Fall is reading season! As the days grow shorter and it gets colder, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm drink, a cosy blanket and a good book. If you’re still thinking about which books to add to your fall TBR, I’ve collected a few of my recent favourites you shouldn’t miss out on during this reading season.

Nonfiction: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Most people will know Trevor Noah as the witty host of The Daily Show. In his bestselling memoir Born a Crime, he looks back on his childhood confined by the absurdities of apartheid, his troubled years at school amidst the turmoil of post-apartheid, and his budding success as a teenage hustler selling pirated CDs and DJing at parties.

By turns touching and funny, Born a Crime is both a personal tale and an exploration of race and identity in late-, and post-apartheid South Africa. It addresses serious issues of racism, poverty and violence with a lot of insight and dark humour. I’ve to warn you that it’s written in such an engaging way that you’ll find yourself thinking “just one more essay” until suddenly you’ve reached the last page of the book. You don’t have to be a fan of Trevor to love this book.

Historical Fiction: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Spanning five decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s, The Vanishing Half follows the stories of the twin sisters Stella and Desiree Vignes, who as teenagers decide to escape from the Southern black community they grew up in. Inseparable as children, they begin to drift apart and lead completely different lives. While Desiree eventually returns to her hometown with her black daughter, Stella secretly passes for white, hiding her past from her white husband and daughter. But years later, when the paths of the twin’s teenage girls cross, they are confronted once again with their past, their identities, and their missing half.

I was hooked straight away and truly enjoyed each chapter of it. Bennett has a beautiful writing style that keeps you turning pages. Each part of the novel is told from the perspective of someone else–mostly Desiree, Stella and their daughters–with each one having a distinct voice. We see the characters both through their own and through an outsider’s eyes, which adds complexity to the narrative and the characters. Exploring themes of race, gender, class and sexuality, it’s both a timely and a timeless read. The Vanishing Half truly deserves all the attention it gets.

Science-Fiction: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Set in the near-distant future, Klara and the Sun follows the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend. AFs are humanoid machines that are designed to act as companions for children, who don’t socialise anymore because they are homeschooled by “screen professors.” Klara is soon chosen by 14-year-old Josie. As the story unfolds, we learn that Josie suffers from a mysterious illness that may or may not kill her. The question that looms over the novel is: will Josie, with Klara’s help, recover from her illness? And if she doesn’t, what will her mother do to survive the loss?

Klara and the Sun is a gripping story that will probably resonate with readers who loved Ishiguro’s previous works. As Never Let Me Go, Klara and the Sun explores themes of loneliness, grief and love. By letting us see the world through the eyes of Klara, Ishiguro challenges our perceptions and urges us to confront a fundamental question: what does it really mean to be human?

Feel Good Tale: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. A grumpy old man who firmly believes that rules are rules. But behind the cranky exterior, there’s a story full of joy and sadness. When a boisterous family moves in next door, Ove finds his solitary world turned upside down.

I have to warn you that this book is an absolute tearjerker. This is the second book I read by Backman (Anxious People being the first one) and there’s something really unique to his writing style. He has a talent in creating characters you can’t help but feel sympathetic for. Ove may be a curmudgeon, but he’s also loving and hilarious. Backman’s stories remind us that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and Ove is the perfect example for that!

Now get yourself a cup of tea, wrap yourself in a cosy blanket and sink your teeth into these amazing stories. The next books on my TBR are An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green and The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson, which I’m already excited to cuddle up with. Let the fall reading season begin!

What are your fall must-reads? Which novels have you enjoyed reading recently? Please let me know in the comment section below!

5 thoughts on “Fall Book Recommendations

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