Autumn is my favourite season. I love the crisp autumn air, the smell of the earth and bonfires. I love autumn fashion where I can create myself a cocoon of layers. I love pumpkin – be prepared for a barrage of recipes heavily featuring pumpkin. But my favourite thing about autumn is with the return of the dark nights and cold weather; I get to curl up, in soft jumper with a hot drink, and fall into a good book. If you are of a like mind and are looking for some recommendations or inspiration then look no further. Here is my autumn reading list.
War on Women and the Brave Ones That Fight Back – Sue Lloyd-Roberts
This book was written by the late Sue Lloyd Roberts, the UK’s first female video-journalist telling the stories of atrocities faced by women across the world. Despite reading this book few months ago, it has stuck with me and I often find myself thinking about it. Some of the tragic cases described hit a little close to home and others really open my eyes to brutality some communities of women across the world have had to face. Roberts has provided a voice for women who have none and has made it her life’s work to tell their story.
House of Impossible Beauties – Joseph Cassara
The House of Impossible Beauties is the debut novel of Joseph Cassara, exploring the LGBT and ballroom scene in Harlem during the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Paris Is Burning may be familiar with the infamous House of Xtravaganza – this novel imagines the lives of the real life members as they navigate life facing poverty, abandonment, racism, rampant homophobia and the aids crisis. It’s incredibly tragic, heartwarming and serves all kind of sass!
Cassara’s debut novel follows the fictionalised accounts of several members of the House of Xtravaganza and does so with ease. As the characters’ stories intertwine and diverge, the plot flows seamlessly and can be followed with no confusion and flipping back pages. Cassara has managed to encapsulate the zeitgeist of not only an era, but of a subculture.
“I will tell her to look at my face – no, lines, no wrinkles, no bags. She can stare at my youth – and suffer.” Now this is the level of sass I aspire to live by.
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
As I mentioned in my Favourite Books blog post , I make a point to read To Kill a Mockingbird every year. I always seem to return to it as summer transitions into autumn. A lot of the narrative is pushed along as Dill returns to Meridian and Scout and Jem must return to school. The changing seasons represent growth and this is a book I always learn from when I read it.
In the current political and social climate, this book has never felt so relevant.
A Simple Favour – Darcey Bell
From a glance at the blurb, this is a book that I may have picked up only to put straight back down once I noticed the heavy focus on motherhood. A novel about a ‘mommy blogger’ whose ‘mommy’ friend goes missing. But it was a trailer for the movie adaptation starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick that caught my attention. I always like reading the book before seeing the film, so I requested this from my local library and I’m quite glad I did. Even when describing something relatively mundane, Whilst it follows a very similar narrative to Gone Girl, Bell has created an undercurrent of urgency which I felt was missing with the other thriller. After finishing the book I went back and re-watched the trailer and there seems to be considerable differences, so I am excited to watch and see their creative take on it.
On the Frontline with the Women that Fight Back-Stacey Dooley
I have seemed to have read my fair share of feminist literature recently. I have followed Stacey Dooley’s career a lot over the last few years and love to binge watch her documentaries with my friend Joana. On the Frontline rehashes some of Dooley’s more popular and harrowing documentaries the course of her decade-long career. Is it the most stylishly written book? No. But the way she writes is so accessible to all. I truly love her.
Let me know if you have/want to read any of the books on my list. Or any recommendations for myself would be greatly appreciated! There is nothing left to do know but get yourself cosy and start chapter one. Until next time…