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!
I 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 color—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?