part of FIR ’11!

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  10. Great list! You’ve got a little bit of everything included. I skimmed the first couple of pages of Major Pettigrew and it seems really good. Good luck with the challenge!

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  11. The Heretic’s Daughter is really, really good. The woman who wrote it is also related to the characters in the story.

    I’ve got Major Pettigrew and Never Let Me Go on my “book shelves” on my library’s website waiting for a hold to be put on them. And I think I’ll add A Little Bit Wicked. :v)

    Happy Reading.

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  12. Great list of books. I loved Major Pettigrew and Little Bee…both for my book club and they led to fantastic discussions.

    Good luck with your reading. My list is a combo of review books and books that will help me complete the other reading challenges I am participating in.

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  13. Yeah, this meme always feeds my book addiction too. I guess it could be worse though. ha. I set my goal a little higher this time too. We’ll see.

    I love the variety in your list. You can do it! Enjoy.

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  14. Certain Girls was my favorite Jennifer Weiner book ever. I think part of it was because of the way I identified with her as the mom of a tween/young teen girl, but for some reason, it really hit me.

    I applaud a celebrity for writing about eating disorders! I know it’s very common.

    I always hear wonderful things about Never Let Me Go.

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  15. Kristin Chenoweth is amazing! I love her, and I loved her memoir. Kind of all over the place, but it seemed to fit her personality to a T. I hope you like it! My Fall Into Reading list is here.

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