Fall reading picks: South Lake Tahoe Library provides its top selections for the season
The leaves are changing color, the weather is cooling and soon you won’t be able to do anything outdoors after 5 p.m. Fall began on Sept. 22 — with more time spent near your fireplace with a pumpkin spice latte in hand, you’re definitely craving a seasonal book to accompany your relaxing autumn routine.
Whether you enjoy a good classic or are looking for the newest book to get hooked on, there’s a fall novel waiting for you to grab it off the shelves. South Lake Tahoe Library staff worked to provide the top books for any reader out there.
“Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett: The “Bel Canto” author’s newest release debuted in September to rave reviews. The story spans five decades and focuses on two families’ lives that are changed by an unexpected romantic encounter. Filled with humor and heartbreak, the novel examines what brings people together.
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead: Set in the 19th century, Whitehead’s fictional story about a secret railroad underneath Southern soil provides a gripping story of one woman’s journey to escape the terrors of slavery in the pre-Civil War era.
“The Reader” by Traci Chee: A story involving pirates, assassins and a young girl forced to live alone in the woods makes for a harrowing tale you won’t want to stop reading. After her father is murdered and aunt kidnapped, she sets out to avenge her wrongdoers.
“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway: Perfect for people looking for a quick read. Just over 100 pages in length and one of Hemingway’s most iconic stories, it is a classic tale of man against nature told through the lens of a fisherman.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee: This Pulitzer Prize winner examines human behavior through six-year-old Scout’s perception of a hometown crisis. Set in Alabama during the Great Depression, the plot is driven by one lawyer’s battle in a case marked by racial injustice.
“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens: The story unfurls in London and France, set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. Peasantry fights aristocracy, leading to chaos and conflict between two social classes. Released in the latter part of the 19th century, Dickens’ story is one of the most famous in all of literary fiction.
“Calvin” by Martine Leavitt: You know the characters from the famous comic strip, but in this novel 17-year-old Calvin is diagnosed with schizophrenia as Hobbes comes back as an illusion Calvin can’t control. What ensues is the teen’s effort to convince Bill Watterson to draw one final comic strip to cure Calvin.
“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson: Buried treasure, peg legs and parrots abound in this coming-of-age tale about young Jim Hawkins’ gold-seeking adventure amongst swashbuckling buccaneers — a timeless classic that set the tone for our perception of pirates.
“The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman: Get your Halloween reading in with this story of Bod, a boy who lives in a graveyard and was raised by its inhabitants. Caught between two worlds, he faces both mortal and immortal challenges.
“The Busy Little Squirrel” by Nancy Tafuri: Recommended for infants to 2 years, the book focuses on a squirrel preparing for winter during the fall season. The text is easy to follow and festive illustrations highlight the beauty of autumn.
“Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson: Fletcher the fox gets concerned when his favorite tree starts losing leaves as the seasons change, so he sets out to help the tree return to its former state. Recommended for ages 2 to 5.
“Wonder” by R. J. Palacio: Fifth-grader Auggie is about to attend mainstream school for the first time. A well-written book perfect for the entire family, it will warm hearts just in time for the holiday season. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Nature Books for Tahoe-centric Fall reading
“California’s Fall Color, A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra” by G. Dan Mitchell: Improve your landscape photography skills and learn how to seek out beautiful colors of the season with this guide. Suitable for photographers of all levels, the book encourages readers to take in the beauty of our surrounding terrain.
“Saving Lake Tahoe, An Environmental History of a National Treasure” by Michael J. Makley: Inspired by the Lake Tahoe Summit? Makley’s book provides an account of efforts to preserve Lake Tahoe’s clarity and landscape. Learn what has been done in the past and how you can help out today.
“The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling” by John Muir Laws: The how-to guide helps those who want to become a better artist and naturalist. With tips and in-depth tutorials for the best ways to capture what you see, it’s a great tool to keep in your back pocket while you’re outdoors.
“Woodland Knits, Over 20 Enchanting Patterns” by Stephanie Dosen: This book of knitting patterns features fairy wings, hoods, scarves and more — all based on woodland creatures. It’s perfect for anyone who loves a good fairy tale.
“More Monster Knits for Little Monsters, 20 super-cute animal-themed hat and mitten sets to knit” by Nuriya Khegay: From safari to farm animals and household pets, all of toddlers’ favorite animals can be found in this book, which features patterns for animal-themed hats and mittens.
“100 Colorful Ripple Stitches to Crochet” by Leonie Morgan: Illustrated and complete with an easy-to-use guide, Morgan’s book features 50 original stitches and 50 colorways for blankets and throws. Basic stitches and techniques are included to help the beginning crocheter.
Spanish language recommendations
“El Esclavo” by Angel Francisco: A novel about freedom, forgiveness and personal growth.
“La Cancion de Gabriela” by Isabol Gomez-Bassols: A picture book about a young immigrant who smooths her transition to new surroundings using a happy song.
“Donaji” by Keila Ochoa: An artist visits a small town and finds love, changing his destiny. A romantic drama that makes for a perfect, cozy fall read.