Fall is (almost) officially over, which means it is time for my seasonal favorites post. Basically, I kind of wanted to just get this out of the way so we can get into the more fun favorites (and least favorites) later this month. This was kind of an interesting post to put together. Because even though I read a lot of five star books, I realized looking back that very few of them were books I’d look back on and think of as favorites that really stuck with me.

A lot of the five-star reads of the last three months (mostly November, which involved a lot of nonfiction) were books I learned a lot from and appreciated in that way, but maybe don’t look back on as something I loved reading. But I was able to put together a list of five books that stuck with me, so here are my favorite fall reads.

Click the links below for my monthly wrap ups if you want to see everything I read this fall:

September – October – November

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Technically, this was barely a “fall read” because I started it in January. But it took me nine months to finish, so I guess it counts. Either way, I was not expecting this to end up on a favorites list this year. I just kind of wanted to read it because I’d heard it was good, despite being a thousand-page-plus classic novel. But I think I just happened to pick this up at the right time. Because in September, when I read the biggest chunk of this, I had a few people screw me over. And it was so, so much fun to read about epic petty revenge.

Seriously, though, I am glad I read this book. Even though it took me almost the entire year and I had to set a ton of reminders for myself to “just read one chapter this weekend!” – I did it. And despite the fact that it did take me that long, I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely not a quick read, and I will admit looking at the size of the paperback intimidated me (next time I read a massive classic, I might go the ebook route so I can’t see how much I have left). But I liked it.

I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder

This was one of the most recent reads on my list – for my November reading experiment where I read Jameela Jamil’s favorite nonfiction books – and I honestly didn’t quite know what to expect going in. This is a memoir about depression and recovering from depression. And I can’t think of another memoir I identified with so strongly. I am also on the same journey, and it was really refreshing to read about someone else’s experience with that.

I think this is a really great book for anyone who has experienced depression, because it made me feel a lot less alone. But it will also be a great read for anyone who hasn’t personally experienced depression because it might help you understand what some of your friends or family members might be going through. Personally, I do think that is important, because I wish I’d had someone who was understanding and empathetic. I really enjoyed this memoir and the message it had, and I’m so happy I read it.

Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

This was for another reading experiment – this one where I read books by indigenous authors. I wasn’t expecting very much from this one, but it was just so wonderfully weird that I still haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I don’t think I could describe it without ruining it (both because it’s been a few months since I’ve read it, and I don’t remember it completely clearly and also because I’m very tired – and already regretting this daily blogging thing – and probably couldn’t particularly describe how amazing this book is).

Just know that this is magical realism about the indigenous experience. And it was so whimsical and dark and just a wonderful reading experience. I’ve been struggling a little bit with focusing on books this year (apparently there’s a thing called “pandemic brain” that doesn’t even require you to have had covid), but this is one of the few books I’ve read recently that I couldn’t put down. If you like weird books like I do, definitely check this one out.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

This one was pretty big when it came out in the 90s, just a year after the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, which is what this book is about. Jon Krakauer is a journalist who just happened to be on the mountain the day an unexpected blizzard hit the summit and resulted in the deaths of eight climbers. I listened to the audiobook of this one – which I highly recommend – and could not turn it off. I hadn’t stayed up past my bedtime to finish a book in a while, but this one did it.

I can say I will never, ever climb Mount Everest – even Krakauer admits you have to be kind of crazy to attempt it – so I really enjoyed experiencing it through him. I think it was wonderfully told, and just full of suspense. I’d be very surprised if this doesn’t make it on my favorite nonfiction books of the year at the end of this month.

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio 

Another book that is in the running for my favorite nonfiction book of the year is this one. It’s written by a DREAMer, who ended up attending Harvard. And then went on to travel around the United States gathering stories of others who, like her, came to the US for a better life. She features a diverse group of people and stories, and it really just was so inspiring and impactful. This one actually also took me a few months to get through, even though it is fairly short. I just wanted to slow down and give this the attention it deserved, and it was so worth it.

One thing I am a little annoyed about is that Villavicencio has not yet written another book. Because her writing was absolutely fantastic. It was such a pleasure to read. I’m not sure if she is planning on writing anything else, but I will absolutely purchase a copy the second it comes out, because I really loved this book that much. Highly recommend. Definitely go read it.

That’s it for my fall favorites! I hope you enjoyed this post! What were some of your favorite reads this fall? Any books you think I should check out?

Check out my bookshop, where you can go and buy books and also shop my curated collections of my personal favorites AND all of the books I’ve read for my reading experiments.Or you can just buy whatever books you want to. I get a small commission at no extra cost to you, and you get to support your choice of indie bookstores – it’s a win all around! 

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