What’s in your tsundoku pile this fall? I made pretty good headway through my summer reading list, reading six of the eight titles with a handful of others added in on top, and my favorite from an enjoyment standpoint was Curtis Sittenfeld’s Rodham, which I could not put down (full review here), though I think that Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns may be one of the most significant books I’ve read in years (full review here).
I will be sharing a proper book review post soon, as I’ve made my way through several books in the last few weeks that I am dying to talk about, but for now, wanted to share what’s on my radar for fall 2020 reading:
FOR A DARK THRILL RIDE // The Guest List by Lucy Foley and/or The End of Her by Shari La Pena. I just finished listening to The Guest List on audiobook, and it’s narrated by a delightful British cast. I was captivated by the twisty-turn-y, Agatha-Christie-esque plotline, which centers around a wedding on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. We meet a cast of characters with seriously dark backgrounds and someone turns up dead on the night of the wedding amidst an intense gale and intermittent power outages. Buckle up! On the latter: my mother and I are both fans of Shari La Pena’s work, and she has reported that she cannot put The End of Her down — it’s classic La Pena, meaning marital drama and relationship questions that need answering. In this case, a new mother is faced with the claim that her husband murdered his ex-wife! Perfect creepy October book.
FOR ARTFULLY WRITTEN FAMILY DRAMA // Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. This is the highly-acclaimed debut novel of Douglas Stuart (nominated for The Booker Prize), and through it, we experience life as a boy from a working class family living in run-down public housing in 1980s Glasgow, Scotland. The novel centers around his relationship with his mother and her battle with addiction.
FOR EASY-TO-READ HISTORICAL FICTION // The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. Several of you Magpies reached out to let me know how much you enjoyed this fictional account of a series of book thefts from the New York Public Library and the two generations of women who become embroiled in the fallout.
FOR DICKENSIAN ACTION // The Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. This book is actually almost twenty years old, but my well-read sister recently devoured this book and could not stop talking about it. Waters tells the story of a con man who attempts to inveigle an orphan into tricking a wealthy gentlewoman out of her vast inheritance.
FOR SOUL-SEARCHING // Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. Described as “Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah,” this novel presents Queenie Jenkins, twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, “straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither” as she seeks meaning in her work and relationships.
FOR CELEBRITY MEMOIR // The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey. You know the celebrity memoir is one of my favorite sub-genres, and Mariah Carey is one of my all-time favorite vocalists. (I don’t think any girl raised in the 90s would say otherwise.) Pessimism isn’t my style, but I’m not optimistic about the merits of this book — and still I can’t resist the pull.
What’s on your reading list this fall? What’s good?
A couple of reading-related finds worth consideration:
MY SISTER AND BROTHER-IN-LAW RAVE ABOUT THIS WEIGHTED BLANKET — MY SISTER SAID SITTING UNDER IT IS LIKE BEING IN A PERMANENT STATE OF SHAVASANA
THE BEST PEPPERMINT TEA IN ALL THE LAND
PEOPLE GO CRAZY OVER THIS HEATED MATTRESS PAD, WHICH SOUNDS LIKE HEAVEN
P.S. Drive gently, dearie.
P.P.S. I am a pragmatic cook. How about you?
P.P.P.S. Why museums matter.