10+ Books Perfect to Read in Autumn

10 Books Perfect to Read in Autumn / 10 Books Perfect to Read in the FallSummer Books seem to get all the attention, but autumn is the perfect time to dive into some wonderful reads. Whether you’re in the mood for longer, more thought-provoking books, coming-of-age stories with the growing-up nostalgia brought on by back-to-school season, novels with a strong sense of place, or works that requiring more focus than beach-reading allows.

Here are 10 books that are perfect to read in autumn, plus extra options for those who are already well-read in fall literature.

Cover of A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Why so perfect for fall? The emphasis on education makes this feel especially appropriate to read during back-to-school season.

This turn of the century coming-of-age story is an American classic for good reason. The beautifully crafted tale pulls you into Francie’s story and has you rooting for her as she grows up in challenging circumstances. There is an undercurrent of hope that buoys everything.

Already read it? Try A Distant Prospect or Emily of New Moon for other thoughtful coming-of-age novels.


Cover of Still LifeStill Life by Louise Penny

Why so perfect for fall? Penny is amazing at developing the setting for the novels through wonderful details of location, food, and weather.

The Chief Inspector Gamache series mostly takes place in a rural village south of Montreal, and the setting is key in most of the books in the series. This is the first book in a lengthy series that continues to improve, and the backstory behind the characters is a reason to savor every book.

Already read it? Try Bruno, Chief of Police or Death of a Red Heroine for other mystery series with a strong sense of place.


Cover of Wolf HallWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Why so perfect for fall? It’s a big reading commitment, that needs focused time to appreciate the depth offered by the novel.

This Booker Prize-winning historical fiction brings Thomas Cromwell to life. It’s an utterly fascinating account with an unusual writing style. Stay with it long enough to adjust, as your efforts will be richly rewarded.

Already read it? Try Kristin Lavransdattar or 11/22/63 for other historical sagas.


Cover of RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Why so perfect for fall? It’s an ideal choice when you’re looking for something to read while curled up under a blanket, sipping a hot drink.

From the famous opening line to the dramatic conclusion, Rebecca is also perfect for a discussion title, if you’re looking for one for your book club to read this fall. The atmospheric novel is a modern classic, blending Gothic romance and mystery.

Already read it?Try My Cousin Rachel or Dragonwyck for additional novels with a Gothic feel and slight romance storyline.


Cover of Harry PotterHarry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Why so perfect for fall? Because every book begins as Harry heads off to school in September, looking forward to the fresh start a new school year provides. No, back-to-school novels don’t have to take place at a boarding school, but it never hurts when they do. Add in the magical element for extra fun.

Already read it? Try The Magicians or Charmed Life for other stories about magical education.


Cover of Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

Why so perfect for fall? Because it includes the famous line “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” And because autumn at Green Gables sounds gorgeous – the birch trees have turned golden, the maple branches give Anne a thrill, and the wild cherry trees lining the road are lovely shades. Fall foliage never sounded so beautiful as Montgomery describes it.

Already read it? Try The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate or Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms for more heart-warming reads about precocious young girls.


Cover of Crossing to SafetyCrossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Why so perfect for fall? The academic setting, the quiet feel of it all, and the stunning writing which is simply ideal for savoring. Stegner excels at weaving a gentle narrative following friends over the course of their lives, bringing the reader into their story. Any description of it fails to do it justice.

Already read it? Try Jayber Crow or Hannah Coulter for other quiet stories with a literary feel.


Cover of And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Why so perfect for fall? One of her most famous mysteries, the eerie setting, and countdown of survivors makes for a satisfying mystery with a slightly Halloween-inspired feel. Add in the narrative following the children’s verse, and the disappearing soldiers mimicking the fallen guests and there is a decided sense of menace to the text.

Already read it? Try The Turn of the Screw or We Have Always Lived in the Castle for other classic novels that tilt towards the creepy side.


Cover of Team of RivalsTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Why so perfect for fall? It’s a hefty reading investment, one where you need plenty of time to appreciate Goodwin’s clever structuring of her award-winning work.

Already read it? Try Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War or A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 for additional history books, both appropriate to read this time of year.


Cover of Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Why so perfect for fall? It’s a terrific read around Halloween if you’re not quite brave enough for a true horror book.

Slightly eerie, Austen’s Gothic-inspired novel gives nods to what was then the supremely popular The Mysteries of Udolpho.

Already read it? Try Wuthering Heights or Mistress of Mellyn for additional novels with a Gothic feel.


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Homeschooling Update: A Reading Breakthrough!

All About Reading 1 Activity BookH has been struggling to get past the hurdle of blending.

And I know that it’s a developmental stage, and I know that research shows that children who don’t learn how to read until older catch up quickly, and she’s only just 6.

But still, it’s such an obvious thing when a child isn’t reading, and when you’re around people who aren’t particularly homeschool-friendly, it leads to lots of side-eyeing. “She’s not reading yet?”

Cue me feeling torn between not wanting to say anything because it’s not any of their business, and wanting to justify things, etc. etc.

Breakthrough!

All About Reading 1 Run Bug Run ReaderSo, mostly for that reason, but also because she SO wants to be reading on her own, I was thrilled when suddenly it’s like something clicked for her, and she’s blending with ease, and having fun with the activities.

Ok, so she’s only managing consonant-vowel-consonant words (bat, sat, mad, big, fin, and similar), but if she’s anything like G was, blending is the big hurdle and now she’ll start moving along with reading progress.

She’s already done 5 lessons in All About Reading 1 in 10 days, and she’s WANTING to do more. She’s reaching for the first reader, Run Bug Run.

I’m so happy for her. She’s thrilled, and it’s such a great milestone.

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Cover Love: Plainsong

Book covers fascinate me. Why are some covers kept for various editions and languages? Why are some changed for seemingly every publication variation? I don’t know, but it makes for very interesting viewing.

Kent Haruf’s Plainsong had more cover versions than I was expecting.

The book I read had this cover: big Western sky, lots of clouds, and what look like foothills.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The large print version takes a very similar approach, but it has more light shining through the clouds. This is my favorite cover.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

And so does the audio edition.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

There are at least four Picador versions. The Picador Pan MacMillan paperback features a girl with her hair blowing in the wind, with two men on horseback in the background. Appropriate enough, although I thought Victoria was described as having dark hair. Perhaps I imagined that.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

A Picador Pan Macmillan paperback from 2013 shows the back of a woman with her hair blowing in the breeze, and she seems to be in a field of flowers. This is one of my favorite covers.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Another Picador paperback version, this one from 2001.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

One more Picador edition, although I’m not sure of the date.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Foreign language editions are always especially interesting. The Dutch version features horses fighting. I don’t remember that in the book at all – did I miss it?

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Finnish edition shows a girl looking pensively out into the distance. It seems fitting for the book, so no complaints from me.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Four French editions, one with a bridle, one with two men on horseback, and two with a windmill (but not the same windmill).

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Then there’s the German edition, with the isolated farmhouse.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Italian edition looks like it’s for a book set during a drought.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Persian edition also features a girl, looking out alone, but this girl is in the middle of a crop of some kind. Wasn’t she staying with ranchers, not farmers?

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Finally, the Polish edition shows an old suitcase.

Cover image for Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Which cover(s) are your favorites?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

The “Cover Love” series is inspired by the “Judging Books by Their Covers” series previously featured at Quirky Bookworm.

August 2017 Recap

August seemed to fly by, with lots of activity and appointments. None of the appointments were exciting unfortunately, they were for things like dental cleanings (times three), then a follow-up to deal with a cavity (only on one child fortunately), plus well-checks (times two – number three had hers this week), plus birthday parties and play dates getting squeezed in before school restarted. It made for a more hectic-seeming month than I like.

August 2017 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 20
Books Read This Year: 148

Things That Happened

  • Book club – Lost in Shangri-La for my in-person book club and The Diamond Age in the Facebook group.
  • M turned 3.
  • G and H went back-to-homeschool (3rd and 1st grade).
  • Both kids passed their latest belt tests at taekwondo, and G is now a 1st degree recommended black belt, and H is a senior brown belt.
  • The soccer season began for the two older kids. G’s level is now playing with a goalie for the first time, and he has enjoyed it the times he’s had the chance to play goalie. He still doesn’t really know what he’s doing out there, but he’s better there than he usually is in some of the other positions.

What’s Cooking

  • Not much is really cooking – August isn’t the best month for me to want to cook. It’s not cool enough to branch out into Fall meals, I’m burning out on Summer dishes, etc. Lots of basics in the rotation this month, but I’m hoping to try some new dishes in September.

What I’m Anticipating in September

  • G’s year as a Bear Scout begins, and H has joined Daisy Scouts. Her first troop meeting is in September and she can hardly wait. I’m curious to see how it goes for her.
  • My in-laws will be visiting at the end of the month! Hooray!
  • Awana starts back up again.
  • I have TWO author interviews coming up, and I’m really excited about trying to add that as a semi-regular feature here.
  • Cub scouts popcorn sales, and I’m hoping G gets to some of the store sales times this year. He’s got a sales goal he’s working towards.
  • Book club – Garden Spells for my in-person book club (it’s dinner party month!!) and Plainsong in the Facebook group.

Books I Read in August

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post.

We’ve only just started the school year, so we haven’t finished all that many books. September’s list should include many more titles.

    Readalouds I finished with G (3rd grade)
  • George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge

    He liked this one (so did I), and wants to read more of the series. Fortunately for him, that’s already in the plans.

  • The Minstrel in the Tower by Gloria Skurzynski

    It amused him that I was reading this to him, when it’s very much at a reading level he can handle. Cute story, and a nice break from some drier books.

  • Readalouds I finished with H (1st grade)
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

    Second time around was just as successful as the first time. She loved it.

  • More Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley

    I love the Milly Molly Mandy stories and am looking forward to reading them with M in a couple of years.

  • Readers G finished on his own
  • Third Grade Detectives #1 by George E. Stanley

    He couldn’t believe this counted as a school book, and he was also really entertained by the flip book format – book 1 and 2 are published together, just back-to-back and flipped.

  • The Secret Valley by Clyde Robert Bulla

    Bulla does such a great job at writing appealing stories at easier reading levels.

  • plus more Captain Underpants, as well as some Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Sigh. He loves these books. I tell myself it’s better than no books.

    Picture Books I Read with M (3 years old)

    I read many many more than this, but these are the new-to-us ones

  • Job Wanted by Teresa Bateman
  • Do Princesses Make Happy Campers? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
  • Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

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New Book Love: Come & Eat by Bri McKoy

Come & Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table coverCome & Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table by Bri McKoy

When I first heard of McKoy’s new book, I was eager to read it. There is something magical about what happens when you share food with people. Acquaintances become friends, and friendships deepen.

The church I attend even emphasizes this concept: every week in our bulletin is the acronym BLESS. The acronym is based on “the habits that made Jesus so effective in helping others take their next step with God.”

And the “E” that’s right there in the center stands for “eat with others rather than alone.”

McKoy’s book is all about ways to make that happen, no matter where you are in your current life situation. As she says in the book, “The food never has to be extravagant because the person at the table always is.”

Quote from Come & Eat by Bri McKoy

But if you are looking for delicious recipes, she includes those too, as well as prayers, and questions to encourage conversation.

One of my favorite features (ok, besides the recipes) is the appendix that includes a 21-day “Adventure at the Table” to help you increase the number of times you gather around the table, which may require a radical shift in routines and habits.

The book is very faith-based, so if you’re not a Christian believer it’s probably not going to be a great fit for you. It’s not just the prayers following each chapter, but many of the suggested conversation starters and questions have a strong faith element, as well as the overall narrative.

If you are a believer, it’s very encouraging, and I’ve enjoyed reading it.

Book Details

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Nook | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
Come with your brokenness, your celebration, and your worries, but most of all come and eat.

In today’s busy and often superficial world, we all crave something deeper and truer. Maybe it’s relationships that go beyond the surface or gatherings that allow for joy and pain. Bri McKoy tells us this is within reach! All we need is a table, open hearts, and a simple invitation: come and eat.

McKoy invites us to discover how a common dining-room table can be transformed into a place where brokenness falls away to reveal peace and fellowship. Whether the table is laid with bounty or with meager offerings, whether it is surrounded by the Body of Christ or homeless, broken souls, she shows us that healing begins when we say, “Come in. I may not know you, but I know your maker. And so I offer you my heart.”

For all those who are hungry and craving more of God’s kingdom in their homes, Come and Eat offers recipes, tips, and questions to jumpstart conversation, while reminding us that fellowship in God’s love is always the most remembered, most cherished nourishment. Because when we make room for others, we make room for God, and our homes become a vibrant source of life, just as he means them to be.

Disclosure: I was provided a pre-release copy of the book for review as part of the book launch. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Books I Read in August 2017

August was overall a nice reading month, but not as terrific as July had been, or as great as I’m anticipating September being.

August 2017 Reads

    Mysteries

  1. This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

    (Review book.) I enjoyed the premise and setting quite a bit. One of the secondary characters was also someone I’d like to see in future books, assuming this is the start of a series. Part of the premise behind the mystery was not very convincing, so it detracted from the book as a whole. It also reminded me quite a bit of several other titles, especially And Then There Were None, thanks to the secluded island setting. Overall though, I will happily look for future titles if this does become a series. Enjoyable and fun.

  2. Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

    I hate it when I catch on to some of the biggest clues in the book, and guess the culprit, but don’t figure out some of the intermediate proof and still end up having to wait for Poirot to reveal all. At least I’m not as clueless as Hastings. Another fun mystery by Christie.

  3. A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd

    Next in the Bess Crawford series. I feel slightly ghoulish for saying I don’t want the war to end, but I love these books and am not sure what Todd will do with the series post-war. Perhaps I’m just afraid that they’ll lose something without that backdrop. As it is, this was a typical book in the series, and won’t convert anyone who isn’t already a fan.

  4. A Pale Horse by Charles Todd

    I listened to this, and I’m not sure if I missed some details because of the audio, or if the book really did kind of gloss over a few things. As it was though, I’m still slightly confused by a few aspects of the book.

  5. A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver

    Light and fluffy murder mystery, if that’s not a contradiction in terms. It fit the reading mood I was in, and it’s an ok series if you’re looking for that type of historical mystery.

  6. Wednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson

    Continuing on with my re-read of the Alan Banks series. I’m enjoying them more as we get to the more recent ones; the earliest ones are so dated that it’s jarring at times.

  7. Other Fiction

  8. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

    Loved this fun start to a lengthy series. Historical fiction set during the Napoleonic wars, but with dragons. I listened to it, but it’s not the easiest on audio unless you’re much better than I was at keeping track of lots of unfamiliar names and terminology. Highly recommended.

  9. Plainsong by Kent Haruf

    Book club selection for September. The pacing is very slow, compared to some of the other books I read this month, and the writing style was unusual. Overall I enjoyed it, although I’d have liked it more with a few of the graphic lines omitted.

  10. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

    A re-read for September’s in-person book club. Lots of fun the second time around, although it also had some more s*xual content than I’d remembered. Very different in tone though than Plainsong! I love the touch of magical realism it includes, and am looking forward to reading the sequel.

  11. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

    August’s book club selection, and I didn’t finish it until the discussion had begun. I *struggled* through this one. It’s long and so detailed at times. Parts of it were interesting, but other sections were so dull. And some sections were just baffling, or gross, or gross and baffling. I know it’s an award winner, and many people love it and recommend it, but I was not a fan.

  12. Nonfiction

  13. Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela J. Hanscom

    Love the premise behind it, and it was amazingly convicting. As an audio book though, it seemed very repetitive and like it could have been trimmed substantially. I expect it’d have worked better as a print or electronic version, where it’d have been easier to skim sections.

  14. Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu

    Really interesting (and reminded me quite a bit of a Laura Vanderkam book), but I’m not sure how much of it really applies in my life currently. I would recommend it to others though! And maybe some of the “nice but not for me” feeling is because I already am fairly good at not doing some things, even when there might be societal pressure on me that I will.

  15. The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress

    Fun to flip through, but get the print version – the electronic one is very hard to see the small images and they’re the best part of the book. If you’re not interested in books or library history I don’t think it’ll hold much appeal, but if you are, you should give it a glance.

  16. Cookbooks

  17. One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker by Cook’s Country

    Love the premise behind it, but sometimes it seemed like they were making more work to try to keep it to one pan. And sometimes it seemed like they were stretching the allowed definition of dishes. If the point of one pan is to minimize cleanup, then having a separate bowl to cook things in the microwave seems like cheating a bit. Those quibbles aside, there were a LOT of dishes that I flagged as ones I’d like to try.

  18. Food52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs

    Loved the premise behind this one as well, but probably won’t be making anything from it. Eating styles are different enough, or I’m not interested in enough of one of the week’s menu that it takes away from the advantage of their structure, that using the book kind of becomes a waste. If your tastes match theirs, however, this is a terrific idea and it’s well-structured.

  19. Salad for Dinner by Jeanne Kelley

    I might just have not been in the right mood when I was flipping through it, but none of the recipes tempted me enough to want to make them. Beautiful pictures, and a range of what counted as a salad, but not the book for me.

  20. Kid Lit

  21. Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

    A fun listen, and I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel in September.

  22. Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

    Grabbed this to pre-read to decide if I want to pass it along to my kids. There’s nothing in it that would keep me from doing so, but it’s not one I think my son would like right now. I’ll keep it in mind in the future, either for him if his tastes change a bit, or for one of my daughters as they get older. It’s fluffy entertainment, but not a must-read for any of them.

  23. Ice Road by Joan Lennon (The Wickit Chronicles #3)

    Finishing the series. I’d happily pass this along to my son – it’s an easy read, with short chapters (he is all about short chapters right now), but he has zero interest in anything smacking of fantasy. And a flying gargoyle would definitely count as fantasy for him. Sigh.

  24. A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

    Recommended if you’re looking for a middle-grade book dealing with the Berlin Wall and the time immediately after it was installed. Lacks the depth adult or even young adult fiction would have about the topic, but for what it is it was good.

  25. Did Not Finish

  26. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

    Read the first few chapters and wasn’t caring about any of the characters. I’m saving my reading time unless I end up being convinced it’s worth another try.

  27. The Brontë Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef

    Fine, but I’d just finished the adult biography on Charlotte and didn’t feel like this was adding anything extra to my knowledge. I read about half of it and mostly looked at the pictures.

  28. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

    Read one chapter and was really bored by it. Should I give it some more time? It had to go back to the library but I could request it again. Not sure if it was just a case of bad timing and it’s one that I’d like if I would give it a real chance.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

New on the Stack in August 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

I know, lots and lots and lots of new books. I love options. 🙂

Nonfiction

Come and Eat coverCome and Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table by Bri McKoy

How did I get it: Received an electronic review copy for review.
Why did I get it: It sounded appealing.

Reading People coverReading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

How did I get it: Book blogging perks.
Why did I get it: Because it sounds AWESOME.

BE Series Bundle coversBE Series Bundle: The Gospels by Warren Wiersbe

How did I get it: Bought the Kindle version
Why did I get it: It was only $1.99 for all 6 books in the bundle. I couldn’t resist the deal.

The Card Catalog coverThe Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by Library of Congress

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I love the card catalog, and liked the nostalgia of learning some of the history behind it at the Library of Congress.

The Brontë Sisters coverThe Brontë Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Debating if it’s a good alternative to recommend to the other Brontë biography that’s one of the selections for my in-person book club’s upcoming book flight.

One-Pan Wonders coverOne-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, Skillet, Roasting Pan, Casserole, and Slow Cooker by Cook’s Country

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Love the idea of these recipes.

Essentialism coverEssentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s been lingering on my list since Catherine first wrote about it, and then she wrote about it again recently, and it’s motivating me to finally read the book.

Food52 A New Way to Dinner coverFood52 A New Way to Dinner: A Playbook of Recipes and Strategies for the Week Ahead by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: My library highlighted it as a featured title, and I fell for the promotion.

The Lost City of Z coverThe Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: It’s been lingering on my TBR list, and with the upcoming movie I’m trying to get it read sooner rather than later.

Chasing Slow coverChasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: My friend Sarah recommended it.

Balanced and Barefoot coverBalanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela J. Hanscom

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how I heard about it, but I liked the premise and wanted to read more.

Fiction

A Conspiracy of Kings coverA Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

How did I get it: Bought the Audible version.
Why did I get it: Love this series.

This Side of Murder coverThis Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber

How did I get it: Received a review copy from NetGalley.
Why did I get it: I’ve enjoyed Huber’s other series, so wanted to try this one.

Plainsong coverPlainsong by Kent Haruf

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Bookclub selection for September.

Garden Spells coverGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Bookclub selection for September.

Glass Houses coverGlass Houses by Louise Penny

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Inspector Gamache series!

Six of Crows coverSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how it ended up on my TBR.

His Majesty's Dragon coverHis Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Dragons and the Napoleonic wars = must try.

A Pale Horse coverA Pale Horse by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Ian Rutledge series.

A Pattern of Lies coverA Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Bess Crawford series.

Wednesday's Child coverWednesday’s Child by Peter Robinson

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Peter Robinson series.

Final Account coverFinal Account by Peter Robinson (also published as Dry Bones that Dream)

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Peter Robinson series.

Queen of the Tearling coverQueen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: I don’t remember how or why it was on my TBR list.

Just Killing Time coverJust Killing Time by Julianne Holmes
How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I fell for the cover of a later one in the series, so wanted to try the first one first.

Peril at End House coverPeril at End House by Agatha Christie

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it:

Gone-Away Lake coverGone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Tara in my Facebook book group raved over it.

Return to Gone-Away coverReturn to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright

How did I get it: Borrowed it on audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Sequel to Gone-Away Lake.

Nim's Island coverNim’s Island by Wendy Orr

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: I’m considering passing it along to my son to read, and wanted to pre-read it.

Baby coverBaby by Patricia MacLachlan

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Considering it as a future read-aloud with the kids (or some of the kids), or even as a book for one or more of them to read themselves. Pre-reading it to get an idea if it’ll be a good choice.

P.S. From Paris coverP.S. From Paris by Marc Levy

How did I get it: Kindle First title for the month
Why did I get it: It was the most appealing of the available options.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or Instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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The Best Book Club Item EVER

No exaggeration, I have been wanting this item for FIVE YEARS, ever since seeing a friend with it at book club. But sadly for all book fans, it was no longer manufactured.

TableTopics Book Club edition

So I was THRILLED to discover that it is now back. And after pausing for all of 30 seconds, I ordered my own set, then wrote this post. In that order, because I wasn’t taking any chances that it would go out of stock.

What is this magical item? Why did I immediately hit the “buy now” button on Amazon?

TableTopics Book Club Edition

TableTopics Book Club editionIt’s only the best set of questions for book discussion ever. One nice box (so the cards inside don’t get bent or scuffed), stuffed full with questions.

Run out of time to track down book-specific questions before your meeting? No worries – you’ll find some applicable questions in here.

I know, I’m gushing, but I am seriously that excited to find that this is being made again, and I have my own copy now, and I can recommend it to all book club fans.

Sure, they have lots of other versions. I’m even thinking about getting the family version. But it’s the book club one that I adore and now I have one of my very own. It’s the best.

TableTopics Book Club questions


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Introducing September’s Book Club Selection: Plainsong

Plainsong cover

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation, and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver.

In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl—her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house—is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they’ve ever known.

From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together—their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant. As the milieu widens to embrace fully four generations, Kent Haruf displays an emotional and aesthetic authority to rival the past masters of a classic American tradition.

Utterly true to the rhythms and patterns of life, Plainsong is a novel to care about, believe in, and learn from.

Why Was This Title Selected

It’s contemporary fiction that turned up on a lot of recommended reading lists, as well as some lists specifically geared towards book clubs.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin next Monday in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook, or via Audible.

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

What’s Coming Up Next?

funny-in-farsiFunny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

What’s it about? Describes struggles with culture shock after Firoozeh’s family moved from Iran to America when she was 7 years old

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

And a heads-up: you can get the Audible version for a reduced price if you buy the Kindle version first.

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2017 here.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Homeschooling Update: Plans for First Grade

H is now in first grade, and many of the plans I have for the year are repeats of her brother’s year.

1st grade / first grade curriculum choices

First Grade Curriculum Choices

Math

She’s working on Math Mammoth 1A as that worked so well for her brother. I am also eyeing Math Lessons for a Living Education, because I think she’d like the storyline, and the repetition would probably be helpful. Although I did a mix of Math Mammoth and Mathematical Reasoning for her brother, so I may just do that mix again for her as well.

History

G LOVED the Children’s Encyclopedia used as the spine for history used in Sonlight’s Level A, and it’s proving to be just as big a hit with H. I’ve also noticed that her brother likes hanging around when we read the encyclopedia, and he likes telling her things he remembers.

Sonlight updated this level since her brother went through it, so they’ve already made some changes. I will probably still add in The Story of Exploration like I did with her brother, as it was a fun book that he really enjoyed. They’ve made some other changes to the read alouds, and I’m planning on reading all the books in the updated Instructor’s Guide, plus the books they removed.

Reading

We’re still working through All About Reading 1, as she’s having a bit more trouble than her brother did at getting past the hurdle of blending.

I expect that at some point things are going to click for her and she’ll take off. Until then, we practice a lot of basic stuff with her. At some point, I have LA 1 to use with her, but we’re paused on it right now.

Handwriting

She’s begun Italic Handwriting Book A. It’s fine – no strong feelings either way towards it. She likes handwriting more than her brother does, and is better at it than he was at that age.

Bible

I don’t use the Bible reading assigned in the IG – I prefer the assigned Bible at an older age, so right now she’s working through The Family Time Bible in Pictures, and then we’ll move on to The Story in Pictures. We have several children’s Bibles so when we finish one we just move onto another one. She’s also starting back at Awana next month, for her second year in Sparks.

Science

Sonlight’s Science A also uses the Children’s Encyclopedia, as well as several of the Usborne Beginners books. She loves those, so I’ll be rounding up all the extra ones we have that aren’t already assigned, and reading them throughout the year. Then I’ll likely add some library books on topics that catch her interest, as that worked well for her brother.

She doesn’t seem to like the graphic novel science texts he so loves, so her year won’t be an exact repeat of what he did. One fun thing is that Sonlight updated the Science IG, and it’s now in COLOR. That’s fun for her (and me too, to be honest).

Art

We’re trying Artistic Pursuits Introduction to Visual Arts , and I may also finish up the Art with a Purpose program we started last year. Her brother didn’t like it, but she did, so I may just do it as extra art with her. She likes art a lot more than he does.

I also plan on doing some art appreciation/art history with him, and letting her listen in as she wants.

Music

She’ll also have the option of tagging along with her brother’s music appreciation/composer studies, or it may be something else that I’ll save for when she’s older.

Cooking

As I mentioned in the post about her brother’s third grade plans, I’ve fizzled out on using the video version of the Kids Cook Real Food course – I think if I had a tablet to use in the kitchen it would have helped. Instead, I’ve gotten the print version and will be trying to use that with them. They both are enthusiastic about any cooking lessons I offer, so I want to prioritize that this year.

Extras

She’s planning on joining Girl Scouts and is really looking forward to that! The introductory meeting is next week and she’s only asked me EVERY DAY this month when it’s happening.

She’s also playing soccer again and is disappointed that 1st grade still doesn’t include a goalie (gotta wait until 3rd grade for that). This will be her first year to play basketball, and she wants to play softball again in the Spring.

Taekwondo continues: she’s just earned her senior brown belt, and if she continues to pass each level, she’ll test for black belt in February. She’s also been invited to help teach the beginning and intermediate students and enjoys doing that one class each week.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!