Eight awesome books to read this fall

Well, I’m way over halfway through the 2015 Reading Challenge and I’m about four books behind schedule. Oh dear. I may have to pick up some children’s books to make up for it. Har har.

These books have nothing to do with fall. Suckaz. But hey if you’re looking for new reading material, check ‘em out.

Also, I just started reading Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda and holy HECK I cannot put it down. It’s so dark and twisty and fascinating. Canadian authors rock.

So here’s what I’ve been reading.


Quick Summary

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Three-line Review

Is The Girl on the Train the new book that’s now cool to hate? Haha. I actually really loved it, and was hooked from the first page. It’s been a long, long time since I finished a book in one day. People kept comparing it to Gone Girl but I didn’t find it to be that way at all. As infuriating as the main character is, I felt rather sympathetic towards her. Alcoholism is no joke.

☆☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Qualified for a book that scares you.


Quick Summary

Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium.

Three-line Review

I’m so thrilled that I found this book at the back of my bookshelf — leftover from a former roommate. The best understanding of Palestine I’ve been able to glean from the media so far. Sacco is brilliant, even more so for using comics as his medium. If you want to understand a little about the situation in Palestine, read this book.

☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Qualified for a book that is a graphic novel.


Quick Summary

Azariah Roberts, the author’s grandfather, was a respected fishing captain and community leader in the small town of L’Anse au Pigeon. Living in a remote community on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, “Uncle Az” and his loved ones were unprepared when a murderer came to town. Sod Mugford, whose name resonates with infamy throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, had perpetrated a heinous crime in 1928. And it was only a precursor to the horrific events that were to follow. The Curse of the Red Cross Ring is that story.

Three-line Review

I don’t know, I didn’t love this book. The writing felt kind of juvenile or lacking to me. The story is interesting, though. My uncle suggested that I read this book, and since he’s terminally ill, I felt like it would be a last good way to connect with him. I’m glad I did.

☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Qualified for a book you can finish in a day.


Quick Summary

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to The Infernal Devices, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Three-line Review

(Giving myself a bit of liberty with this one since it’s a full series.) I’ve been really into YA lately and I think there’s SO much good reading out there. I actually really really loved this series and was hooked from the first book, despite the cheesy love triangles and general expected tropes in this genre. But I absolutely HATED the final book and it kind of ruined everything in me. The story literally ends halfway through the book and then just keeps going on for absolutely no reason. Make me so angry. I may be overthinking though, as per usual. Everyone else seems to love it.

☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Qualified for a trilogy.


Quick Summary

The Rough Guide to Germany is the ultimate travel guide to this dynamic country. Now in full colour throughout, dozens of colour photos illustrate Germany’s stylish cities and beautiful landscapes, its meandering rivers and picture-perfect castles. Detailed accounts of every attraction provide all the information you need to explore the country’s exceptional museums, iconic architecture, and its many rural escapes, from the soaring Bavarian Alps and dense woodlands of the Black Forest to the beautiful beaches and islands of the North Sea or the idyllic Rhineland vineyards where you can sample some of the country’s many world-class wines.

Three-line Review

I’m a big fan of Rough Guides and I picked up this book before moving to Germany. Although I’ve only been able to use it so far for Berlin, I’m loving the content. Well researched and well written, and beautifully laid out. Downside: Not as budget friendly as I would have expected.

☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Qualified for a book set in a different country.


Quick Summary

The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.

In Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory.

Three-line Review

Welp, I’ve added about 5000 new destinations to my bucket list after reading about Malachy’s travels in search of home. While dense in history and research, the notions of home and life on an isolated island are all too familiar.

☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆

Qualified for a book I started but never finished because my friend gave this to me as a birthday present and I didn’t want to read a book I started but never finished because that’d mean it was likely horrendous. Run-on sentences for the win!

Have you read any of these? What are you reading lately?

  • September 18 2015
    Pauline Susanto

    I just finished reading the Girl on the Train! Like you, I don’t think it’s comparable to Gone Girl, but I do think this is better than Gone Girl. I had such a hard time going through the first half of Gone Girl, I almost gave up finishing the book. Not gonna lie, I find some parts in Girl on the Train really freaky, like when her mind is messing up with her and she can’t separate past and present. The book gives a VERY thorough look into the life of an alcoholic though – it’s definitely not something to joke about!

    • September 21 2015

      I preferred it too! I just felt so bad for the main character, she was all kinds of sad. I couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters in Gone Girl at all!

  • September 22 2015

    I adore your reading posts. Just added The Orenda to my wish list.

    I’m with you on the Cassandra Clare books. Everyone else seems to love them, but not me. You made it farther than I did, though. I hated the dramatic main characters and gave up on them at some point (I think after the first book, but it didn’t stick with me enough to remember if I finished).

    • September 24 2015

      I’m so happy you do! I’m never sure if anyone bothers reading them, haha. The Orenda is unreal. Currently considering putting aside my work for the rest of the day so I can just finish read it. Lol.

      I didn’t love most of the characters either from the Clockwork series. And I hate perfectly neat and tidy endings. I still might consider reading the Mortal Instruments series though

      • September 24 2015

        Yep – totally love the book stuff. And I think you posted a roundup recently of book blogs you were reading and two of those have become favorites too, so thank you!

  • September 22 2015
    Myrtle Kendell Walsh

    I am adding The Orenda and The Girl on the Train to my list as well. I am reading, “What I Remember most’ by Cathy Lamb. I was surprised how much I like this book!

    • September 24 2015

      I think you’ll love both of them! Although you didn’t like “Gone Girl” so I don’t know hahaha. I haven’t heard of the Cathy Lamb one

  • September 23 2015

    Thanks for this! I highly recommend The Woman Who Read Too Much by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani. It’s gorgeous storytelling about a 19th century kick ass poetess in Iran.

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