Autumn Reading List 2016

Autumn Reading List

You can put me down as a “bookworm” all year round, but I especially love cuddling up with a good read once the weather turns chilly—bonus points if there are freshly baked goods involved. 🙂 So I thought it would be fun to put tougher a list of books I’m currently reading, just finished, or that are on my list to get to sometime soon (fingers crossed) in case you are in need of more book recommendations this season.

01. Before the Fall. If you follow me on IG, then you know I recently read this book and LOVED it. It’s sort of a who-done-it after a plane crash, although I wouldn’t quite call it a mystery novel. It’s also got some REALLY interesting side commentary on the current state of media, which is especially relevant right now as the USA (where I live) is going through a presidential election year. That’s not to say it’s a political book, as it’s not, just a super interesting and beautiful read that feels very on-the-nose for this year.

02. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore has been on my to-read list for quite a while. A weird, mysterious book store is the setting—complete with a new employee who begins to discover that the store may be more than it seems. You had me at book store. 🙂 Bonus points—the cover art is too cute.

03. The Girls sounds a little like it might be a kind of coming of age story set in the 1960s within a cult organization. What? OK, I’m listening. This one is making it on to my to-read list for sure.

04. I am currently listening to Rising Strong on audio CD in my car. I’ve been getting little bits and pieces of Brene Brown teaching me about shame and getting up from failures for a few weeks now, and it almost feels like on-the-go therapy. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it’s been pretty great to me. I randomly picked this up at the library, and although I am loving it, I realize I probably should have checked out her other books (Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection) before this one.

05. I forget where I first heard about The Last Boy and Girl in the World, but it sounded a little melancholy mixed with a love story—so basically the perfect novel to have a glass of wine and unwind with. There’s just something about the premise of the book that totally appealed to me, your town is being destroyed by some kind of natural disaster so you decide to throw a big party before you have to leave forever. Intriguing, right? I think so.

06. Modern Lovers is the book I am currently reading. I’m probably about 2/3 through the book, and I am already dreading the end because it’s such a fun read, and I have gotten quite attached to many of the characters. Plus this is the kind of novel that makes me wish I lived in NYC—it’s cool, guys. Read this book!

07. I will probably listen to The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo on audio book as I love to hear comedians read their books even more than I love reading them. I think Amy Schumer is hilarious and beautiful, and I absolutely LOVED Trainwreck. So, I’m excited to hear her book soon. 🙂

08. The night I got engaged, Trey and I saw Silver Linings Playbook. So Matthew Quick will probably always have an unfair advantage over other authors with me. But I also LOVE the characters who live in his books. They are always super quirky yet relatable, which I think is a feat to pull off as often as Quick does. For this reason, I am excited to check out Every Exquisite Thing, hopefully soon.

09. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is about magicians, guys. Do I need to say more? I fell in love with the Harry Potter books when I was twelve, and I’ve been a sucker for magician protagonists ever since. Probably always will be. And I’m not sorry. 🙂

Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Also, what are you guys reading this season? Also, I’m thinking about bringing back the ABM book club—you in? xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Cover art of books found via Amazon and linked throughout. 

  • I think Amy Schumer might be my drunk-patronus. (While sober, it’s a platypus, obviously. The Weirdest Mammal.) I can’t wait to see what you have to say about her book.

  • I had very low expectations for Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but OMG it blew me away! I also love any book set in a bookstore 🙂

  • I LOVED Rising Strong! But one of my all time favourite books is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. It was by far one of the most inspiring reads. I’ve read it four times already and will probably read it a couple more. I’ll definitely have to check out Before The Fall! I love books like that, especially since it seems very relevant to the current social moments! 🙂

  • I read “The Girls” and it was just ok for me. I actually enjoyed “What Alice Forgot” way more (if you want to add anything to your book list.)

    Happy reading everyone!

  • Excellent round up! I have had Modern Lovers on my list for-freaking-ever now, and know I just need to commit to it!

    Happy Reading!

    – Dara ||

  • I was just thinking the other day that I missed the ABM book club! I vote for the revival of the book club AND the addition of shirts!

  • it’s so interesting you say this, I also didn’t like Mr Penumbra and I usually LOVE anything bookstores. I thought the story ended kind of abruptly and disappointingly after so much build-up.

    One thing about “The Girls”: It’s a very intense book. The prose is stunningly beautiful, but the characters are sometimes scary in their casual cruelty. The teenaged heroine especially is unforgiving of any insecurities of those around her – maybe because she herself is so desperately trying to assert herself. The descriptions of the group pressure that keeps escalating around the girls can be hard to stomach. A beautifully written book for sure, but also a difficult one.

    Oh and I’ve been wanting to read Modern Lovers since I saw it on your instagram!

  • Love the sound of some of these picks, Before the Fall sounds great – I always love a crime/who-done-it themed book! I can really recommend the Robert Galbraith(/J.K.Rowling) books as they’re along the same lines and I thought A Cuckoo’s Calling (the first one) was brilliant!!

    The Girl with the Lower back tattoo also looks and sounds hilarious so might have to give that one a go!



  • They all sound so interesting! I will definitely try ‘Before The Fall’!

  • Jonathan Strange is a fantastic book! Beautifully written, exciting, and rich in detail!

  • I agree, I really liked Mr. Penumbra, a cute, quirky, quick read. An easy one to cozy up with!

  • Just finished Modern Lovers – so good! If you haven’t yet, you should read another book by her The Vacationers. Very similar vibe, but a different story. I just picked up Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo today and read the first few pages – it’s already hilarious!

  • As a fellow Harry Potter lover, I’ve been wanting to read Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell! Just finished Amy Schumer’s book – it’s fantastic which is no surprise considering how fabulous she is!

  • I’m about 75% through the Girls and it’s a lot more boring that I would have thought something about the Manson family could be. If you’re into teen girl angst this is for you, otherwise I’d say pass. Mr. Penumbra though was pretty awesome.

  • i just finished mr penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore and i LOVED it!
    i vote a strong yes for bringing back the book club! i’ve been reading more again lately, and i find myself wishing i had people to talk about these lovely books with. 🙂

  • These all sound like really great reads. I’ve wanted to read the Girls and Modern Lovers for a while but my TBR list makes me feel guilty about buying anymore books! I am tempted now though.

    I’m making my way through Rainbow Rowell’s Landline at the moment. It such a good book.

  • These all look great Emma! PLEASE BRING BACK THE BOOK CLUB! And can we get an ABM Book Club printable bookmark to unite us in our quest of awesome books?

  • This list of books just inspired me to start a new book right now! It’s been a couple of weeks since I started a new one and I’m kind of addicted to reading 🙂
    I’d definitely be interested in the ABM book club, by the way!

    x Maria

  • I’m the total opposite on this one! I loved Mr. Penumbra but just could not get through Shadows of the Wind. I keep meaning to try it again but haven’t managed to yet.

  • Please bring back the ABM book club!!! I am in!
    Book clubs are so interesting and provide a diversity of books that I might not have ever picked up. It’s also so great to get other viewpoints on all the great reads out there!

  • I’v owned Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell since it came out (my mum bought it for me as a birthday gift) but I just haven’t got into it!! Randomly I came across a copy on Thursday in a 2nd hand bookshop and told myself I’d have to give it another go! This is the second sign I should, so I’ll give it another try and see!

    I’m currently reading IT for the 8 or 9th time 😀 , it’s always in my top 3, but ovet the years it’s been joined by The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obréht and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE!

  • Just finished The Elephant Vanishes by Murakami, which I’m just today reviewing on my blog…and definitely going to pick my next book from your list. This is super handy!


  • I have officially added all of these to my Amazon wishlist! Matthew Quick is one of my favorite authors and I had no idea that he released a book this year! You read Silver Linings Playbook right? The movie is amazing but the book is the real treasure 🙂 I’ve been hoping you’d bring back the ABM book club! I was bummed when it stopped.
    Here are a few great books I’ve read this year if you are interested!
    The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (Might be my new favorite book)
    The Night Circus (I must read if you loved HP)
    Maude (My favorite memoir)
    The Light Between Oceans (Only read if you feel like being sad for a few days after!)

  • I didn’t know until someone told me, so I’ll tell you…Mr. Penumbra’s cover glows in the dark! Check it out!

  • ABM book club…. Yes!! Bring it back!
    I started The Girls over the summer and it’s a fun and intriguing read!! I started HP and the Cursed Child so that is why I haven’t finished this great read!

  • I’m the same! I used to read 4-6 books every month and now I tend to only read one novel and MAYBE one non-fiction but I don’t always read a non-fiction every month. Admittedly I am a lot more busy than I was back then since I didn’t have a full time job then, but still. I like making time to read and would love to read a bit more… but one book a month on average is OK too. Just funny how life changes and sifts thing around for you so that you have to be more intentional with time management of “fun” things. 🙂


  • Whoa-I did not know about the “bonus” and I am a SUCKER for fun packaging of anything. Hmm… man, I’m really getting mixed reviews on that one. So interesting!


  • Love a good series recommendation so thanks for mentioning! I’ve never heard o the The Wheel of Time series.


  • Shirts?! I had never thought of that. You would be interested in an ABM Book Club shirt too? What an interesting idea.


  • Really? Hmm, you’re making me reconsider. Maybe I’ll check out The Shadow and the Wind instead.


  • I’ve sort of learned in the last few months that if I don’t carve out time in my daily routine to read, that I’ll get too distracted and make excuses not to pick up a book. Which is so weird because i could consume books like doughnuts when i was younger! Right now I’m reading a gothic novel by carlos ruiz zafon who I love and I think it is kickstarting my love for reading again. Keep seeing recommendations for The Girls so I think I need to pick up a copy! And yes to the book club, it was a great feature!

  • I am waiting for Before the Fall from the library. I am currently reading
    Underground airlines by Ben H. Winters. It is one of those books that is really hard to put down. And yes, would love a book club!

  • TOTALLY wanna read amy schumer’s book as well as the Girls by emma cline!

    This is such a fab list. ah autumn reading just got a lot more exciting!

    Blog || YouTube

  • I LOVE Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. It’s sucka unique and quirky story. I especially loved the undercurrent ideas about the conflict/ marriage of books and technology.

    Bonus: place your book under a lamp for a while and then turn off the light for a fun surprise. ; )

  • I loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. It’s creative and interesting. It’s not the most serious book I’ve ever read but it was really enjoyable. 🙂

  • My bookstore recently rewarded me with a temporary $50 credit – the catch is that I have to spend it by tomorrow at midnight. I know, I know, what is my life? It sounds like the best of times but it’s actually the worst of times… I went and stood in there this afternoon and my mind went completely BLANK. The pressure! Anyway. Thanks for the recs! I needed a jumping off point.

  • I thought Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was going to be great but I found it to be one of the more boring books I’ve ever read. I kept waiting for something – anything – to happen, but nothing ever did. It felt like it just dragged on and on.

  • So glad to see Strange & Norrell on there. It’s been my autumn read for the last twelve years, perfect for sitting down with tea and a blanket on a grey day, and not a thing could make it better. Except, perhaps, a sequel sometime in the next decade or two.

  • The Girls is WAY over-hyped in my opinion. I thought it was terrible. It seems to be a love it or hate it kinda book. If you want a good book about the actual manson family cult, read Helter Skelter.

  • I haven’t read any of these and am always looking for book recommendations. I was recently thinking about how I missed your book club series. I read quite a few of the them, so YES, please bring it back!

  • so funny, i loved most of these books. Finished The Girls in the early summer, it’s great. I was obsessed with the Manson Family stuff for a while so it was interesting to see something similar in fiction.

  • I love Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore! Definitely worth reading through the end!

    In the Game of Thrones spirit, I’ve been in the middle of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan — I’m on book nine, Winter’s Heart.

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell will BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!! Highly recommend, but it can be as disturbing as it is wonderful. I loved it and look forward to reading it again.

  • I have had my name down at my library for MONTHS for Before the Fall and I am getting increasingly impatient waiting for it. Thanks for some other good recommendations too 🙂

  • Hooray for new book recommendations! I think book club sounds *amazing* so long as there are shirts!

  • I was soooo disappointed with Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore – someone recommended it to me after I talked about The Shadow of the Wind (bookstore based but an amazing story) – and I just thought it was such a let down! Such a silly story and hard to love any of the characters, which is a must for me! Interested to see what you make of it – maybe I missed the point!!

  • I’ve heard such good things about The Girls, and Modern Lovers sounds really fun – I think they might both be making their way into my waterstones basket very soon!

    – Natalie

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