Must-Read Books For the Fall

Fall! It’s a time for picking apples, wearing plaid, watching the leaves change color, and catching up on the season’s most beguiling new book releases. One of the first things on my Fall to-do list is to read more. It seems simple enough, but with jam-packed days and a busy social schedule (hello, Holiday season!) it’s easier said than done. To prepare, I’ve got a stack of fashion tomes waiting for me on my coffee table. It’s a good reminder to kick up my feet and flip through a few pages whenever I have a free minute. It also doesn’t hurt that the beautiful covers work equally well as decoration! If you’re looking for some fashion (or décor) inspiration, check out my picks for Fall reading.

1. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

In an era where twenty-something women are told how to think, where to work, who to date, and what to wear, it’s refreshing that a voice has broken the mold to empower women to do one thing—be yourself, flaws and all. In Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham takes readers on a voyage of self-discovery as she successfully navigates the often-perilous facets of womanhood, from dating and friendships to self-love and careers. Through her series of essays, Dunham shares what she’s learned on her path to self-awareness with a refreshing candor and raw honesty that emboldens readers. Her painfully-relatable stories of graduating from one-night stands with toxic men and dead-end jobs with no purpose, to loving relationships and a fulfilling career will leave you laughing, cringing, and sighing “me too.” Thoughtful, hilarious, and exquisitely-written, Dunham’s memoir is like reading your quirky big sister’s diary.

2. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriary is probably doomed to be forever labeled a writer of “chick lit.” But despite its dopey name, her new novel, The Husband’s Secret, is better described as a comedy of manners and one with a serious undertone. As in her previous books, most successfully What Alice Forgot, Moriarty here wittily and observantly chronicles the life of middle aged, middle class Australian women, suburbanites who grapple with prosaic issues like marital fidelity and torturous ones like moral guilt and responsibility. You can’t help but laugh along with the small observations–“And there was poor little Rob, a teenage boy clumsily trying to make everything right, all false smiles and cheery lies. No wonder he became a real estate agent.” But it’s the big ones–Can good people do very, very bad things, and what, exactly, are we responsible for, and for how long?–that will make you think. This is a deceptively rich novel that transcends its era and place at the same time that it celebrates same.

3. Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

This is a book full of wonders. This is a book full of sentences that any writer, 21 or 101, would be proud to have authored. This is a book that will speak to young readers, because it expresses some of that inexpressible anxiety of starting out, of making life’s first momentous choices, of wanting and fearing and needing and hoping and dreading everything at the same time. It will also speak to older readers, because it’s an inspiring reminder of youth’s brimming energy, its quivering sense of possibility.

4. The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Wow. Just the premise of this novel had me intrigued, but once I started reading Kimberly Derting’s The Taking, I was avoiding sleep and thinking about it until I finished…and dang, I’m *still* thinking about it. Well written with an expected but not patronizing reveal, the details and the emotion move this story along and kept me gripped from the get-go. From the dropped clues to the harrowing climax, I had a vivid suspense movie playing inside my head the entire time. So good!

5. Women in Clothes, edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton

From an initial conversation between three girl crush-worthy authors, a book appeared: Women in Clothes is a look at why and how we wear what we wear, in 600+ meticulously and beautifully designed pages of essays and conversation, with every possible permutation of women exploring their personal history through their clothing choices.

6. The Secret Place by Tana French
Do you like Gone Girl? Yes? Then it’s time to catch up with French and her Dublin Murder Squad mysteries. The Secret Place is the fifth in the series — this one is about the murder of a teen boy, which leads to a complicated web of secrets and lies surrounding a group of teenage girls at boarding school.