Friday, September 30, 2011


"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all." - Stanley Horowitz

Fall in the Sonoran Desert - Arizona

Fall at Lake Tahoe - California

Ahhhhh, fall is in the air.  I know this because the daylight hours continue to back down, and with that, the temperature pattern begins to recede.  In some places it is cool and crisp with leaves changing colors.  In other places it is cool and damp with a lot of rain in the forecast.  In still other places folks – me included - are finally getting a chance to get out of summer heat hibernation and start their fall and winter outside activities.  Whatever category you find yourself in, you may also find yourself with extra time for…..dare I say it…. reading?

Fall at the Kankakee State Park - IL
It doesn’t seem to matter where you are geographically; it just seems you always busier in the summer months.  Vacations, children’s activities, summer holidays, family reunions, many things make us have a tendency to grab that small, light reading material that we can get through quickly.  Now that days are getting a little shorter, and outside activities are becoming a little more sporadic, don’t be afraid of that big book on the shelf.  Embrace the large, heavy, volume you had pushed aside for lighter summer fare.  Fall reading is kind of like fall clothing – just a little bulkier.  We’ll save the real heavy stuff for when snow starts falling.
Fall in Cuyahoga County - Ohio
I did a little searching and found some favorites for fall reading, and lo and behold several of my favorite books EVER were on the list!  Of course how and when they became my favorites are really a mystery to me…it just seems like they always were.  Because they are some of my favorites and because I am writing the blog (ha ha) I’m going to list them first.  That by no means lessens the other books in the list; it’s just that this blogger decided to take liberties with the order of things.  Please feel free to comment and give us your fall favorites – I always welcome suggestions.  Enjoy your weather - whatever that may be - and enjoy your reading.

 East of Eden by John Steinbeck

"First published in 1952, 'East of Eden' is the work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence. A masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, 'East of Eden' is a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis."

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
"One of the best-loved stories of all time, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than  forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century."

The Heart of Autumn by Robert Atwan (Editor)

"Illustrated throughout with graceful pen-and-ink drawings of fall foliage, this volume features a selection of some of the world's most acclaimed poets from Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, and William Wordsworth to more contemporary poets including e. e. cummings, Robert Bly, and W. S. Merwin."

“Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses,”  by Meredith Mileti

 This is a delicious book about a woman who has it all and loses it (figuratively and literally), only to learn the true recipe for love and happiness. The heroine, Mira, is a NYC restaurateur whose life is skewered by her husband’s infidelity. She retreats to Pittsburgh to be consoled by her family and friends. Think “Eat, Pray, Love,” with a lot more eating. This book is not for weight watchers—it’s about food, glorious food.   You will be salivating by page one (Meredith, you had me at, “Cooked rare, and topped with goat cheese and a fried egg so fresh its yolk oozes orange!”).

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back  By Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum

 America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them—and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.   In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption—and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.  

11/22/63: A Novel By Stephen King

 A high school teacher from Maine travels through a time portal to 1958, and then spends the next five years on a mission to stop the assassination of JFK.

Any new book (especially one weighing in at 864 pages) from the king of horror is a major event, but he may have outdone himself this time with a premise that asks, "What if would could go back in time and change history?"

Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay  by Tiffany L. Warren

As President of Grace Savings and Loans, Charmayne Ellis is an established, polished professional. Although she has reached great success, her ridiculing mother and wise cracking younger sister won't let her forget that she is a 36-year-old, overweight, unmarried woman.

In an attempt to help, Charmayne's best friend, Lynette, is obsessed with setting her up on a series of pity-driven blind dates. When a drop-dead gorgeous man, Travis Moon, shows interest, Charmayne's caution light blinks like crazy. But out of loneliness and pressure from her family Charmayne ignores her gut feeling and gets married. Yet instead of marital bliss, Charmayne begins to discover new things about her husband that force her to question her marriage and her faith in God.

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