A good beach read has its place, but as the temps get cooler, I’ve got to admit that I get more excited by the thought of curling up with a cup of cinnamon tea and a truly great novel.

OR an inspiring memoir, interesting new cookbook, or nonfiction that shifts my perspective and makes me think. Thankfully, fall 2019 is brimming with all of the above, so much so that I’m gonna have to cancel some plans in favor of a date with my flannel sheets and pumpkin spice candle in order to get to them all. And as you can probably guess, I’m not sad about it.

Read on for 6 books that have made it onto my fall reading list this year, and I’d love to hear in the comments what you’re currently reading — or a new book you can’t wait to get your hands on!

Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo

This is, so far, the most talked-about book of the season, and for good reason. Taddeo spent 8 years of her life chronicling the sex lives of three “ordinary” women. It’s a book about desire and also heartbreaking tragedy, and I think the ability to see glimpses of yourself through the lives of such different women is a big part of the brilliance. Thanks to Taddeo’s gifts of storytelling, this book is un-put-downable.

How to Raise Successful People, Esther Wojcicki

One of the rare books that can speak to parents with children of any age, plus coaches, teachers, and anyone else playing a leadership role for the next generation, this book has a simple yet important message: we must teach children to be independent thinkers and doers. The mother of three extraordinarily successful daughters and teacher to many thousands of students, Wojcicki goes on to explain her tried-and-true methods and how we can implement them using TRICK: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness.

The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

I don’t read tons of novels, but sometimes I just crave the suspense of a good psychological thriller. This one revolves around the mysterious death of a famous fashion photographer… at the hands of his glamorous artist wife. Who then refuses to ever speak again. Told as a first-person account from the perspective of her psychotherapist, Theo, it’s one of those addictive reads where you really don’t know who to trust or where this novel could possibly be headed — but you’ll be racing to find out.

Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, by Adrienne Brodeur

Oooooh you guys, the only reason I didn’t put Wild Game at the tippy top of this list is that it’s not actually released for another 6 weeks. That said, it is so far my favorite book of the year, and I think it will be yours, too. I really can’t do a better job explaining the incredible plot of this memoir than the publisher’s summary. When Adrienne was fourteen, her mother confided in her that her husband’s closest friend had kissed her. And…

Adrienne became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention… The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms.

Let the countdown begin!

Whole Food Cooking Every Day, by Amy Chaplin

This beautiful cookbook is released on September 17th, so go ahead and get your pre-order in ’cause you’re going to need it on your kitchen shelves, STAT. Chaplin sets you up for healthy cooking success in a way that feels inspiring and nourishing to body and soul. Once you’ve mastered the base recipes throughout the book (ie. gluten-free muffins, chia pudding, marinated tempeh) she shares all kinds of adaptations so you can freestyle depending on the season, dietary restrictions, or simply what you’re craving. Every recipe is free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, without sacrificing a single ounce of the joy of cooking and eating them.

Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection, by Brian Grazer

I’ve always been rather captivated by Hollywood producer Brian Grazer’s near-obsession with human connection, and loved his first book, as well as the podcast interviews where I’ve heard him tell his story. I can’t wait to read this one when it comes out in a couple weeks. From the publisher:

With his flair for intriguing stories, Grazer reveals what he’s learned through interactions with people like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Eminem… that the secret to a bigger life lies in personal connection. In a world where our attention is too often focused downward at our devices, Grazer argues that we are missing an essential piece of the human experience. Only when we are face to face, able to look one another in the eyes, can we form the kinds of connections…ultimately lead to our greatest achievements and most meaningful moments.

8 comments
  1. 1
    Lauren | September 9, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Oooph. As an author of “beach reads,” knowing that they “have their place,” but are not in the same category a “truly great novel” delivers a bit of a slap. Authors of romance and women’s fiction already have an uphill battle in the media with our books being considered “lesser” because they feature romantic relationships and happy endings. Hearing the beach read genre dismissed (albeit very gently) on a site I’ve always looked up to for lifting up other women up is a rough start to the the week.

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 9, 2019 at 6:32 am

      Hey Lauren — I’m so sorry for my apparent foot-in-mouth moment. To be honest, I didn’t realize that the term “beach read” refers to an actual genre. I (apparently mistakenly) thought that it was the term for a book you read on the beach when you want to enjoy a juicy lighthearted plot line without having to think too much… which is often the case for me when I go on vacation and just want to chill. I really appreciate your points, and am going to leave the post as-is so that your thoughtful comment has context when others read it — and can feel free to weigh in on the subject.

      Also, I’ve got to admit that I looked up your body of work and am so impressed. Your books look addictively delightful and I would love to read one. Any specific one you’d recommend starting with? A happy ending actually sounds really great right now. 🙂 xo

      Reply
      • Lauren | September 11, 2019 at 6:24 am

        I truly, genuinely appreciate your thoughtful response. I will also apologize for my knee-jerk defensive action. Despite living my dream life, despite writing books I’m really proud of, I rarely go a day without someone dismissing my books as fluff, or my all-time favorite, “trash reads”! So I am definitely guilty of looking for derision when none is present, and I apologize. If you’re looking for something happy, The Prenup is my newest, and perhaps of my favorites (don’t tell my other books). If you’re open to ebooks (as opposed to paperbacks), my Stiletto series (start with After the Kiss) is the closest to an old-school romantic comedy 🙂 Editorially speaking, Passion on Park Avenue was mentioned in Oprah Mag, Publishers Weekly and a bunch of “Fancy” places 🙂

        Reply
  2. 2
    Tess | September 9, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Great suggestions, Camille. I have been on the waiting list at my library for months for The Silent Patient, and now you’ve made me even more impatient 🙂
    I have to weigh in on the above comment. Everyone reads for different reasons, but once you have experienced beautiful, lyrical writing, it is difficult to stay engaged with what is typically labeled ‘romance’ or ‘women’s fiction’ , whether on the beach or elsewhere. I look to you to recommend books that will cause me to think and feel deeply — and be grateful that I experienced a book that was well worth my time.

    Reply
  3. 3
    Franziska | September 9, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Camille

    I love love love books. I even love the sound when you open a new book for the first time. That said – a few years ago, after i disposed of a car fuuuull of books, i have heavy hartedly decided to switch to ebooks. The library doesn‘t do the trick for me (opening hours, wrong books, etc). How do you handle it?

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 10, 2019 at 6:32 am

      I know what you mean — there’s something so magical about physical books, but something so practical about digital books! I usually read on my iPad or iPhone for convenience sake, and our Austin library has a great app where you can download ebooks from their inventory.

      Reply
  4. 4
    Dee Nowak | September 10, 2019 at 6:55 am

    This is such a great list, and so many diverse picks! I can’t wait for the weather to finally cool down and for those long evenings that make a longer and more challenging novel much easier to get into.

    Dee ~ Vanilla Papers

    Reply
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