Fall provides a perfect backdrop for the merging of introverts and extroverts. Colorful scenery is luring people outdoors while the cooler temperatures are inspiring cozy days curled up on the couch under a heap of blankets. Find ideas for spending time with family and friends—both inside and outside your home—and plenty of suggestions for tucking away with a good book.
Try taking a tour of the grounds to see an orchardist at work. If you can't travel to an orchard, seek out a local farmers market to indulge in seasonal produce.
Amanda Coplin's THE ORCHARDIST is the engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and of the dramatic consequences of his actions.
Celebrate the back-to-school (or off-to-college!) season with a day that centers on you. Will you book a massage or aim for something more unexpected, caught caught up with the sudden freedom of being an empty nester?
Reading about Mrs. Fletcher's new life might just be crazy enough for you. Eve Fletcher, a divorcée whose only child has left the nest for his first year of college, finds her life turned upside down when she receives a flirtatious text message from an unfamiliar number. Unknown to Eve, her son is also struggling with his new college life, which pushes both mother and son to a strange crossroads filled with humor, uncomfortable situations, and thought-provoking observations on sex and relationships.
Watch a classic fall movie like Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, or The Witches of Eastwick, and then follow it up with a dose of witchcraft in book form.
A SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES follows five generations of women as they inherit the craft of magic and all that comes with it. As much about mother-daughter bonds as it is about how their skills and choices affect their lives, this powerful family moves us through the nineteenth century to WWII in an entertaining and thoughtful read that highlights the isolation of secrecy and the emotional journey of a family with deep connections to one another.
Take cooking classes, or teach someone how to make your favorite recipes. Make your kitchen the hot spot for quality time as you share traditions, experiment with ingredients, and sample the results.
Set within a vivid and recognizable Minnesota landscape, KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST combines favorite dishes with cultural roots, familial seasonings, and the search for that distinctive flavor. Eva grows up in the shadow of an absent mother, with a father eager to share his love of food. From the perspective of a spectrum of interesting people who have floated in and out of Eva's life, we hear about her unusual foodie upbringing and her rise to chef stardom.
A young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of her journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her sprit and resilience.
Have a friendly apple-themed bake-off with your friends or neighbors, with literary prizes for the winners!
The town of Appleseed in GOLDEN DELCIOUS is built on the pages of a book and named after Johnny Appleseed, whose ghost can be seen helping to harvest stories from the soil and advising on the loss of fruitful apple trees. This delightfully unique and unexpectedly relatable novel will amaze book lovers with its spin on literary conventions, including sentences raised as pets, deadwords left in graveyards, and thoughts running amok in thoughtgangs.
Dig in to your family history. Comb through boxes of heirlooms in the attic or photo albums on the shelf. Call older relatives and ask for their stories.
Nina Willner is a former American military intelligence officer, and her memoir FORTY AUTUMNS describes her mother's family's experiences after being forced apart by the Berlin wall. A fascinating, heartbreaking look at the realities of life during the Cold War, Willner not only makes you feel for her own family, but also for everyone affected by these tumultuous years and the choices that led them there.
As much as we love a good hike, we also love curling up on the couch with a good suspense novel.
WHERE THEY FOUND HER may have an evocative, leaf-filled cover, but life is not so idyllic in this suburban tale that sets its course off the discovery of a dead, abandoned infant near a university. Three women in the community-a new arrival and freelance writer, a PTA president, and a young high school dropout-tell this story of secret lives, buried pasts, and unexpected connections.
What's fall without a good Halloween-themed scare? Find the nearest haunted dwelling and read up on its history, or get tickets to a haunted house or hayride.
Ray Bradbury's iconic SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES is more than an eerie tale celebrating the hallmarks of the year's creepiest season. It's an imaginative immersion into the lives of two boys on the cusp of their teenage years, so fascinated by the idea of a carnival that they sneak in to watch it unfold and end up grappling with its dangerous mysteries. Bradbury's often poetic text and memorable characters will pin you tightly between a series of sinister prospects and terrifying shadows.
The show is about to begin.The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.
Attend a poetry reading, museum exhibit, theater production, or events in other artistic spaces to discover a new artist, performer, writer, or piece of artwork.
THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAN BEYONCÉ by Morgan Parker is a poetry collection hailed by The Root as "a splatter-collage of words functioning much like a Jackson Pollock or Pablo Picasso painting." With poems with titles like "13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl" and "These Are Dangerous Times," this is a powerful collection holding a light to black American womanhood.
Explore coves or paths to lighthouses. Or, better yet, travel to Australia for warmer weather, where their hottest summer months begin to hit in December.
Australia is the setting for M. L. Stedman's THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, which follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife, whose tragic and unsuccessful attempts to have a child have made them desperate for one. An unexpected discovery of a baby on a drifting boat ends with a decision to keep her, despite the fact that she's accompanied by a dead man. However, all actions have consequences, as they begin to find out when they move away from their isolated island.
“The world is full of decent people making disastrous decisions. I love a book that can find the beauty in that.”
Read Susan Crandall’s review here.
Read Susan Crandall’s review here.
Hosting a night in with wine, food, and games feels like the perfect antidote to the turning seasons.
THE JOY LUCK CLUB is a timeless, atmospheric tale of the bonds that emerge and transform when a group of recently immigrated Chinese women regularly convene to share experiences over mahjong and dim sum. The four families become heavily intertwined as they celebrate important occasions, reminisce about the China they left and the traditions they'd like to keep, and raise their daughters, none of whom choose to marry Chinese men.
In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk—and the Joy Luck Club is born. Over the years and the births of their daughters, they become united in their shared experiences of loss and hope, choosing to gather and raise their spirits rather than sink into tragedy.
In the spirit of considering what you're thankful for this season, organize a family reunion, even if it's just a group Skype chat.
THE ACCOMPLISHED GUEST is a collection of short stories covering a range of special events and everyday moments, tied together by themes of family and hosting or receiving guests. There's an unexpected invitation to a Christmas party where a divorced couple run in to each other for the first time in 31 years, a wedding day that ends in a fight between brothers, and the unique dynamics of a family with adult children gathering to celebrate a birthday, among others.
Start a community book club. Why not make your first pick a book about a book club, and then dig in to other stories from this list?
THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB is quite a title, and the memoir delivers a moving look into the relationship between a mother and son. Will and his mother begin an impromptu book club at the hospital where she receives her chemotherapy treatments, giving them a way to pass the time in a waiting room and a chance to connect over someone else's words.
Will Schwalbe’s frank and moving memoir documents how he and his mother formed an informal book club of two while she underwent treatment for cancer. It is a testament to the closeness between mother and son, and a loving tribute to the joy and comfort found in a good book.