2021's Ultimate Fall Reading List




No matter what the topic - romance, thriller, mystery or memoir - a good read needs to be a page turner, a book that you don’t want to put down because you have to find out what happens next. Whether it's something light, something funny, something exciting or something literary, the 'Ultimate Fall Reading List' has you covered. For the complete list, check out the highlighted link on Bookshop.org.


The Scent Keeper

Emmeline lives on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won't explain are the mysterious scents stored in glass bottles that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world--a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.


Captivating and emotional, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.







The Perishing

Lou, a young Black woman, wakes up in an alley in 1930s Los Angeles, nearly naked and with no memory of how she got there or where she's from. Taken in by a caring foster family, Lou dedicates herself to her education while trying to put her mysterious origins behind her. She'll go on to become the first Black female journalist at the Los Angeles Times, but Lou's extraordinary life is about to become even more remarkable. When she befriends a firefighter at a downtown boxing gym, Lou is shocked to realize that though she has no memory of meeting him, she's been drawing his face for years.


Increasingly certain that their paths previously crossed--and beset by unexplainable flashes from different times that have been haunting her dreams--Lou begins to believe she may be an immortal sent for a very important reason, one that only others like her will be able to explain. With the help of her friends, Lou sets out to investigate the mystery of her existence and make sense of the jumble of lifetimes calling to her, just as new forces rise to threaten the existence of those around her.



Catch Us When We Fall

On her own since the age of eighteen, Cass Macklin dated brilliant, troubled Ben McGreavy, convinced he was the smartest person she'd ever known. They partied their way through their twenties, slowly descending into a bleak world of binge-drinking and broken promises, inebriated for most of a decade. Now Ben is dead, and Cass is broke, homeless, scared...and pregnant.


Determined to have a healthy pregnancy and raise Ben's baby, Cass has to find a way to stop drinking and build a stable life for herself and her child. But with no money, skills, or sober friends or family, the task seems insurmountable. At wit's end, Cass turns to the only person with the means to help her: Ben's brother Scott, third basemen for the Boston Red Sox, a man with a temper and problems of his own. The two make a deal that neither one of them is sure they can live up to. As Cass struggles to take control of her life and to ask for help when she needs it, Scott begins to realize there's a life for him beyond the baseball diamond.



Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

With insight, humor, and practicality, Natalie Goldberg inspires writers and would-be writers to take the leap into writing skillfully and creatively. She offers suggestions, encouragement, and solid advice on many aspects of the writer's craft: on writing from first thoughts (keep your hand moving, don't cross out, just get it on paper), on listening (writing is ninety percent listening; the deeper you listen, the better you write), on using verbs (verbs provide the energy of the sentence), on overcoming doubts (doubt is torture; don't listen to it)--even on choosing a restaurant in which to write. Goldberg sees writing as a practice that helps writers comprehend the value of their lives. The advice in her book, provided in short, easy-to-read chapters with titles that reflect the author's witty approach (Writing Is Not a McDonald's Hamburger, Man Eats Car, Be an Animal), will inspire anyone who writes--or who longs to.



Oh William!

Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are.


So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret--one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout's "perfect attunement to the human condition." There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together--even after we've grown apart.


At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. "This is the way of life," Lucy says: "the many things we do not know until it is too late."