Fall Book Pairings 📚+☕️=❤️️
Goodbye beach reads, and hello books-I-will-read-while-in-a-blanket-cocoon.
Along with the cool weather, pumpkin flavored everything, and changing leaves, autumn brings a burst of new releases to get us through to January. An impressive collection of genres make this season no exception as brave young heroines, bitter-sweet friendships, alternative dystopias, and a bit of sleuthing round out these books that won’t be in the ol’ tbr pile for long. Spice up your reading with our personal recommendations of fall drink pairings for each title. Cheers!
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
12-year-old Turtle is well versed in survivalist skills, as her father manically taught her her whole life, but an awkward stranger to life outside of the woods. Since her mother’s passing, she has become isolated and confused on what it means to be cared for, loved, and emotionally supported. When she meets Jacob who is funny, Jacob who is kind, Jacob who likes her, she begins to see a bright side to the world that was never there before. Fighting through her physical and emotional barriers, Turtle works to courageously reclaim her soul and life as her own. (Aug 29)
Why we like it: If Turtle can overcome, what have we to complain about?
Fall pairing ☕: Coffee with cream and sugar- simple, sweet, and timeless.
They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera
Silvera introduces us to a world where everyone hears their own death rattle, and it comes in the form of a phone call from Death-Cast. When teenagers Mateo and Rufus both get their 24-hour warning, they are connected to each other at random through a service called Last Friend. With a mixture of dark humor and unfiltered emotions, they find friendship, love, adventure, and raw understanding in each other, knowing they want to live the rest of their lives fully in just one day. (Sept 5) Meet Adam on October 25.
Why we like it: Silvera has, once again, masterfully captured all that is beautifully sad and also somehow hopeful.
Fall pairing ☕: Whichever one you’ve never tried before today.
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
From the author of The Color of Water comes a wonderful collection of stories on the human condition. McBride pays great attention to detail, and the effort creates intriguing and complex characters that could each survive full novels of their own. Both hilarious and perceptive, stories vary from an American president finding inspiration while at the stable to members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recounting their stories and many more. (Sept 26)
Why we like it: The storytelling is so compelling and imaginative you sometime forget it’s fiction.
Fall pairing ☕: Hot apple cider in a whimsical mug.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, Egan has cleverly revived a vintage style of novel, and we cannot put it down! Anna met Dexter Styles, a dear friend of her father’s, when she was just a girl. Years later, her father’s disappeared, she bumps into the mysterious Styles in a nightclub, and finds there were more secrets about her father’s life than she realized. Intrigue, identity, and discovery cover the pages of Manhattan Beach and capture the spirit of the nation and its people on the brink of a new era. (Oct 3)
Why we like it: This is a really intriguing historical fiction with a delightful noir vibe.
Fall pairing ☕: Hot toddie, Johnny. And keep ’em comin’.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
There is a story behind every women; Machado is the one who should tell those stories. This is a provocative debut collection that blends science fiction, surrealism, and comedy in a balanced and exciting palate. Each narrative deals with the “sometimes unbelievable reality of being a woman” (NBC) with a sincerity that touches on parts of you you didn’t even know you had. (Oct 3)
Why we like it: Machado seamlessly melds genres in each story, giving the whole collection an air of unknown.
Fall pairing ☕: Spiked apple cider- delicious, fulfills a specific craving, totally sneaks up on you.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This book is for every time you’ve gotten on Twitter and followed it with a sigh and a “We miss you, Obama.” Coates’s essays astutely documents the eight years of multiracial democracy that seemed to crumble with the return of the rich, white men in power. Not to be overlooked, this collection also reflects on the new voices and movements that arose in the past in regards to mass incarceration, Black Lives Matter, and more. (Oct 3)
Why we like it: Ta-Nehisi Coates presents his voice with urgency, reflection, and a unique perspective that truly stands out.
Fall pairing ☕: Tbh, beer — make it a pumpkin one to be festive.
Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides is equally as graceful in his first collection of short stories as in his bestselling novels. His characters are struggling with personal or national crisis, and are tied together by a theme of not being prepared for the world in a multitude of ways. A failing poet turns to embezzlement when pressured by the monetary success of those around him, but is found out. A young traveler explores the world, seeking enlightenment. Collected from throughout the author’s career, this collection displays not only the development of each story but the development of the writer, himself. (Oct 3)
Why we like it: The New York Times actually says it best. “Eugenides writes like a man who is enjoying himself. The feeling is contagious.”
Fall pairing ☕: Honey chamomile vanilla tea — smooth and accessible but also special.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Naomi Alderman’s newest release has definitely got our attention. All over the world, a new power is emerging exclusively in teenage girls to create physical pain and even death. The unprecedented over-night evolution takes what knowledge everyone thought they possessed about the world back to zero. (Oct 10)
Why we like it: Naomi Alderman was mentored by THE Margaret Atwood, and she created speculative fiction where women aren’t suppressed!
Fall pairing ☕: Mexican hot chocolate — it seems familiar, but has an unexpected element.
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
After much anticipation and many years, John Green has returned! Sixteen-year-old Aza and her best friend Daisy are working together to crack the case of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, and his son, who Aza once knew, is the connection they need to piece things together. But Aza is taunted by a constant patter of internal dialogue, running circles around her anxiety-ridden thoughts and non-existent medical ailments. While she wants to solve the case, hang out with friends, and not constantly search the internet for symptoms, she’s not sure how to get to that state of calm. (Oct 10)
Why we like it: While maybe not to the same degree, Aza’s anxiety is us. #itme
Fall pairing ☕: Cream soda, because high school requires some cold caffeine and sugar to get through.
The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks
The wonderful and insightful writings of Oliver Sacks help to connect science to life and theory. The River of Consciousness is one of the two books Sacks was working on up to his death, and is a celebration of his pure joy in uncovering and sharing knowledge. From evolution to memory to what make humans want to be creative, find new insight into the human condition you never knew you didn’t know. (Oct 24)
Why we like it: Sacks makes impossible knowledge of life and happiness incredibly accessible and pleasant to read.
Fall pairing ☕: English breakfast tea — hot, with a splash of sugar and cream, in honor of Mr. Sacks.
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
There are the ones who stay and the ones who go. Abby got out of dodge fast, and it’s been 10 years since she left her small hometown for Chicago. Her success as an environmental lawyer makes it easy to live in the present, but a pollution case bring her back to hometown Indiana, plagued with a past full of questions and disturbing discoveries in what she thought was her quiet little town. The small town with big secrets vibe is very Riverdale, and we’re very okay with that. (Nov 7)
Why we like it: Krysten Ritter killed it as Jessica Jones, but this book showcases her talents beyond acting.
Fall pairing ☕ : Americana, black — just like Krysten’s hair and the dark secret of our heroine’s hometown.
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
Evolution has reversed, scientist are stumped, and the world is ending. Acclaimed author Louise Erdrich has illustrated a dystopia that seems almost supernatural, where women are giving birth to babies that look to be a primitive species of human. Cedar is on the run to find her biological mother and some answers, while concealing her pregnancy from the religious sect that has overtaken the country. With a nod towards Margaret Atwood, Future Home of the Living God is a compelling narrative of self-determination, women’s rights, and natural rights. (Nov 14)
Why we like it: Erdrich includes a very real look at reservation life for Native Americans in an surreal alternative future.
Fall pairing ☕️: Pumpkin protein shake — keep up your energy and be alert.
Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner
From the creator of Mad Men comes a striking debut novel. The Breakstones have everything: wealth, status, a beautiful penthouse, and an extraordinary daughter, Heather. In fact, much of their lives revolve around their daughter. But as Heather comes into her teenage years, she tries to distance herself from her family and starts to see some of the darkness in the world that had been kept from her until now. (Nov 7)
Why we like it: You had me at Mad Men. You kept me with “Thriller.”
Fall pairing ☕: An old fashion — strong, elite, and traditional
Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone by Juli Berwald
Juli Berwald goes beyond research texts to capture the amazing but overlooked jellyfish. Having chose to leave her scientific life behind to raise a family in Texas many years ago, Juli was recently drawn back to the life of jellies after seeing more and more dire headlines concerning the entire species. Now she shares her global journey, from fishing boats in Japan to raising jellyfish in her home, to understand if the changes affecting the jellies were natural or forced. (Nov 7)
Why we like it: It’s memoir, science, climate change, compassion. and exploration all compellingly combined!
Fall pairing ☕: Thai iced tea with bubbles — orange, sweet, and you often forget about it until you have it again, and are like “oh man, I love Thai iced tea. I should save it from extinction.”