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What I've Been Reading This Autumn

Autumn, by Ali Smith

Genre: Literary fiction

Synopsis: It explores the relationship between a grown woman and her aging neighbor who cared for her in her childhood.

Review: I loved how easily the novel swept me away, making me genuinely crack up on the subway. Smith melds dreams and reality in a heart-deepening way and it is, easily, my favorite book.

Read if you like: Lush visuals, art history, and stories about chosen families.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt

Genre: Literary fiction

Synopsis: When the main character’s beloved uncle passes away during the ‘80s aids epidemic, she begins to unravel the tapestry of his life.

Review: This book really makes me feel like I’m wrapped in a blanket of nostalgia. The perfect amount of mystery and sweetness.

Read if you like: 12-ish year old female leads learning about the pain and beauty of life.

The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss

Genre: Literary fiction

Synopsis: Follow a story as it moves from one man’s life to change and transform others as he slowly becomes aware of it’s impact.

Review: This is the story told by the crotchety old man you didn’t know you needed. It has that famous line in it, “Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

Read if you like: Books that make you well up while holding the miraculous beauty of the world in your hands.

A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: Van meets his wife, Davy, and they fall in love against the backdrop of Oxford through a mutual love of pursuing beauty. They slowly delve deeper into a curiosity about Christianity, navigate the struggles of living a virtuous life, and face their biggest fear.

Review: This book. Y’all. It taught me so much about what true love looks like in action. You won’t regret picking it up.

Read if you like: CS Lewis and Pope St. John Paul II.

My Story, by Marilyn Monroe

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: This unfinished manuscript of Marilyn Monroe’s tells her life right from the bottom of her heart. We often get to see the caricature of her splashed on Michael’s picture aisles, but this is the contemplative side of her that is just waiting to be known.

Review: I read this book in two days! I really felt like I was getting to spend time with Marilyn throughout her life, and realized just how human she was and how much she had to offer the world. After reading this, you’ll admire her as much as I do.

Read if you like: The TV show SMASH, old Hollywood and inside glimpses to peoples’ minds.

You’ve Just Been Told, by Elizabeth Macklin

Genre: Poetry

Synopsis: Touching on the themes of family, growth, and home, Macklin has a real knack for leaving the reader with a sense of peace and calm.

Review: I loved this! I found it really easy to read, and also found myself thinking of things in a more poetic way after reading. It’s great for a quick breakfast or subway commute!

Read if you like: Audrey Assad

The Soul of Shame, by Curt Thompson, MD

Genre: Religion/Psychology

Synopsis: Thompson unpacks shame’s neurobiological roots and how it impacts us individually, within a community, and within salvation history.

Review: This. Book! I’m only halfway through and I’m already blown away. This would be great for a book group or to read with a friend. If you’re feeling mentally or spiritually stuck, this is the book for you.

Read if you like: Self-help that is less self-focused and more outward-focused.

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