Recommended reading: 8 great picks for fall
Book critic By John Searles
As the weather turns colder this fall, there’s nothing better than curling up inside with a great read. Here are eight great picks from John Searles, book critic and author of “Strange But True."
By Emma Donoghue
I’ve been carrying this book around with me the last couple of days, and never before have so many people stopped to make a comment on something I was reading. It is getting a ton of buzz right now. Just like “The Color Purple” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night,” this novel shocks the reader with a truly unique voice. It is told from the perspective of a 5-year-old boy named Jack. We come to realize very quickly in the opening pages that Jack and his mother are being held captive in a “room,” and the boy has never left it before. A mesmerizing read, though not for the faint of heart.
“Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter”
By Tom Franklin
They say it’s a Southern thing but I grew up in New England and the way I learned to spell Mississippi was M-I-crooked letter-crooked-letter-I, etc. Anyway, that’s where the title comes from and this story is set in Mississippi. It’s one of my absolute favorites on the list because it’s the perfect blend of great writing and gripping suspense. It opens with a missing girl and an unexpected murder and things get juicier from there. The book has been named an Independent Bookseller and Barnes and Noble pick for the month of October.
“Full Dark, No Stars”
By Stephen King
This is the master of horror’s first book in two years. A collection of four — just like the title says — dark novellas. The first, “1922,” is a confession by a man who murdered his wife and convinced his teenage son to help cover up the crime. Another, “A Good Marriage,” is about a wife’s discovery that her seemingly vanilla husband is leading a double life. King is at the top of his game in this collection and packs on the plot twists. It’s a twisted book chock full of sinister secrets.
“A Rope & a Prayer”
By David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill
Rohde is a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped by the Taliban a few years back. His wife, Kristen, happened to be the photo director of Cosmopolitan at the time, so their book was of particular interest to me. In this memoir, they tell the story from both their sides. From the moment David is first captured and the moment Kristen first learns of what happened and all through her efforts to free him until finally he makes a daring and unbelievable escape. The book is riveting.
“You had me at Woof: How Dogs Learned the Secrets of Happiness”
By Julie Klam
I first learned of this writer on Twitter of all things, and I'm happy I did. She's a smart, funny, self-deprecating writer who can take even the seemingly simple tale of getting a dog and turn it into something enchanting. The way she tells it — her usual method of meeting men, which was sitting at home on the couch watching television by herself, wasn't working so she decided to get a dog. Klam falls madly in love with her Boston Terrier, Otto. She writes that she loved him so much if she could have turned him into a man "only with a little less gas and eyes that looked straight ahead!" she would have. Instead, Otto helped lead her to finding a real guy and true love.
By David Rakoff
Anyone looking for a lighter read than many of the books on our fall list, will love this collection of super sarcastic, funny and at times surprisingly poignant essays. Rakoff turns his wicked wit on the like of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a New York porn convention, and the oddities of life in Salt Lake City, and his own non-tortured youth among other topics.
“The Lost Hero”
By Rick Riordan
I confess that I’m not a big reader of fantasy. But I put this book on the list as our young adult pick because its getting a lot of buzz right now. In short, it’s about a boy who wakes up on a bus in the middle of a field trip with no memory of how he got there, a girl who’s famous father has gone missing, and another boy who keeps seeing ghosts. So there’s a lot going on in here.
By George W. Bush
One of the most anticipated books of the fall is the memoir by our former president. The book is being kept from the media until it release on November 9th, but Bush just released a video where he talks about what the reader will find in the pages. Rather than write an exhaustive, chronological account of his life, he says he focused on the biggest decisions he faced in his life, from quitting drinking at age 40, to meeting and marrying his wife Laura, to all the many difficult decisions he made as leader of our country.
Whatever your favorite type of reading material may be the important thing is to set aside the time to really enjoy your book. What better way than on your freshly cleaned sofa in your living room with fluffy clean carpets.
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