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Beach read season may be behind us, but fireside read season is fast approaching! We're planning to curl up with plenty of good books this fall thanks to the help of a few people who know a thing or two about a good read.
Author Ann Patchett (whose latest book, "Nashville: Scenes from the New American South," comes out in November), Sarah J. Maas (whose final book in the "Throne of Glass" series, "Kingdom of Ash," hits shelves next week), and Buzzfeed Books Editor Isaac Fitzgerald, stopped by with their picks for great books to binge this season.
Whether you're looking for a fictional escape or a true tale that inspires, this list is filled with books to make you want to curl up and read for hours.
"Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine," by Kevin Wilson, $12, Amazon
"This collection of short stories is nothing short of a masterpiece," said Patchett. "There are no weak sisters, and even though themes of children and parents repeat, every story here is memorable and distinct. Rough, raw and utterly human, it is completely original and should be heaped with awards."
"The Kiss Quotient," by Helen Hoang, $10, Amazon
"It's a sweet, sexy and fun book about a woman with Asperger's who hires a male escort to teach her the ins and outs of dating, and I just adored every page. I really can't wait to see what Helen Hoang writes next," said Maas.
"The Golden State," by Lydia Kiesling, $17, Amazon
Also available at Barnes & Noble.
"Kiesling's incisive debut novel introduces us to a woman, a family, and a country in crisis. When Daphne's Turkish husband has his green card revoked and is no longer allowed to enter the United States, Daphne is left to raise their toddler on her own," said Fitzgerald. "As the stress and pressure mount, she escapes her old life in San Francisco to hide out in a mobile home in the Northern California desert with her child. Both timely and perennial, 'The Golden State' examines motherhood, family, racism, and these fractured United States with intelligence, humor, and hard-earned heart."
"The Husband Hunters," by Anne De Courcy, $15, Amazon
"If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, pick up this book," said Maas. "It's the real-life history of the American heiresses who married into the (broke) British nobility between 1874 and 1905. It's marvelously written, and such an interesting, insightful examination of high society on both sides of the Atlantic. I couldn't put it down."
"Heavy: An American Memoir," by Kiese Laymon, $14, Amazon
"In his memoir 'Heavy,' Laymon stunningly lays his life bare, from growing up black and poor in Mississippi with a professor mother to his college years to the present," said Fitzgerald. "True to its title, 'Heavy' is a masterful exploration of burdens of all kinds, be they the burdens of family secrets, of racism, of physical bodies, and more. Heavy is a richly layered, powerful achievement."
"Barking at the Choir," by Gregory Boyle, $12, Amazon
Also available at Walmart.
"Father Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the world's largest gang rehabilitation program. He creates jobs, heals the deepest wounds with love and acceptance, and brings warring factions together. If you'd like a blueprint for how to do good in the world and be a better person, read this book," said Patchett.
Children and Young Adult
"Black Wings Beating," by Alex London, $12, Amazon
"In the dazzlingly imagined world of 'Black Wings Beating,' birds of prey are worshipped and those who can tame them enjoy respect and power," said Fitzgerald. "With an impending war and twins on a dangerous journey thrown into the mix, 'Black Wings Beating' gives us irresistible, complex characters in a propulsive, adventure-filled story, pulling off the rare trick of leaving its readers satisfied but undeniably excited for a second volume."
"But Not the Armadillo," by Sandra Boynton, $5, Amazon
"The story of an armadillo who marches to his own drum reads like a pocket collection of profound Buddhist wisdom by Thich Nhat Hanh," said Patchett. "He is in every way a perfect and unique armadillo who asks only to be accepted for who he is. Not a bad message for a small child, and the book can be chewed on."
"Can I Be Your Dog?" by Troy Cummings, $17, Amazon
"I have a 4.5 month-old son, who we read to almost every night (even if he's too young to really understand what we're saying) and 'Can I Be Your Dog?' is one of our favorites," said Maas. "It's about a homeless dog who sends around letters to everyone in his neighborhood, asking if they'll adopt him, and the first time I read this book, I bawled. I won't spoil the ending, but it is just so sweet and heartfelt and wonderful."
"The Overstory," by Richard Powers , $19, Amazon
Patchett recommended "The Overstory," saying, "The greatest novel ever written about trees. This epic weaves together nine separate stories about people and trees and slowly brings them together like a complex root system. If ever a book could save the world, it's this one."
"Consumed," by J.R. Ward, $18, Amazon
"I'm a massive fan of J.R. Ward, so as soon as I heard that she was writing a standalone novel about firefighters, I was 110 percent on board. 'Consumed' does not disappoint," said Maas. "It's got everything you'd want from a J.R. Ward novel: well-drawn characters, swoon-worthy romance, and heart-stopping action that will make you swear you're right there in the flames. Yet another stellar novel from an absolute rock star of an author."
"All You Can Ever Know," by Nicole Chung, $16, Amazon
"'All You Can Ever Know,' Chung's deeply moving and profound account of her life as a Korean American adoptee, as she grows up and strives to understand her identity, and, later, about to become a parent herself, decides to seek out her birth parents," said Fitzgerald. "'All You Can Ever Know' honors the grand complexity of love, family, and identity, while showing us how these things can save us and break us with devastating clarity and beauty."
Now all that's left to do is decide which one to read first!
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