Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Books To Read

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This week’s topic is top ten books on my fall to-be-read list. Here’s what I’m going to be reading in the next few months.

My Fall TBR

Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray

“A road's a kind of holy thing,” said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. “That's why it's a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It's open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it's home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle.” 
And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father's words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen, and Roger had disappeared, and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.


Why I'm excited to read it:  Fall is a great time for cozy historical fiction. I can curl up by the fireplace, eat Halloween candy, and get lost in the past. This book won the Newbery Award, so I have high hopes.

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival by Joe Simpson

Touching the Void is the tale of two mountaineers’ harrowing ordeal in the Peruvian Andes. In the summer of 1985, two young, headstrong mountaineers set off to conquer an unclimbed route. They had triumphantly reached the summit, when a horrific accident mid-descent forced one friend to leave another for dead.

Why I'm excited to read it: I live in the Rocky Mountains, and I've always been intrigued and terrified by mountain climbing. So much can go horribly wrong! I'm interested to find out how the mountaineers survived their accident. This book is supposed to be harrowing and too wild to believe.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

In December 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty-seven men set sail from South Georgia for the South Pole aboard the Endurance, the object of their expedition to cross Antarctica overland. A month later the ship was beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea, just outside the Antarctic Circle. Temperatures dropped to 35 degrees Celsius below zero. Ice-moored, the Endurance drifted northwest for ten months before it was finally crushed. The ordeal, however, had barely begun.

Why I'm excited to read it: It's a classic! It was originally published in the 1950s, and the author was able to interview the survivors of Shackleton's voyage. I'm interested to hear their account of how they survived being stranded in Antarctica.

All the Broken Pieces: A Novel in Verse by Ann Burg

Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs that fell like dead crows, by the family—and the terrible secret—he left behind. Now, inside a caring adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events force him to choose between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom.

Why I'm excited to read it: I love novels-in-verse. They're super quick to read because they cut out all the excess stuff and get right to the point. This one has been recommended to me by my blogger friends. If they love it, I'll give it a try. 

The Poet’s Handbook by Judson Jerome

Judson Jerome's years of experience as both a poet and a teacher come together to expertly guide you through the poetry writing process. You'll learn how to merge mechanics with art to produce poetry that will endure. You'll discover the meanings and uses of a wide variety of poetic terms, illustrated with the works of such poets as Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, and John Gardner. Jerome also includes a versification chart, an index to poetry terms, and indexes to poems/poets quoted in the book, making this book equally valuable for quick reference or in-depth study.

Why I'm excited to read it: Fall is a perfect time to learn a new skill. The weather isn't great, and it gets dark early, so why not learn something about poetry while trapped indoors? 

The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Ann Rule was a writer working on the biggest story of her life, tracking down a brutal mass-murderer. Little did she know that Ted Bundy, her close friend, was the savage slayer she was hunting.

Why I'm excited to read it: Fall means Halloween, and Halloween is a good time to feed my true crime obsession. This book is a modern classic that has disturbed millions of readers. The premise does sound unnerving. Imagine being friends with Ted Bundy. Yuck. No thanks. 

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Why I'm excited to read it: This book gets amazing reviews. It's supposed to be compassionate, hilarious, and full of fascinating information about the funeral industry. 

State Of Wonder by Ann Patchett

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.

Why I'm excited to read it: It was recommended to me by a fellow blogger! If you couldn't tell from the other books on this list, I love adventure stories. If a character is hiking into a jungle, I want to be there to see what happens. Also, I've heard there's a memorable and controversial twist at the end. I can't pass that up.

The Stranger In The Woods: The Extraordinary Story Of The Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life—why did he leave? What did he learn?—as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.

Why I'm excited to read it: Have you ever gotten the (narcissistic) sense that a book was written just for you? That's me with this book. It's a combination of everything that interests me: crime, survival, the wilderness, people in extreme isolation. It sounds fascinating. I've definitely been tempted to walk into the woods and never come out . . .

The One Hundred Nights Of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

In the Empire of Migdal Bavel, Cherry is married to Jerome, a wicked man who makes a diabolical wager with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in one hundred nights, he can have his castle—and Cherry. 
But what Jerome doesn't know is that Cherry is in love with her maid Hero. The two women hatch a plan: Hero, a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers, will distract Manfred by regaling him with a mesmerizing tale each night for 100 nights, keeping him at bay. Those tales are beautifully depicted here, touching on themes of love and betrayal and loyalty and madness.

Why I'm excited to read it: I've already flipped through this graphic novel and looked at the illustrations. They're beautiful! I love the colors. Long fall nights are a perfect time for gorgeous magical stories.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?


  1. I haven`t read any of these, but I do have Ann Patchett`s "Bel Canto" on my 2017 TBR.

    Carmen / Carmen`s Reading Corner

  2. Hope you get to and enjoy all of these!! Happy reading!

  3. I remember reading Touching The Void in high school and it completely irrationally put me off climbing!
    Cora ❤ http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

  4. Wow some really good reads here and if my TBR pile wasn't already to the ceiling... I've read Endurance and Smoke Gets in your Eyes (and even reviewd "Smoke" in my blog), but all these book sound great!

  5. What a collection here. I want to see if any are on audiobook. That last one especially ... that's the story I can get lost in.

  6. I've heard a lot of great things about The Stranger in the Woods. Happy reading!

  7. I'm not a fan of non-fiction, but you always seem to have books that I find really interesting on your blog. The Stranger In The Woods fits the bill!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  8. I haven't read State of Wonder but I enjoyed Bel Canto. Should get around to reading more of her books one of these days...

    My TTT

  9. Touching the Void and Endurance were both really interesting reads. I have The Stranger Beside Me on my ever growing tbr! Maybe next year...!

  10. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes in wonderful and she has another coming out on October. Strange Besides Me is awesome too
    my ttt

  11. Looks like a very satisfying reading list. I really liked Stranger in the Woods, Touching the Void, and All the Broken Pieces. I'm sure I read Adam of the Road forty years ago or so, but don't actually remember it. The Anne Rule is like the only true crime book I've ever read, and it was so disturbing I've never read any more. Partly because it's a local event. I've also always thought it was freaky how the author became this true crime specialist after writing about a guy she KNEW.

  12. I haven't read any of them.

    The Bundy one seems interesting.

    I look forward to reading many poems from you. :)

  13. I've not read any of these, but I do love the covers of the last two, so they clearly caught my eye. Only... Christopher Knight is Peter Brady, so now I DO want to read about Peter Brady living in the woods. I didn't see that episode of his reality show with that chick who won ANTM...

    The One Hundred Nights Of Hero sounds awesome in general, I need to add that one to my TBR immediately! I hope you enjoy these!

  14. I have only read one of these, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to see what you think. The Stranger in the Woods sounds like one I would read as well. I hope you enjoy all of these!

  15. I've never heard of any of these. I like the cover of the last one.

  16. I own State of Wonder and it's been in my TBR for quite some time... hoping you'll be able to enjoy it so it'll encourage me to read my own version :D