The following post contains affiliate links, which sends me a small percentage of any sales at no cost to you.
Yesterday was the start of a new month, and I know we’re about to head into a new season — so exciting!
As I was preparing for this reading list, I looked back on the 2021 list (to ensure I don’t duplicate any titles), and I realized I waited until the official start of Fall.
Consider this your pumpkin spice latte of reading recs — it comes out earlier and earlier every year 🙂
Although summer and beach reads have a special place in my heart, I look forward to curating the fall reading recs (and the holiday recs) every year.
I think the “back-to-school” attitude in all of us makes us want to read more this time of year. Or maybe we’re just hunkering down and cuddling up with books.
Regardless, here are my recs for the fall season. I always try to mix genres in this list and include new titles along with backlist reads because you’ve gotta have something to get from the library!
‘Anna: The Biography’ by Amy Odell
I saw this book on display at the airport as I was heading to Louisiana earlier this summer. The cover struck me initially, but I’d also finished reading Andre Leon Talley’s memoir, where he extensively talked about Anna Wintour.
I’m adding it to the reading list because fall is an essential moment in the fashion industry — particularly for “Vogue” and its September issue. I am also curious about this book because it doesn’t seem like Wintour was actually a part of it, nor did she approve it (as far as I can tell). The research comes from those close to Wintour, which isn’t bad… just another layer of her secretive nature.
‘Lessons in Chemistry’ by Bonnie Garmus
I try not to include obvious titles on this list, but I just checked this one out from the library, and I’m so excited to read it!
This book follows scientist Elizabeth Zott in the 1960s. At the research institute where she works, she’s the only female on the team, and most men don’t believe in equality. Elizabeth’s life takes a turn, and she ends up leading women in challenging the status quo.
‘Blacktop Wasteland’ by S.A. Cosby
I saw this one on Instagram and was admittedly intrigued by the title. But, when I dug a little deeper, it sounds very good.
The book is about Beauregard Montage, who’s a known honest car mechanic on top of being a husband and a father. However, when faced with major financial issues, he is invited to participate in a diamond heist that will resolve his money problems.
Having just read “Counterfeit,” this description has me SOLD at “diamond heist.”
‘Remarkably Bright Creatures’ by Shelby Van Pelt
This was another Instagram find, and it sounds a bit sad but just too good to pass up! This story is about Tova Sullivan. As she copes with her husband’s passing, she picks up a job working the night shift at an aquarium.
Not only is Sullivan struggling with grief, but there’s also an underlying pain from her son missing more than 30 years prior. During her shifts at the aquarium, Sullivan is fascinated with a giant octopus. Their friendship grows, and the octopus may have answers about her son’s disappearance.
I know this plot sounds far-fetched, but I love the idea of it!
‘The Seine’ by Elaine Sciolino
This book is one I saw years ago at a bookstore but only recently bought it. Having been to Paris, I have a newfound excitement about reading it.
Elaine Sciolino came to Paris as a young foreign correspondent and was seduced by The Seine. She tells the story of that river from its source on a remote plateau of Burgundy to the wide estuary where its waters meet the sea and the cities, tributaries, islands, ports, and bridges.
The book covers the rich river history through people and the city around it. This book is a mix of memoir, travelogue, and history all in one!
‘Girls They Write Songs About’ by Carlene Bauer
I heard this on a podcast and was SOLD at the book’s setting: 1997 New York. This book is about friends Rose (a staff writer) and Charlotte (an editor).
The plot follows their blossoming friendship — they become inseparable and celebrate life’s milestones together. But, their friendship isn’t without its problems. Will they be able to reconcile and move on?
‘The Measure’ by Nikki Erlick
In this story, eight people get a special delivery on their front porch — a wooden box with the number of years they will live inside it.
Where did these boxes come from, and is what’s inside true? Do they even want to know how long they’ll live? “The Measure” follows these characters as they make decisions and discover their fates.
‘The Hellfire Club’ by Jake Tapper
This was another airport discovery. As I walked by a bookstore, I made note of it, and my first thought was, “Jake Tapper, as in, from CNN?” Upon Googling, yes! The CNN anchor Jake Tapper also writes fiction — what?
He has a few published books, and although this one came out in 2018, it’s the first in a series. This book is about congressman Charlie Marder in 1950s Washington, DC. A fatal car accident uncovers many secrets that could change history, but Charlie must fight for what’s right — and save his life.
‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin
This is another popular title, but it was one I wasn’t sure I wanted to read. However, the more I hear about it, the more I want to read it!
Harvard student Sam Masur and Sadie Green are childhood friends that have already had great successes. The book spans 30 years of their friendship and love, with unique twists along the way.
If I’m not mistaken, I think this book has a video game element. Either way, I’ve got it on my reserve list at the library.
‘The Personal Librarian’ by Marie Benedict
I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while but now seems like the best time to read it. This is the story of Belle da Costa, J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian.
As a result, Belle becomes a member of New York society, but she has a secret to keep: she was not born a Greene, but instead a Greener, as the daughter of the first Black graduate of Harvard. How far will she go to protect her family and legacy?
‘How to Host a Viking Funeral’ by Kyle Scheele
Inspirational speaker Kyle Scheele asked thousands of people to share regrets to burn in a mock Viking Ship. Scheele planned to host this ritual — a Viking funeral — instead of having a party for his 30th birthday.
The funeral video went viral, and the act encouraged others to release the burdens of their past, too. This book shares how we can all have a Viking funeral and let go of the things holding us back.
‘The Anthropocene Reviewed’ by John Green
I’m normally not one to read a book of essays, but 1. John Green, and 2. I’ve heard this is really good.
The Anthropocene is the current geological age in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this book, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet – from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley’s Comet to Penguins of Madagascar – on a five-star scale.
And there you have my 2022 Fall Reading Guide! What are you looking forward to reading this season?
For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop.