Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Book Talk - Fall

I've wanted to write a Fall book post for weeks now but I finally have the time to write one.  While any season is a good time to read, when we begin to get in the cooler months in the States, I find it even more appealing to grab a throw and a hot beverage for the reading seasons.

I do want to say one thing before getting to the subject of books, it wasn't until I published the archived post on Sunday that I realized some people may think I was talking about blog comments.  That post was written after the 2016 election and I was talking about Facebook comments, which were shocking at their animosity to each other.  I ended up taking the Facebook app off of my tablet.

Now, what books do I love to read for the Fall season?  These are not in any order but as they come to mind.

The author that first comes to mind every Fall is Gladys Taber, probably for her lovely writing about the changes in nature and life at the New England farmhouse she shared with her friend.  The two couples owned the house together and the wives moved to the farmhouse permanently later in life.

All of her books are lovely and some are easier to find at a good price than others.  The book I pull off the shelf most often is The Best of Stillmeadow: A Treasury of Country Living.  As one would expect, it contains multiple offerings from some of her books.  There are no reasonably priced copies on Amazon but there may be on other used book sites.  

Stillmeadow Daybook is also good and it does have reasonably priced copies... here.

A unique Gladys Taber book was found at a library sale many years ago.  It is Reveries at Stillmeadow, a 1970 Hallmark edition with excerpts and some colorful illustrations.  I didn't know the book existed until I found it buried under other one dollar books at the library sale.  It is now one of my prized Taber books.

Copies can be found used... here.

Another author that a lot of people like to read in specific seasons is Rosamunde Pilcher.  September is her best known "Fall" read, although my favorite book of hers that I have read so far is Winter Solstice...  a favorite Christmas/Winter read.  

While having subject matter that is not "Christian" so to speak, it has nothing in the reading that would be offensive to most and I always like it when people who have made unwise decisions about their lives end up happy when they choose wisely.

Paperback copies can be found... here and the Kindle version is... here.

I'm including the classic novel, The Country of the Pointed Firs, in with Fall reading for many of the reasons I include the Gladys Taber books.  This book has the most lovely descriptions of nature and life in a Maine seacoast town.

As with any good writer, Sarah Orne Jewitt makes one feel they have visited Maine in the late 1800s.  The book includes the original novella and four short sequels to it.

A paperback copy can be found... here and a 99 cent Kindle version is... here.

It seems every article about Fall books provides titles for mysteries and "spooky" books.  While I do not participate in Halloween activities, I do admit that Fall is the perfect time for reading dark, broody, moody, and yes... even books that keep us up at night.

If you like to read kind of spooky books in the Fall, one my favorite books in this genre is the gothic novel called The Thirteenth Tale.  It was the book everyone in the book world was talking about the year it came out. I always recommend it with reservations and to read with discernment.

That is because there is a relationship in the background of the story that is rather unsavory but nothing in-your-face. In this case, it is important to the story line but I would have been happier if it were not there at all.  At least it is only alluded to from time to time.

It is written from the perspective of a bibliophile writer solving a mystery and the real life writer is brilliant in her use of words.  It is the book I would read in a book club for Halloween books as one who does not celebrate Halloween.  

The paperback version can be found... here and the Kindle version is... here.

A series of books, although written by a Christian author, that I would put in the "spooky" category is the Redwing Saga series of books written by Sharon Gilbert.  I was going to read these on the Kindle throughout the Spring and Summer months but I read them so fast that I finished by around mid-July. 

Imagine a series of books that begin with the Jack the Ripper murders and introduces us eventually to a family loyal to Christ with secret royal lineage.  Then, imagine that the Jack the Ripper murders are actually committed by people and fallen angels loyal to the enemy of our souls. These are stories to give to friends and family who think Christian literature is boring.

This is a book about the warfare between Good and Evil and how it can enter into the headlines of newspapers.  It is about heroes that are men and women as well as  heroes of the angelic realm.  It is about sacrificing our own comfort sometimes for the sake of God's ultimate purpose.

Now, I absolutely loved these books but even I had a hard time with the first couple of books in the series because of the content of the Jack the Ripper murders and I can usually handle CSI kinds of plots with no problem. 

However, once you get through the first couple of books (and fast read through some scenes if you must), you realize why the author had to describe the murders the way she did because it is truly a battle against God and the enemy for the souls of men. I love the setting in Victorian Great Britain and the way their love of Christ brings together all classes. 

While the paperback copies are pricey, the Kindle price is half that of the paperbacks.  Even better, if you belong to Kindle Unlimited, you can read them for free.  Sharon Gilbert started writing these in 2017 and she is currently working on Book #8.  As I mentioned, this would be an excellent series to suggest to non-Christian friends who like this genre of fiction as it shows Christianity in a unique light.

Blood Lies, Book #1 in the series, can be found... here and for the Kindle... here.

I have recommended Frank Peretti's book, Monster, before.  There aren't many books about Bigfoot from a Christian perspective.  This book combines a spooky background with brilliant writing (Peretti is one of my favorite authors) and trust him to have a plot that points to more than what is obvious.

Yes, Monster is a spooky book but unlike most in the genre, it is family friendly for teenagers.  Just don't take it with you on a camping trip.

Monster can be found in paperback... here and on the Kindle (only $4.49)... here.

Okay, you know I'd probably have another Bigfoot book to add to the list.  However, Sweet Mountain Music is more of a pleasant romance story that happens to be centered around a search for a Bigfoot type of animal.

A friend read it and told me that I HAD to read this book, she knew I would like it.  Well, I bought it for the Kindle and it sat for awhile before I finally decided to read it... and she was right.  

I thought it was a book like Monster and at the time, I wasn't interested in anything too scary.  This book had just enough intrigue to make it interesting and the ending was unexpected but good.  It is the scary book version of a cozy mystery.

The paperback version can be found... here and the Kindle version (only $4.99) can be found... here.

If your choice for dark and gloomy Fall reading falls into the historical mystery category, then you may have already heard of the Brother Cadfael novels.  I first heard of the Ellis Peters mystery series about a monk in the 12th Century when the episodes appeared on PBS... long ago.

I know so many people who enjoyed reading these novels.  Not only mystery enthusiasts but those who liked to read about that time in history, people interested in herbs and such used for medicinal value, and readers who just like a unique story.

There are many books in the series but book one, A Morbid Taste For Bones, is probably where one should begin.  The paperback version can be found... here and the Kindle version (only $1.99) can be found... here.

November is the last month of Meteorological Fall and the beginning of the Holiday season in the U.S. with the much beloved holiday of Thanksgiving... which turns my thoughts and reading toward food and hospitality.

One of my very favorite books about the subject is Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. 

Bread & Wine is a warm, cozy, and delightful read for those of us who love to cook and to share food with friends and family around the dinner table.  It will inspire you to tie on an apron and begin chopping root vegetables for an Autumnal stew.

Each chapter is a separate story/essay in her life that centered around food.  I already have it ready to reread soon. This is the perfect book if you want something to pick up and read one chapter at a time.

Bread & Wine can be found in paperback...here and on the Kindle... here.

For some of us in this country, the cooler weather of Fall may be a little late this year but it will arrive any day.  For me, cool weather begins the season of reading.  Enjoy!

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

Image:  Book Shop: Kim-Sung


Donna G. said...

I love the Gladys Taber books also. I have a collection of them however it has been several years since I last read one. Maybe I need to pull one off the shelf and enjoy the serenity of Stillmeadow.

I think I read Sarah Orne Jewett many, many years ago. I don’t even remember the plot of the book……but since Maine is one of my favorite places, I’m going to have to buy a copy to read again. Thanks for bringing these books to my attention again.

Deanna Rabe said...

Most of these books, I’ve not even heard about! I do like Gladys Tabor and, Rosamond Pilcher. I like cozy mysteries, like Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mysteries, but I’m not into darker thrillers.

Thanks for sharing these books and authors, friend!

Terra said...

I enjoyed your book ideas, and The Redwing Saga intrigues me, I may buy the first one. My women's group at church is studying Present Not Perfect by the author you included, Shauna Niequist.

Rebecca said...

I'm almost to the end of the Cadfael Chronicles. I can't think of another series this long that I've enjoyed so much. My goal is to complete the series in October. I'm on #18. Then I hope to finish "This Day", a collection of Sabbath poems by Wendell Berry.

savannah said...

I enjoyed your reading your post.
I'm going to look for some of your fall reading suggestions.
I do love Diane Setterfields writing! I have read the 13th take
Several times. It is one of those books that is so we'll written,
It draws you deeply into the story.

Melissa said...

I have read some of these books before on your recommendation, thank you!
Have you heard of Internet archive digital Library? Basically free books to read on your Tablet or any other device. You borrow it for however long you want, tons of old books that are out of print now. I decided to read "September" by Rosamunde Pilcher again, but on my Tablet since all of my other books are still packed away in our storage unit, plus I'm not holding a 400- 500 page book in my hand! I love getting lost in her family/home stories, what a calming delight for night time reading.


Anonymous said...

Love your book talk! I've been devouring Agatha Christie mysteries lately, and have also really enjoyed The No. 1 Detective Agency mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith. I like "light" mysteries that keep me interested, but nothing so disturbing that I can't sleep at night! The other title by Diane Setterfield, Once Upon a River, did put me a little on edge, so I don't think I'll try any others of hers. In fact, I was so unnerved, I had to skip to the end to find a few answers before I could read on ... my husband HATES that I do this! Do you ever find yourself "peeking" ahead in a book? (-:


Anonymous said...

What a nice surprise to see your book talk post! I discovered Gladys Tabor when I found the same little book like the one you showed, at a used bookstore years ago. Then Susan Branch featured her books on her blog. I was able to find a whole slue of them at another used bookstore, and now I have my own collection of them! I like her and the Miss Read books for a nice quiet, soothing read about life in simpler times when life made more sense. Thanks for sharing your favorites.
Laura C. (WA)