Books for Your Fall TBR

For as long as she could remember, she had thought that autumn air went well with books, that the two both somehow belonged with blankets, comfortable armchairs, and big cups of coffee or tea.-Katarina Bivald, in The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Are we telling you that you have to read these books? Do you need to make a fall list? Does it matter what you read in the fall? No. No. And no.

What we are saying is that a season change is a great time to reevaluate what is going on in your life. Keep the things that are working and get rid of the things that aren’t. The same goes for your reading list. Look over the genres you have been reading. Maybe it is time to branch out, take a page from the back-to-school feeling in the air. You could try a totally different style, learn something new, or find ways to love what you already have.

This list is here only as suggestions. These are books we have enjoyed. I don’t even know when I read these books, but looking back at them, I know they would be a great choice for the chilly autumn evenings. Steep yourself some tea, wrap up in a blanket and find yourself a good book.

Eva’s Bookish Ideas

The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way by Bill Bryson

Here is one book about the English language that is sure to keep your attention. Bryson is a treat to read. A slightly irreverent, tongue in cheek treat. In this book, he takes the English language and tells us where it came from. He somehow makes learning about this mundane subject interesting. This is a perfect September choice for the never-stop-learning person.

“To be fair, English is full of booby traps for the unwary foreigner. Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman’s apparel is clearly asking to be mangled.Bill Bryson The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way

Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks

I just listened to this modern gothic novel. It is full of windy nights, rainy afternoons, and plenty of suspense. Freya comes to Byrne Hall thinking it’s the answer to her questions. Instead of answering them, more questions come. Where did the painting go that was in the hallway the first time she entered? Why did Diana suddenly disappear? And what, exactly, does Corey know about Stella? Pull the blinds and be prepared to feel spooky with this one!


If you are in a reading rut, try some young adult books. These next two books are perfect for your young teen girl. The stories are interesting; they have plenty of mystery and a hint of romance. I have read both of these many times, even in the adult part of my life.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Kit Tyler is orphaned; she moves from the shimmering Caribbean to the cold Puritan Connecticut Colony to be with the only family she has left. Life with the Puritans is difficultShe makes friends with two people, an old Quaker woman and Nat, who is a sailor. When the Puritans find out about her friendship with Hannah Tupper, hostility turns to suspicion. Is Kit also a witch?

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

“Not every thirteen year old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating, even if it did happen years ago. Be warned, however: If strong ideas and actions offend you, read no more. Find another companion to share your idle hours. For my part, I intend to tell the truth as I lived it.” Need I say more? Go to the nearest library and borrow this book for your teen girl (and read it yourself!).


Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels

Looking for the house of your dreams? Look no further than your own four walls. Melissa Michaels shows you the way to love the home you have through organizing and being OK with your very own style. Reading this book opened my eyes to the fact that I have what I need right in front of me. She points out the beauty in the ordinary. Want to put it all to use? She has a 31-day Love Your Home challenge. Find a couple friends and go through the challenge together. (Liz and I did this a few years ago. It was so fun reading in the book and then discussing with our friends.) Go into the most commercial part of the year feeling satisfied and fulfilled.

Bonus Set:

The Giver Series by Lois Lowry

This dystopian set centers around 12-yr-old Jonas. He lives in a colorless world. As long as everyone conforms to the rules things go well. Jonas is given his job as the Receiver of Memories. It is his duty to remember everything (slowly) for everyone. He becomes more and more dissatisfied with life in the community. This series is labeled as Young Adult, but I first read it as an adult and was totally enthralled. I think there are parallels to life, and it’s good to think about things outside our comfort zone once in awhile.

Liz’s Recommendations

“Pass the time?” said the queen. “Books are not about passing the time. They’re about other lives, other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, Sir Kevin, one just wishes one had more of it.”Alan Bennett in The Uncommon Reader

  • Ann of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (young adult fiction)
  • Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (fiction; picked up this recommendation from
  • As Is by Larissa Koehn
  • Book Girl by Sally Clarkson (lots of book recommendations here and essays on the benefits of reading. Use your own good judgement on the titles suggested)
  • I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (inspiration to read)
  • Any poetry: Ruth Bell Graham, Robert Frost, Edgar A Guest, Helen Lowrie Marshall, Emily Dickinson are some favorites.
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (lighthearted fiction, can be read in an afternoon)

Bonus idea: I have been listening to the Bible since April; it’s an ongoing project. So often I read a chapter here, a verse there. I wanted to try it like I read other books- beginning to end – to grasp the vast, panoramic principles. I would have quit months ago if I wasn’t listening to the audio. I can listen in the garden or doing housework. The Bible Recap “Chronological” on the YouVersion Bible app takes about twenty minutes a day and reads the Bible in the order it happened.

How to Choose Books

Read what interests you. Finding a subject or style of writing (I like historical fiction that goes back in time then up to present day) that you like will ensure you will be interested until the end.

Read what you want to learn about. Obviously, something you want to learn about will interest you, so that box is ticked already. Learning new things is always in season, but for sure in the fall when is seems like everyone is going back to school.

Find some bookish friends and form a book club. That will help you branch out from your normal genre. In my book club, each gal takes turns choosing a book, we all read it, then get together to discuss it. I have been forced out of my reading rut this way.

Find a blog to follow. Liz and I both read Modern Mrs. Darcy. I have found quite a few books on her blog that I have really liked. It is interesting to get someone else’s take on books and reading. It has expanded my horizons looking at reading through another’s perspective. Notice it says, find a blog. Too many suggestions can clutter the mind and your inbox.

Expose yourself to books. Go to the library. Read with your children. Peruse the book aisle at Walmart. Buy books! and are two great places to buy books cheaply. Let books find you. Sometimes you fiind just the right book at just the right time. Always take a pass through the book section when you are at the thrift store, too.

Have more than one book going at a time. I usually have fiction and nonfiction books going at the same time. Sometimes I’m in the mood for one, sometimes the other. And there is a good chance I will have more than one of both those going at a time. I like to have options!

I love all these suggestions. I did some searching for a formula for choosing books. Most of the ideas boiled down to read what looks interesting to you. That works well, except it keeps me in the same rut. So if you want to turn over a new leaf, try choosing a word or phrase to help you choose your books. The words could describe a place, (the southwest, in old houses, France) a time (long ago, Civil War, in the fall) or a feeling (cozy, mystery, adventurous). A quick google search will likely yield dozens of options for you to consider. You can add fiction/nonfiction to your search to refine the results. When you tire of one word, pick another.

If you haven’t been reading and would like to revive the desire, start small with a short book, or read an old favorite from your bookshelf. And if the desire is there, but you don’t think you have time, try audio books. You can fit in books while doing dishes, folding laundry and driving.

Wherever life takes you, there are always good books to find and enjoy! Let us know what you have read that you love, and if you have a method for choosing books.

Happy reading!

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