Autumn Reading List

Does anyone else feel as passionate about Goodreads as I do?

I became a little obsessed with the site back in late 2016 and spent hours computing in all of the books and plays I have ever read to my online bookshelves. If you are familiar with Goodreads, you will know there are three main shelves - Read, To Read, and Currently Reading. I also have a couple other custom shelves, such as my favorites shelf and my book club's shelf.

So with my Goodreads passion growing, I challenged myself to read 50 Books in 2017 and with four months left, I am ahead of schedule at 37 of 50 read. Stay tuned for a post highlighting some of my favorite reads from this year, as well as some tips for reading more and staying on track during a challenge like this. Look out for that in December/January.

In the meantime, here's the lineup for my next reads, my Autumn Reading List:

1. The Curious History of Dating: From Jane Austen to Tinder | Nichi Hodgson
Dating has never been easy. The road to true love has always been rutted with heartbreak, but do we have it any easier today? How did Victorians 'come out'? How did love blossom in war-torn Europe? And why did 80s video-dating never take off? Bursting with little-known facts and tantalizing tales of lovelorn men and besotted women, Nichi Hodgson's intriguing history of amorous relationships, from enamored Georgians to frenziedly swiping millennials (and everyone in between) may leave you grateful that you live - and love - today.

2. The Child Finder | Rene Denfeld
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember.

3. Eveningland: Stories | Michael Knight
Grappling with dramas both epic and personal, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the “unspeakable misgivings of contentment,” a teenaged girl with a taste for violence holds a burglar hostage in her house on New Year’s Eve; a middle aged couple examines the intricacies of their marriage as they prepare to throw a party; and a real estate mogul in the throes of grief buys up all the property on an island only to be accused of madness by his daughters. These stories, told with economy and precision, infused with humor and pathos, excavate brilliantly the latent desires and motivations that drive life forward.

4. The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
Recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.

5. Arcadia | Lauren Groff
In the fields and forests of western New York State in the late 1960s, several dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what becomes a famous commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this lyrical, rollicking, tragic, and exquisite utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after. The story is told from the point of view of Bit, a fascinating character and the first child born in Arcadia. 

6. Jamaica Inn | Daphne Du Maurier
Her mother's dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. Affected by the Inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her attention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust....

7. The Secret History | Donna Tartt
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last - inexorably - into evil.

8. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg | Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer's searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce. And if you don't know, now you know.

9. Passion Play | Sarah Ruhl
Ruhl dramatizes a community of players rehearsing their annual staging of the Easter Passion in three different eras: 1575 northern England, just before Queen Elizabeth outlaws the ritual; 1934 Oberammergua, Bavaria, as Hitler is rising to power; and Spearfish, South Dakota, from the time of Vietnam through Reagan’s presidency. In each period, the players grapple in different ways with the transformative nature of art, and politics are never far in the background, as Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, and Reagan each appear, played by a single commanding actor.

Note: All plot summaries have been taken from Goodreads.

Do any of these spark your interest? I am excited to read more Lauren Groff and Daphne Du Maurier novels, after loving Fates and Furies and Rebecca. Sarah Ruhl is my favorite playwright, RBG is a total badass, and I have been meaning to read The Hobbit since I was a little girl. All the others have received wonderful reviews on Goodreads and have caught my eye.

I can't wait to cozy up in my bed with blankets, pumpkin candles lit, a warm cup of tea, and these novels (and play) as the weather becomes nippier by the day!



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