The weather is finally starting to cool, and with the temperatures dropping rapidly, I find myself less and less inclined to leave the house on weekends. So what's a girl to do other than curl up with a great book... or five! If you're looking for a few new worlds to lose yourself in this fall, here are our top 10 suggestions, sure to have you hunkering down on the couch!
1. The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2017)
The Story: Mix up a batch of Midnight Margaritas and settle in for the perfect October read, as the long-awaited "Practical Magic" prequel has finally arrived! As someone who watches the movie at least once every fall, this was a must read! Alice Hoffman takes us all the way back to where the Owens family curse first began, in 1620, with Maria Owens, before flashing us forward to 1960s New York City. Here we get to meet young Franny and Jet, whom we know as the affable aunts who will raise Sally and Gillian Owens in "Practical Magic" after their parents die in a fire. Franny, Jet and their troublemaker brother Vincent are coming to terms with the fact that they are "different" but struggling with their mothers many rules for the family: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic, and most importantly, never, ever, fall in love.
2. I'm Fine...and Other Lies
Author: Whitney Cummings
Publisher: Penguin Random House (2017)
Known by many for her take-no-prisoners humor and unapologetic roasts, don’t expect this book to be a laugh-out-loud extension of her stage shows. While subtle levels of comedy are interlaced through the pages of “I’m Fine,” this is by all means a self-help book, focused largely on Cummings’ recovery from severe co-dependence, eating disorders, and love addiction. The “Two Broke Girls” creator offers an unfiltered look into the messiness of her mental health and how she knew it was time to make a change five years ago because “being crazy is not cute in your 30s.” Readers may crave more insight into the Georgetown native’s childhood, life on the road, or behind-the-scenes Hollywood tales, but there’s plenty of time for that. For now, take some time to appreciate a woman’s journey to help herself in hopes of helping others. Or as she puts it, “I straight up want this book to change your life.”
Author: Ann Patchett
Publisher: HarperCollins (2016)
Buckle up because the latest novel from PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Ann Patchett is chock full o'complicated characters! From a chance romantic encounter at baby Franny's christening to grown-up Franny's affair with legendary author Leon Posen, Commonwealth explores how one one moment, one action can have a ripple effect on all the adjacent lives for decades to come. From the publisher: "It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together."
4. Nevertheless: A Memoir
Author: Alec Baldwin
Publisher: HarperCollins (2017)
“I’m not actually writing this book to discuss my work, my opinions or my life … I’m writing it because I was paid to write it.” Don’t let the preface of Baldwin’s candid tell-all dissuade you from diving further into this fascinating read. Paid or not, he has a beautiful knack for storytelling and doesn’t hold back in recounting childhood through his banner year portraying Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” From his mother’s depression, his battle with addiction, tumultuous divorce from Kim Basinger, and nasty run-ins with the press, he’s not afraid to relive dark times. Perhaps most tender is the thread of love and commitment to his daughter Ireland, woven throughout the memoir. Yes, the daughter he infamously called a “pig” in a 2007 voicemail, which he does not shy away from.
5. The Signature of All Things
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Riverhead Books (2014)
The author of "Eat, Pray, Love" returns to fiction with this work, and takes us back to the 18th and 19th centuries to meet the prominent Whittaker family for a tale of adventure, love and discovery. From the patriarch Henry Whittaker, who eventually becomes the richest man in Philadelphia, to his brilliant daughter Alma, who becomes a highly-regarded botanist, the book takes us through the age of enlightenment to the Industrual Revolution, from Philadephia to Peru. Of course, there's a little romance too, as rational Alma falls in love with Ambrose Pike, a utopian artist who could not be more of Alma's opposite.
6. Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years
Author: David Litt
Publisher: HarperCollins (2017)
Ok, I have to admit, I haven't actually read this one yet, but you know in D.C. when there's a new book out involving Obama, it's headed straight to the top of the must-read lists. Especially when it's written by the man behind four White House Correspondents Dinner speeches. Oh, and did we mention the author was only 24 when he somehow found himself as the speechwriter for the President of the United States? From the publisher: "With a humorist's eye for detail and a convert's zeal, Litt takes us inside his eight years on the front lines of Obamaworld. In this political coming-of-age story, he goes from starry-eyed college student -- a self-described ''Obamabot'' -- to nervous junior speechwriter to White House senior staff ... In between lighthearted observations, Litt uses his experience to address one of today's most important issues: the legacy and future of the Obama movement in the age of Donald Trump." I think I'm going to go start reading now!
7. Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Author: Mark Sullivan
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (2017)
One of my most trusted sources for book recommendations called this one of the best books she'd ever read, so of course I had to add it to my ever-growing pile on the nightstand. And she wasn't wrong! I never thought I was much of a historical fiction kind of gal, but after falling in love with "The Paris Wife" this summer, I've explored the genre more, and this novel has me aching for me of Sullivan's vivid characters and storytelling. Based on the true story of Pino Lella, "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" is the epic tale of how one Italian teenager goes from helping Jews escape over the alps to becoming the personal driver for Adolf Hitler's right-hand man in Italy, General Hans Leyers, and ultimately winds up a spy for the Allies.
8. Little Fires Everywhere
Author: Celeste Ng
Publisher: Penguin Press (2017)
In Shaker Heights, Ohio, nothing is scarier than a disruption to "the plan." Which is exactly what single mother Mia Warren and her teenage daughter Pearl are when they arrive in this idyllic suburb of Cleveland, with little regard for the status quo. No one is more concerned than Elena Richardson, a mother of four who lives to follow the rules. Despite the fact that all of Elena's children seem drawn to Mia, the two women find themselves at odds over a neighborhood drama that could lead to the unraveling of both women's carefully protected secrets.
9. A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Publisher: Anchor Books (2015)
So I'm late to the game on this one, but it's just too insanely good not to include on this list! Most novels about 20-something friendship center around women, which makes "A Litttle Life" and its dissection of brotherly bonds rare. This coming of age story follows four college classmates -- Willem, Jude, JB and Malcom -- struggling to succeed in the power-hungry world of New York City. Despite the foursome's deep bonds, Jude remains somewhat of a mystery to the group as he refuses to divulge any personal information about his traumatic childhood. At it's core, "A Little Life" is an emotional rollercoaster ride exploring all the ways one can create "family" beyond the one they were born into.
10. The Regulars
Author: Georgia Clark
Publisher: Atria (2016)
I must admit, I am always drawn to books about women in their 20s navigating the highs and lows of female friendship. Willow, Evie and Krista are just regular New Yorkers trying to make a name for themselves in the corporate world, while braving the brutal online dating scene. Until the magical gift of "pretty" is bestowed on them, transforming them into gorgeous supermodel lookalikes and opening their eyes to a whole new world of opportunities previously only granted to the beautiful. From the publisher: "But there’s a dark side to pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left: What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?"