Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Read In Fall

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about my autumn reading list! I’m ecstatic for my upcoming reads because fall is my favorite season. (Yes, I’m a basic American White girl stereotype. I love comfy fall clothes, cute spooky decorations, cold weather, and all the pumpkin junk. Feel free to judge me.) Here’s what I’ll be reading while devouring my Halloween candy.

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 🍂 Books To Read In fall 🍁

1. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story Of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

Adult Historical Nonfiction

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive—until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Why I’m excited: I already know the story of the radium girls, and it’s disturbingly fascinating. I want to know more about their lives and untimely deaths. This book has won awards and is loved by many book reviewers, so I’m excited to see what the hype is about.

2. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Adult True Crime Nonfiction

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic—capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim—he favored suburban couples—he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth.

Why I’m excited: I have a vivid memory of going on a long run shortly after this book came out. Every single podcast I listened to on that run raved about I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. I want to know if this book is destined to become a true crime classic. Is it the next In Cold Blood? I hope so. Also, I think this book is going to become a documentary series on HBO. I need to read the book before I watch that.

3. Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

Young Adult Historical Fiction

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Why I’m excited: I’m always ready for historical fiction. This one sounds bloody and angsty and perfect for cold fall weather. A dead brother who suddenly turns up with the enemy has the potential to cause all sorts of drama. I’m here for it.

4. Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

Adult Literary Fiction

There was me–my name is Green–and my little sister, Blue. There was October, who we called Toby, and Ellensia, Dylan, Liberty, Pet and Egg. There was Richard, of course, who was one of the Founders. And there was Freya.

We were the Family, but we weren’t just an ordinary family. We were a new, better kind of family.

We didn’t need to go to school, because we had a new, better kind of education. We shared everything. We were close to the ancient way of living and the ancient landscape. We knew the moors, and the standing stones. We celebrated the solstice in the correct way, with honey and fruit and garlands of fresh flowers. We knew the Bad and we knew how to keep it away.

And we had Foxlowe, our home. Where we were free.

There really was no reason for anyone to want to leave.

Why I’m excited: Cults! Or maybe just a bunch of arrogant weirdos who have separated themselves from society. I don’t know. Either way, I love books set in lonely places where anything can go wrong. You never know what’ll happen.

5. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Adult Horror

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the "steam" that children with the "shining" produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant "shining" power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes "Doctor Sleep."

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan's own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra's soul and survival.

Why I’m excited: Is this a vampire book? It sounds like a vampire book. I don’t know about vampires, but I do know it’s a sequel to The Shining. (Do you think I need to reread The Shining before I read this one?) I read The Shining for the first time as a young teenager and was freaked out by it, probably because I live near the hotel that inspired the story. I want to see what Danny Torrance is like as an adult.

6. The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

Young Adult Fantasy

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbors treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

Why I’m excited: My blogger friends rave about this novel. They say it has excellent LGBT+ representation and is full of monsters and secrets. I can’t pass up a book like that! I love a good mystery. This is at the top of my must-read pile for fall. Me and my Halloween spirit are ready. Bring on the spook.

7. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Adult Horror

Leaving your house in the middle of the night.
Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she's just as scared as you.

Starting a new school, making friends.
Seeing how happy it makes your mother.
Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

Following the signs, into the woods.
Going missing for six days.
Remembering nothing about what happened.

Something that will change everything.
And having to save everyone you love.

Why I’m excited: The author’s other book, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, was one of my teenage favorites. I read it an embarrassing number of times. I hope the characters in Imaginary Friend are as memorable as the ones in Perks. (If you’ve somehow missed Perks, I highly recommend it. Read it yourself and then gift it to the teens in your life.)

8. Elevation by Stephen King

Adult Horror

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

 Why I’m excited: I’m currently trying to lose weight. It might be nice to read about a character who’s as miserable as I am. I’m so hungry all the time! Also, this book is tiny. I can probably finish it in an afternoon. Pick it up if you’re looking for something quick to read.

9. Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Adult Horror

John Rothstein is an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

Why I’m excited: Finders Keepers sounds a lot like Miserywhich is one of my favorite King books. Is Stephen King retelling his own novels now? I eventually want to read all of King’s books, so I pick them up whenever they’re cheap. This book is part of a series. Does anyone know if I can read the series out of order because I don’t own book #1? I’ve already read The Outsider, which stars the same characters as this book.

10. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Adult Historical Fiction

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Why I’m excited: Look at the cover! It’s so pretty! And nature-y. The synopsis is vague, but I believe this novel is historical fiction about a female scientist who is searching for a monster. This is the exact type of book I’m craving right now. I want dark, gothic historical fiction with a slight magical twist. I need to read this ASAP.

What are you reading in fall?


  1. Ha ha ha. Same! I love everything about Fall, except for the fact that we don't really have it here in the Phoenix area. Boo hoo. It will still be hot here until November. Ugh. I miss having real seasons. Enjoy it for me.

    Happy TTT!

  2. The Radium Girls was an amazing read. Enjoy.

    My post .

  3. The Devouring Gray is on my general TBR, but not the specific list I did this week. The Radium Girls book sounds really interesting, I listened to a podcast episode about them a while back and it was fascinating!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/22/top-ten-tuesday-282/

  4. I really loved I'll Be Gone in the Dark. And the documentary on HBO has already aired, so get reading! LOL

    I still need to read Invisible Friend as well. I've heard it's not as great as Perks, but it's also vastly different, so we'll see. Might just be a fun spooky read!


  5. Great list! I really want to cross The Devouring Gray off my TBR.

  6. Looks like a perfectly spooky fall TBR! I'm looking forward to reading Sky In The Deep and The Devouring Gray myself :) Hope you'll enjoy all of these with your Halloween candy!

  7. I love the cover of Foxlowe. And that synopsis seems full of possibilities. :)

  8. My BFF read The Radium Girls and said it was fabulous. I hope you enjoy it!

  9. I've been watching the I'll Be Gone in the Dark documentary on HBO. I have a friend who has watched and read both and she said that the show mirrors the book.

  10. I adored Doctor Sleep but kind of treated it like it wasn't a Shining sequel. I keep meaning to watch the I'll Be Gone in the Dark documentary. Great list!

  11. I think you're going to love The Radium Girls - so well-written, engaging, emotional - just a fantastic nonfiction read.

  12. Got a lot of scary reads up there. Enjoy!

  13. Doctor Sleep is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  14. Such a great fall list! I really enjoyed Sky in the Deep! I hope you get to all of these! :)

  15. The Devouring Gray looks fantastic! May have to check that out. Other than review titles, I have no clue what to read this fall. Might be time for a TBR list dive.

  16. I've had Sky In The Deep on my Kindle for a while, so hopefully I'll get around to reading it soon.
    I hope you enjoy all of these books! :)

  17. I totally need to get The devouring gray for fall. I love a good spooky fall read. And I thought Sky in the deep was pretty good. I hope you enjoy!

  18. I have read Sky in the Deep and really enjoyed it, and The Devouring Gray which I liked but didn't love (though I think it IS a great read for fall- very atmospheric) so I hope you enjoy them too! I also really want to read Radium Girls, so I look forward to your thoughts on it!

  19. I listened to I'll Be Gone in the Dark as an audiobook in 2018 ... and it was pretty creepy. It's also a bit incomplete b/c the author died while writing it so there's a few segments that weren't finished. I haven't seen the TV series but I think it's already aired Season 1. The book is pretty well done ... if you like true crime.

  20. Don't know where to start here. A sequel to The Shining? Yes, please. I love the cover of The Essex Serpent, too. And I love your "Why I'm Excited" blurbs especially for Foxlowe: a cult or arrogant weirdos! Love it! The two non-fiction pieces have been on my list for some time. Thanks for the reminder.

  21. I've got a big list at the moment but most are hardbacks so I'll have to wait into next year for paperbacks or wait until the prices fall a good bit!

  22. Interesting list. I think it could have also had the title Covers with dark (or autumn) colours. ;) I do prefer them to the pink ones.

    My TTT.

  23. It looks like you are a Stephen King fan, aren´t you *smile* Some of the books I know from hearsay others are new to me. Not sure if you read them all or not, but if not, happy reading!

  24. This looks like a good list of books. I love stephen king also..

  25. Sky in the Deep and The Devouring Gray sound so good! And while I don't read (and haven't read) Stephen King, he sounds like an excellent author to read in the fall! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

  26. This definitely sounds like a TBR perfect for the autumnal season - I hope you enjoy all of these books!