Reading was hands-down my favorite activity when I was younger. I was a fairly introverted child, so finding a new book at the Scholastic Book Fair was always the highlight of school. As I’ve gotten older, though, the act of reading feels so much more forced. I find it difficult to concentrate as my mind races with all of the work I have to get done (#adulting, am I right?), and sometimes it’s impossible for me to even find the time to pick out a new title from the store, let alone get around to reading it. On top of everything, I also manage a local book publishing company as my full-time gig, so now there’s an added analytical element anytime I crack open a book: I wonder what paper stock they used?…Oh, I really like the way this is laid out, the full bleeds on the photos are a nice touch…Ugh, this font is so small, it’s impossible to read!!!
It’s. Rough. As a deliberate act of prioritizing self-care and reclaiming my love of books, I’ve created a Fall reading list in an effort to kick my butt into high gear. Read more about my picks below.
Graphic designed by Victoria Boneberg
1. Little Fires Everywhere: This is the latest book to be released by famed Everything I Never Told You author Celeste Ng. The story centers around a single mother named Mia Warren and her teenage daughter Pearl as they move into a Cleveland rental operated by rule-abiding Elena Richardson and her clan, where secrets are uncovered and a custody battle involving an adopted baby of Chinese descent divides the two parties involved. Exploring themes of art, identity, and motherhood, I think this novel will be a thought-provoking read for my regular coffee shop visits.
2. Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker: Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: I LOVE MARTHA SO MUCH. I have a subscription to Martha Stewart Living and religiously cook using her recipes, so this book is a complete godsend. There’s nothing quite like coming home to the smells of a slow-cooked meal, especially in the cooler weather, and this compilation of recipes by Living editors will be a welcome kitchen addition.
3. John Galliano Unseen: I am so thankful that I have the privilege of walking the earth at the same time as sartorial genius John Galliano. He is currently the creative director at Maison Margiela, but his resume boasts work with major brands like Givenchy and Dior in the 90s as well as his eponymous label through 2011. Featuring previously unreleased photos from Galliano’s iconic shows captured by Vogue backstage photographer Robert Fairer, I definitely have to get my hands on this coffee table book when it releases in September.
4. The Fine Art of Paper Flowers: When I think about paper crafts, I think about those cheesy projects that art teachers made us do in 4th grade where I always managed to glue my fingers together. However, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across this book, which brings an exquisitely modern and high-design approach to crafting paper flowers. Created by San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner, these flowers are lifelike in appearance, and this publication features step-by-step tutorials for creating a variety of dramatic foliage, a perfect excuse to host a DIY girls night.
5. Paper Girls (Vols. 1-3): My friend actually mentioned this graphic novel series to me after telling her how much I like Saga, written by the same author Brian K. Vaughan. This sci-fi/suspense tale is about four preteen newspaper delivery girls in the late 80s who uncover an otherworldly mystery on Halloween and find themselves catapulted through time. Obviously, this sounds right up my alley, especially considering my latest obsession with 80s supernatural dramas (thanks, Netflix).
6. The Dollhouse: I love a classic mystery, especially one set in the mid 20th century. Jumping between the 1950s to present day, Fiona Davis’ debut novel provides readers with a look at the glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, a place where models, secretaries, and others live to start their careers. Protagonist Darby McLaughlin arrives at the hotel in 1952 and befriends Esme, who introduces her to the seedy side of New York City. Jumping to more than a half-century later, journalist Rose Lewin takes an interest in Darby, her upstairs neighbor, after hearing rumors about Darby’s involvement in a murder. I’m looking forward to all of the plot twists this book has to offer.
7. Snotgirl (Issues 1-7): I have been wanting to start this series forever! Snotgirl is a story about a famous fashion blogger (!!), Lottie Person, who has serious allergies and struggles to cope with her IRL life while also managing her URL one (something I think all of us bloggers can relate to). The illustrations by Leslie Hung, one of my favorite comics artists, are absolutely exquisite. I can’t wait to dive in.
8. The Sun and Her Flowers: I first discovered poet Rupi Kaur’s work in 2015 while going through a breakup, and her initial collection Milk and Honey helped me get through that rough patch by examining subjects like heartbreak, isolation, and rejection in the most gut-wrenchingly honest, easily digestible prose. Her newest work, The Sun and Her Flowers, is divided into five chapters alluding to nature with poems exploring healing, home, and a celebration of love in all forms. Outside of her poetry, she also seems like a phenomenal human, so I would highly recommend following her on Instagram.
9. Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks: I really have my father to thank for introducing me to Stevie Nicks. Having been to several Fleetwood Mac concerts in the 70s to see his ultimate crush, he passed the love of the band and specifically of Stevie onto me, and I’ve since looked to her as a style icon. Although there’s no doubt that Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, her former partner and a phenomenal musician in his own right, revived Fleetwood Mac after joining the band, there is so much more to her story. Named for the single off of Rumours, Gold Dust Woman by famed rock music biographer Stephen Davis examines the relationships Nicks has forged with other musicians, her nearly fatal addiction to prescription pills, and her chart-topping solo career post-Fleetwood.
10. Hyperion: This book has been out since 1989, so it’s not new by any stretch, but I’m a firm believer in mixing the old with the new to broaden your literary horizons. The Hyperion Cantos series has been highly discussed within my friend circle, as we’re all a bunch of science fiction geeks at heart, but it has been sitting on my “to read” list for far too long. Hyperion is the first book of the series and starts with the tale of seven curious individuals in the 29th century who are on a final voyage to the planet Hyperion, home of the mysterious and lethal creature The Shrike, as the galaxy is at war and armageddon looms. Sounds cool, right?
Do you have a reading list? What books are you currently reading that you would suggest?