Seasons are my favorite part of living in the Midwest. I love fall (like almost everyone I know) and also love the necessity to stay home and read when it’s cold out. Indeed, I would argue cold weather reads are better than warm ones. Here are some of the books I’m looking forward to reading this fall and winter in Chicago when the wind starts to bite and going out becomes too much work with its multi-layer requirement.
- The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War.
When I was in high school, I read Love in the Time of Cholera and fell in love with literature in translation. I then discovered Allende not long after. There’s something really amazing about reading a book that was essentially written once and then re-written again (as it is being re-interpreted by a translator). I haven’t read every book by Allende, but the ones I have read are some of my all-time favorites. Lastly, just say the world multigenerational and I’m there because I love myself a good epic.
- Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
From the author of the beloved New York Times bestselling book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and the creator and star of The Mindy Project comes a collection of essays that are as hilarious and insightful as they are deeply personal.
When I read her first book, I literally wanted to underline every single sentence. This book comes out simultaneously around the same time that her new show debuts on Hulu. I. cannot. wait.
- The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Two seemingly unrelated stories–one in words, the other in pictures–come together. The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries.
Selznick’s books are literally works of art that deserve all the awards forever. I cried reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret and have no doubt this will exceed my already incredibly high expectations.
- Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own….
Honestly, the rake story has been overdone so much it’s ridiculous… but Lisa Kleypas is my favorite romance author of all time – In fact, I have read Dreaming of You more often than any other book (all Harry Potter books included). The early buzz on this book is awesome, and this is the first time I seriously considered begging anyone I could for an ARC.
- My True Love Gave to Me – a collection of short stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.
I met Stephanie Perkins at Anderson’s YA Lit Conference last year and she promoted this book there. I’ve held off on ordering it but re-read her Anna and the French Kiss series and just had to order this too. I’m waiting for after Thanksgiving to dive in.
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with Carry On, an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller Fangirl.
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
This book is a pretty major departure from previous book she’s written with its fantasy label though simultaneous a deep dive into the fan fiction she dabbled in with Fangirl. With an LGBT love story and a fresh approach, I cannot wait to get my hands on this because I Love Ms. Rowell with a capital L.
- Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving
As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. “An aura of fate had marked him,” John Irving writes, of Juan Diego. “The chain of events, the links in our lives—what leads us where we’re going, the courses we follow to our ends, what we don’t see coming, and what we do—all this can be mysterious, or simply unseen, or even obvious.”
I left this book until the end because I’m not sure I’ll actually read it. I’ve heard some very mixed but mostly negative reviews about it so far. I always cite John Irving as one of my favorite authors of all time, but I’ve admittedly not read his last two books. Nonetheless, I’ll stay current on the conversation and dive in if it starts to trend toward the positive.
If you’re interested in more fall/winter arrivals, I found this list to be more comprehensive. Hoodies, hot coffee, and snuggles under the covers with a good book are approaching, and I couldn’t be happier about it.