From celebrating girl squads, to a brilliant book of essays to a must-read period-piece these are the books we’re adding to our bedside tables this fall.
Fall brings with it a bit of a reset button. It’s when our fashion year starts, when we mourn the loss of summer and when we find start to wrap our heads around the coming cozy season. And what is fall—the season of knits and hot beverages—without a good book? So, curl up with your blanket scarf, grab a PSL and get to making a to-read list.
Here are the books we’re most looking forward to reading this fall!
Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey
Okay, so I’ve mentioned this book before. But, it got a new release date, a new cover and honestly, I’m still not over how good it is. It’s my favourite novel of 2018, and since it’s part of my job to read books, I’ve actually made it through quite a few. In case you want a refresher on what this novel by Toronto-based Claudia Dey is about, here’s what you need to know. Billie Jean arrives in a town that is isolated from the outside world thanks to its cult behavior. She spills out of a stolen car, marries a man in the community and has a daughter. Some twenty years later, she disappears just as mysteriously as she came. Told from different perspective (her daughter, her dog and a neighbor all share their takes), as the story is told we begin to learn a bit of the why and how of Billie Jean Fontaine. It’s a page-turning story to be sure, but the beauty here is in the telling: a combination of pop-culture references, emotional insight and quiet revelation make this a must-read.
Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey, $20.92 at Indigo
Women Talking by Miriam Toews
The premise of this novel by Miriam Toews seems simple: A group of women gather, to discuss their shared trauma and to determine what action they should take next. You see, the group of women are Mennonites and they are trying to decide whether or not to leave their male-dominated colony forever because they have been betrayed by the men of their community. A single man has been asked to record their conversation (as the women cannot read or write) and so we hear the women deliberate, weep, condemn, wonder and hope in an effort to decide their own fates. It’s a powerful book, primarily because women talking—even now—can be a revolutionary act.
Women Talking by Miriam Toews, $14.97 at Indigo
Nobody Cares by Anne T. Donahue
Full disclosure: author Anne T. Donahue is a friend of mine (you can read our recent conversation about her book HERE) and I’ve eagerly awaited her collection of essays since she first told me she was writing a book. I was not disappointed. There are a lot of things to love about this collection. The humour. The insight. But honestly? The best thing about this collection is that Anne is the perfect combination of tough love and understanding, which is the recipe for the best pep talk ever. You should pick up the book even if you feel like you don’t need a pep talk. It’s unflinching, relatable and comes with a hefty dose of humour. We could all use a friend like that.
Nobody Cares by Anne T. Donahue, $13.40 at Indigo
Refuge by Merilyn Simonds
You don’t make it to ninety-six without accumulating a few stories, and Cassandra MacCallum is no different. Although she didn’t expect, at that age, to learn something new about her past. But when a young Burmese woman gets in touch claiming to be kin, it might be time to reflect. Merilyn Simonds manages to move back and forth between present in past, gently revealing all of the things that made Cassandra who she is: kind of cantankerous, definitely skeptical, but also, undeniably curious about what she might have missed.
Refuge by Merilyn Simonds, $15.51 at Indigo
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
When 11-year-old slave Washington Black is taken under the wing of one of his new masters, he’s not sure what to expect. Certainly not to be tutored by this man of science who has his own ambitions, and is an abolitionist to boot. And so Washington’s story takes him across the globe, from sea-faring explorer to precise scientific illustrator. Of course, his journey is more than geographical, it’s also a reckoning of spirit as Washington attempts to understand his place in the world and to reconcile his past—and the people in it—with his own freedom. Esi Edugyan is stunning here, marrying science and history with wonder and ambition.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, $19.26 at Indigo
Katerina by James Frey
Perhaps the name James Frey rings a bell? The author of A Million Little Pieces initially gained recognition for his standout novel—but things soon changed when words like dishonest and fraud were thrown around the Oprah show. I can’t wait to read this novel that deals with a lot of those issues. It’s a book about a novelist who must confront his past decisions, despite his current success. Sound familiar?
Katerina by James Frey, $17.35 at Indigo
Ponti by Sharlene Teo
Based in Singapore, this novel by Sharlene Teo combines the stories of three connected women. There’s an aging b-list actress, her isolated daughter and her daughter’s only friend. And while we’ll bounce back and forth in time and in perspective, you’ll find yourself rooting in turn for each of these characters—and vilifying them the next.
Ponti by Sharlene Teo, $31.98 at Indigo
(Story by Contributing Editor, Alexandra Donaldson, Background Images c/o Ian Fisher)