Fun Books to read this fall

Do you like to read or listen to your books? I have friends who are hard-core books, the kind that have pages and thickness. I also have friends who love the library app and can consume their books for FREE! (with a little bit of a wait) and then there are those of us who listen and read on our devices. 

I love my personal development books and read those consistently but for me reading fiction is just fun! It helps me get out of my own life, jump into the lives of interesting fictional characters and get lost in another world for a while.  

Not only that, I typically find that it is a way to connect with other people. If I run out of conversation or simply want to strike up a conversation, what better way than to find out what they are reading. Every time I ask that question to someone and we have read the same book it creates an immediate bond as we have a shared experience we are excited to talk about. It is likely one of the reasons the question gets asked on many podcasts!

Have you ever seen a post on facebook where someone mentions they are looking for a good book? People cannot wait to share their ideas for books that you should read. (If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it, you will get some fantastic ideas!) 

Back to my original question, do you like to read or listen to your books?  I typically listen. I like audio books for many reasons. Mostly because I can do two things at once. I can drive and read or walk and read or do chores and read. And now that I’m traveling a lot I feel like I can consume more books. 

I have read several books lately that I have thoroughly enjoyed so I wanted to share. Hopefully you can pick up a new book that will be a fun read for you!

Books to read this fall that I currently love:

The Four Winds 

From goodreads: Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation. 

The book is a tough read. Like really tough, almost painful. But I fell in love with Elsa and her daughter. And I learned a lot about what folks endured during the Dust Bowl and Depression and the resilience of humans to endure the worst and still keep going. 

The Guest List 

From goodreads: On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why? 

I literally couldn’t turn this book off. The bonus of listening to the book on audible is that it is read by the different characters. I couldn’t turn it off. Literally got in the car just to find out what was going to happen next. Her characters all have just enough anxiety and history that you are drawn to them and then the way she weaves the stories together keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

From goodreads: class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.

1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)

2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).

3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Nina is a quickie, fun character. Her internal chatter and things she says out loud are literally LOL. This was just a fun read and introduced me to a character whom I just adored. 

Dear Mrs Bird

From goodreads:  A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times. 

Why I enjoyed this book: I have read a LOT of WWII fiction lately so this one I picked up on audible because it was free at the time. Emmy caught my attention with her desire to do some good in the world by listening to her gut to help the readers of this antiquated magazine and the things that Mrs Bird would not answer were hilarious. The things they found profane were so contrary to today that it was fun. This book moves quickly and was an easy fun read. 

The Midnight Library

Goodreads: Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

Why I enjoyed it: It is such a wonderful picture of how each choice in our life changes the trajectory and really the life we have chosen is perfect for us and the impact we make is significant, no matter how small we think it is. This book profoundly affected me long after I finished reading it. 

Ok, so I’ll ask you, dear readers. What should my next read (listen) be? I am always on the hunt for new fiction!