Fall Reading List for Pleasure

Grace Doerfler '18, Editor-In-Chief

Temperatures are dropping; trees are changing color. At this time of year, there’s no better way to spend a lazy afternoon than curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. Now that summer reading assignments are out of the way, it’s the perfect time to start a new novel—to de-stress after a long day of classes, or simply for the pleasure of escaping into a literary world.

If you’re looking for a memoir that you won’t be able to put down, you can’t miss Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt’s story of growing up in Ireland during the 1930s. Although reading his account of his family’s poverty can be bleak at times, McCourt is a very gifted storyteller, and you won’t regret having read his engrossing book.

It’s not too late to read All the Light We Cannot See, if you haven’t yet. This novel is a fascinating World War II narrative told from the perspectives, alternately, of a blind French girl and a young German soldier. If you’re in World History II and studying World War II for the first time, your history teacher may pique your curiosity about the war and WWII-themed literature; if you’re taking American history this year, you might really enjoy thinking about WWII from young Europeans’ perspectives. For that matter, The Book Thief is also an excellent novel about a girl growing up in WWII-era Germany.

I can’t recommend Jhumpa Lahiri highly enough. She writes captivating books that explore language, cultural identity, and family; try Interpreter of Maladies if you’re a short story fan or The Namesake if you prefer a nice thick novel. Or, if you can’t resist a good memoir, In Other Words is a very interesting account of how Lahiri found a different side of herself by writing in Italian, presented in a dual-language format—Italian on one side, the English translation on the other. If you aspire to be a polyglot, In Other Words will hold you in thrall.

For the freshmen who can’t get enough of The Catcher in the Rye, you may not know that J.D. Salinger published quite a bit more besides Holden’s iconic story. If you’re curious about what other gifts Salinger bestowed upon the literary world, try Franny and Zooey or Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. Bizarre titles? Perhaps, but they’re four fabulous novellas. Each slim volume tells a story about the Glass family, whose members will soon become just as dear to you as Holden Caulfield.