The air finally has a crisp, chilly fall feeling to it, and I can't be more thrilled. Not only does that mean it's sweater weather, scarf season, boot time -- and all the other incredible fall fashions I wait all year to don -- but it also means I will feel no shame holing up on weekends with some cider and a great book. If you're looking for a few new distractions this fall, here are our top 10 suggestions. Just don't blame us if your friends accuse you of being a hermit!
1. Refinery29 Money Diaries: Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About Your Finances... And Everyone Else's
Author: Lindsey Stanberry
Publisher: Touchstone ( 2018)
The Story: R29's Money Diaries have been an absolute obsession of mine since the day it launched. While I could choose to see a 24-year-old making a six-figure income as wildly depressing, I choose to use it as motivation, and I find that poring over the personal finances of others, forces me to take a hard look at my own financial choices. I learn savings tips from each column read and when I learned the book would include all new Money Diaries, along with savings challenges and loads of financial advice from millennial women, I knew it was a must read.
2. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger
Author: Rebecca Traister
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2018)
The Story: Ironically, this book arrived on my desk on the day the Kavanaugh hearings started, and I went home and consumed it all in one sitting. Rebecca Traister has become a well-known voice in journalism for her continuing coverage of the #MeToo movement, feminism and women's rights in today's climate, and her latest book takes a hard look at the transformative power of women's anger, and the role it plays in igniting movements. Though the core of her argument is absolutely that "when harnessed, women's collective anger can change history" she is careful to also analyze the damaging effects of the resentment and bitterness women feel towards their slow rise to power, other women and men in general, calling it "not only politically catalytic but politically problematic."
3. We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time
Author: José Andrés
Publisher: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco (2018)
The Story: If you live in D.C., chances are you've heard the story of José Andrés feeding Puerto Ricans after Hurriance Maria more times than you can count. You may know the "why" of the story ("His big heart and boundless energy could not be restrained by red tape," said the late Anthony Bourdain of Andrés), but do you truly know the "how?" How did this Michelin-starred chef manage to serve more than 3.6 million meals, 100,000 meals a day, in more than a dozen kitchens across the island? How did he manage without power or clean water? And how did he rally the community around him to assist? In "We Fed an Island" you'll learn that Andrés is a man that moves so quickly, he isn't left with time to question the "how." His "why" is simply too great. All proceeds from the book will be donated to the Chef Relief Network of World Central Kitchen.
4. The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Flatiron Books (2018)
The Story: If you've ever been asked, or pondered, the question of what five people, dead or alive, you would invite to a dinner party, you can probably understand Sabrina Nielsen's utter surprise when she arrives at her 30th birthday party to find her five answers sitting at the table. From her college best friend to her absentee father, the love of her life, a former professor and Audrey Hepburn, Sabrina must confront what all of these people have in common and how they've had a lasting impact on her life. Warning, this book will definitely make you think about your own what ifs in life, and you may want to have tissues on hand!
5. Know Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth
Author: Mika Brzezinski
Publisher: Hachette Books (Revised edition, 2018)
The Story: Plain and simple, this book seeks to help women be their own best advocates. I tend to steer clear of self help-y type books, but when one of the most #BOSSLADY women I know told me this was an invaluable resource to her, I gave it a shot. The revised edition of her 2012 original includes advice from inspirational women such as Sheryl Sandberg, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Claire McCaskill, Nora Ephron, Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington -- just a few women who know a thing or two about getting what you're worth! Mika also shares valuable insight on gender bias in the Trump era, how #TimesUp and #MeToo have changed office politics, why women need to stop trash talking other women on the rise and tactical maneuvers to use at the bargaining table.
6. Every Day I'm Hustling
Author: Vivica A. Fox
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (2018)
The Story: Part memoir, part motivational guide, actress and entrepreneur Vivica A. Fox offers a fascinating trek through her rise in Hollywood. From her days as a daytime soap star, landing her big break in “Independence Day,” to the rollercoaster that comes with aging in front of the camera – she doesn’t shy away from the of fickle aspects of fame. Well-known for her hit roles in “Set it Off,” “Two Can Play That Game,” Kill Bill” and “Soul Food,” Fox gets candid about the dry spell most stars face. Rather than fade into background, she stretched her skills to expand the “actress” box she was in. Fox launched a massively successful hair collection, produced stage plays and Lifetime shows, and jumped at the offer to join the record-breaking “Sharknado” franchise. The mogul also goes deep about her failed marriage, regrets about not having children, and her infamous relationship with rapper 50 Cent. At 54-years-old, it seems fitting for Fox to offer this honest reflection and confident look ahead. She truly is a hustler whose bright lights are sure to shine for decades to come.
7. The Golden State
Author: Lydia Kiesling
Publisher: MCD (2018)
The Story: Young mother Daphne is on the verge of losing her mind as she navigates motherhood on her own after her Turkish husband is told he cannot reenter the country. As a last resort, she picks up her San Francisco life and embarks on a road trip with her toddler, Honey, to Altavista to live in her grandparents' vacant mobile home. The simultaneous beauty and fury of motherhood is at the core of this story, but along the way, Daphne pops in and out of the lives of several women, who will come to shape her ideation of womanhood more than she could imagine.
8. Bitter Orange
Author: Claire Fuller
Publisher: Tin House Books (2018)
The Story: It wouldn't be a DC Refined book list without at least one book with a "everything is not as it seems" plot! In Bitter Orange, Claire Fuller weaves together the lives of researcher Frances Jellico and the intriguing, yet undeniably hedonistic, couple Cara and Peter who meet in the summer of 1969. What begins as an innocent summer friendship leads to a small crime which leads to a much larger, inescapable crime.
9. Nine Perfect Strangers
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Flatiron Books (November 9, 2018)
The Story: From the woman who brought us Big Little Lies, this new page-turner brings together nine strangers for a 10-day health and wellness retreat at Tranquillum House. While most of the guests don't look like they need the services of a health retreat at all, Frances Welty arrives nursing a bad back and a broken heart, but ready to put in the work for 10 days. But when the resort owner's sinister hidden agenda begins to emerge, Frances, and her fellow retreat-goers must decide if it's worth staying to the end, or getting out while they still can.
10. Like Brothers
Author: Mark and Jay Duplass
Publisher: Ballantine Books (2018)
The Story: I grew up with five brothers and wish I had the relationship Mark and Jay have. That’s not to say my relationship with my brothers is at all negative, it’s just that Mark and Jay’s is remarkably unique and tender. The acclaimed filmmakers behind HBO’s “Room 104,” Netflix’s “Wild Wild Country,” and “Jeff Who Lives at Home” have been joined at the creative hip for more than 40 years and offer an intimate account of their childhood dreams turned into reality. Admirers of the dynamic duo’s work will relish the inside look at how their cult-favorite films made it to the big screen, what happened behind the scenes of the canceled-too-soon “Togetherness,” and how they navigated individual breakout roles on “The Mindy Project” and “Transparent.” Aspiring writers, directors and actors also get a series of tips on investing, contracts, staying on budget, managing disagreements with your collaborator, and maintaining creative expression. All this plus you get a rundown of several movies never made based on in-the-moment scripts the two created while waiting in airports.