School is back in session, so students have new reading lists for the fall. But what about their parents? We asked local folks who know about books — librarians in Reporter Newspapers communities — to recommend some fall reading for adults. Here’s what they suggested, just in time for the arrival of National Literacy Month in September.
Librarian, Brookhaven Library
Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Sepetys
No, this book has nothing to do with “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Instead, this is the story of a Lithuanian family and their deportation to Siberia during the Stalin era. It’s a gripping story about a part of history that doesn’t get much attention.
by Andrew Davidson
This book will grab the attention of readers from the get-go. It opens with a single-car accident leaving the driver with severe burns all over his body. The rest of the book entails his recovery in the burn ward and his relationship with a patient from the psychiatric ward who visits him during his stay.
A Little Life: A Novel
by Hanya Yanagihara
In a way, this is a coming of age story. It’s a book about friends, careers, relationships — past and present — and figuring out one’s lot in life. At times the subject matter is extremely difficult to read, but readers will turn page after page in the hopes of a happy ending.
The Sandcastle Girls: A Novel
by Chris Bohjahlian
A beautiful story written about the Armenian genocide. It alternates between 1915 and 2012 as a writer from New York researches her family history. Readers will become engrossed in this book about a segment of history that often times fails to get recognized.
Principal librarian and branch manager, Sandy Springs Library
Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities
by Ryan Gravel
The creator of the Atlanta BeltLine discusses his inspiration for the BeltLine and his personal journey towards more sustainable, walkable cities.
by Margaret Atwood
The author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” sets Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in the modern day with a college professor ready to employ a team of prisoners to exact his petty revenge. You don’t need to be a Shakespeare buff to enjoy this one!
My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India into a Southern Kitchen
by Asha Gomez
Local chef Asha Gomez shares recipes for delicious and fresh dishes, with her unique fusion of South Indian and American Southern cooking.
by Curtis Sittenfeld
In this modern day re-telling of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the Bennets are an old, moneyed Cincinnati family struggling to keep up with the Joneses; Mr. Darcy is a highly-eligible bachelor neurosurgeon; and Mr. Bingley is a reality TV-show contestant looking for a bride.
The Lonely Polygamist
by Brady Udall
Golden Richards has an enormous amount of responsibility on his shoulders keeping his construction company afloat and struggling to pay the bills while caring for four wives and 28 children in rural Utah. This novel takes a surprisingly humanizing look at the struggles of polygamist Mormons.
Manager, Dunwoody Library
by Brené Brown.
Self-help books may be a dime a dozen, but this one is a modern classic. Based on her popular TED Talk, Brown’s insightful and heartfelt book describes how having the strength to admit your own vulnerabilities can transform every aspect of your life.
by Sarah Miller
This highly anticipated historical novel, authorized by the Laura Ingalls Wilder estate, retells the classic story of “Little House on the Prairie” from the perspective of Caroline “Ma” Ingalls, detailing the hardship she and her family faced on the frontier of the late 1800s.
A Walk in the Woods
by Bill Bryson
Autumn is a great time to get back in touch with nature. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can curl up indoors and read about Bryson’s ill-fated and hilarious attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail without getting lost or eaten by bears.
by Attica Locke
The author of “The Cutting Season” and producer of the TV show “Empire” returns with the brand new thriller about a black Texas Ranger on the trail of a double homicide. Described as a “rural noir,” Locke’s latest novel could be the sleeper hit of the season.
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
Don’t wait for the movie next spring. This surprise hit novel from 2012 packs a truckload of adventure wrapped in a feast of 1980s nostalgia, arcade games, movies and Saturday morning cartoons. Anyone who fondly remembers that decade must read this book.
Vice President of Public Programs, Atlanta History Center, who orchestrates author programs for the center and the Margaret Mitchell House
Young Jane Young
by Gabrielle Zevin
An uplifting and funny book about a young intern who has an affair with her Congressman boss, and, when the scandal breaks, it ruins her life, not his. She escapes to a faraway place with a new identity but must come face to face with her past when she decides to run for mayor in her small town. (Scheduled for release this month. The author is scheduled to appear at the Margaret Mitchell House on Sept. 14.)
Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment
Edited by Angela J. Davis
This collection of essays explores the way the criminal justice system is failing black boys and men. A very readable book that is filled with alarming data and statistics as well as heartbreaking stories.
by B.A. Paris
I love a good psychological thriller, and this one kept me in suspense until the very end.
I Am Sacagawea (Ordinary People Change the World)
by Brad Meltzer
My 7-year-old loves these approachable and wonderfully illustrated history books about how ordinary people changed the world through following their passions and/or taking a stand. “I Am Sacagawea” will be released this fall and will be a great addition to the collection. (Scheduled for release Oct. 3.)
Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites
by Deb Perelman
Fall always makes me think of food, and getting back into the kitchen to try out new recipes. Deb Perelman’s “Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” is one of my all -time favorites and I eagerly await her new book “Smitten Kitchen Every Day.” (Scheduled for release Oct. 24.)