5 Fantastic Books To Read This Fall

5 Fantastic Books to Read This Fall

I love the summer but around this time of year I always start to get antsy for the fall and cooler weather that calls for sweaters, cozy vibes, and a stack of books to curl up with.

I often look for books with a particular atmosphere this time of year, but this season I’m craving a bit more variety in my reading choices. So today I’m sharing books from a range of genres, including contemporary, mystery, fantasy, and more. And hopefully there will be something to your liking from my list!

Ready to see my picks?

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Book Review: Aleks Mickelsen and the Call of the White Raven, by Keira Gillett

Aleks Mickelson and the Call of the White Raven, by Keira Gillett

Aleks Mickelsen and the Call of the White Raven by Keira Gillett

Published by Keira Gillett on April 6, 2018

Series: Zaria Fierce, #5

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 286

Source: author

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“Whose white raven is this?”

Aleks Mickelsen is a changeling with diminishing magical powers and a complete nuisance for a new a pet. For the first time in his life, he’s lost. He led his friends to the wrong place. They might joke about there being worse things to face than disorientation, but comparing what Aleks did to the Wild Hunt breathing down their necks (even if the comparison is somewhat favorable) isn’t all that comforting. Hopefully, Aleks can get his head on straight and get them all back on track to fighting Fritjof, otherwise chaos is going to win.

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Book Review: Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Published by HarperCollins Publishers on June 6, 2017 (originally published October 6, 2016)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery

Format & Length: paperback, 496

Source: purchased

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When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

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Mini Audiobook Reviews: Themis Files Trilogy

Mini Reviews_ Themis Files Trilogy Header

For this set of mini reviews, I’d like to talk about the Themis Files trilogy. Having heard some fabulous things about these books ever since the release of Sleeping Giants, I’ve been keen to check them out for myself. This science fiction series has a unique premise, as you can see from the blurb below.

An inventive debut in the tradition of World War Z and The Martian, told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, Sleeping Giants is a thriller fueled by a quest for truth—and a fight for control of earthshaking power.
 
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Does this sound like your kind of book? Keep reading to see my thoughts!

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Book Review: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Published by Simon & Schuster in June 2013 (originally published October 19, 1953)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 249

Source: purchased

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Sixty years after its publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

“Fahrenheit 451- The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns.”

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

The sixtieth-anniversary edition commemorates Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Nelson Algren, Harold Bloom, Margaret Atwood, and others; rare manuscript pages and sketches from Ray Bradbury’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.

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August Reading Wrap Up

August 2019 Reading Wrap UpAugust was a month of transition for me. Between stopping full time work, prepping for baby, and baby’s final arrival (over a week after my due date!), a lot changed over these 31 days.

With everything going on, I’m not surprised that I wound up reading less than usual. And without a half hour commute to and from work every day, my audiobook consumption was next to nothing – which hasn’t happened for me in quite some time! Overall though, I’m happy with what I read in August. I rated each book at least a three and happened upon one that will definitely make my favorites for the year!

Ready to see what I read and reviewed?

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Audiobook Review: Armada, by Ernest Cline

Armada, by Ernest Cline

Armada by Ernest Cline

Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on July 14, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:49:19

Source: library

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Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure.

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders.

No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.

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Book Review: 29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan

29 Seconds, by T.M. Logan

29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Published by St. Martin’s Press on September 3, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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From the bestselling author of LIES comes 29 SECONDS, a sensational new thriller that explores what happens when a split second thought of revenge takes on a life of its own. 

“Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear.”

Sarah is a young professor struggling to prove herself in a workplace controlled by the charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne, a renowned scholar and television host. The beloved professor rakes in million-dollar grants for the university where Sarah works—so his inappropriate treatment of female colleagues behind closed doors has gone unchallenged for years. And Sarah is his newest target.

When Hawthorne’s advances become threatening, she’s left with nowhere to turn. Until the night she witnesses an attempted kidnapping of a young child on her drive home, and impulsively jumps in to intervene. The child’s father turns out to be a successful businessman with dangerous connections—and her act of bravery has put this powerful man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid. In the only way he knows how. The man gives Sarah a burner phone and an unbelievable offer. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that can make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No traces. No chance of being found out. All it takes is a 29-second phone call.

Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

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Audiobook Review: A Window Opens, by Elisabeth Egan

A Window Opens, by Elisabeth EganA Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Published by Simon Schuster Audio on August 25, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:40:48

Source: library

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In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine, Elisabeth Egan, brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age.

Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

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Book Review: Pretty Guilty Women, by Gina LaManna

Pretty Guilty Women, by Gina LaManna

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on September 3, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: Netgalley

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Four Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. A man is dead. Four different women rush to offer confessions, each insisting that they committed the crime — alone.

Ginger is holding her family together by a thread, and this wedding weekend is not the fabulous getaway she anticipated.

Kate has enough money to buy her way out of anything. Well, almost anything.

Emily can’t shake her reputation or her memories, and she’s planning to drown this whole vacation in a bottle.

Lulu’s got ex-husbands to spare, and another on the way — as soon as she figures out what the devil the current husband is up to behind her back.

Why would they confess to the same murder? Only they know — and they’re not telling. This page-turning novel explores the depths of friendship and the truths we love to ignore.

 

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