It’s that time of year again – fall! October in New York can sometimes still feel like a lingering summer with its continuous hot days and blistering humidity, but finally, around Halloween time the leaves cover the ground and the cool breeze floats between the buildings.
The change in season also means I get to curl up in my fluffy cardigan with a good book. And with so many titles to choose from, I've made it my personal goal to read as many books as possible every month.
Featuring memoirs, a cool guide on crystals and a gripping novel about secrets and church mothers, here are the five books I'm most pumped about this fall.
1. We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories, by Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union is totally my BFF in my head, so when I found out she was writing a book I knew I had to get it. Can you believe I actually have FIVE copies of it? It's such an amazing read that gives great insight into the mind and life of Gabrielle Union. You'll literally find yourself screaming "yes, girl," and "me too" at every page. That's how relatable and real she is. Favorite chapter: "Famous Vaginas Get Itchy Too"
2. Crystal Bliss, by Devi Brown
I first met and interviewed Devi in 2016 when I worked at ESSENCE. Before our conversation, I'd never given much thought to anything "crystal" related, but once we talked I was hooked! And I'm even more hooked now, which is why I was so hype for this book's release. This title from the influential radio personality and founder of Karma Bliss is a must-read guidebook for millennials interested in learning about healing crystals and how to harness their energy to squash negative vibes, manifest love, health, and all things "bliss." And don't worry: it's super easy-to-read format makes it perfect for beginners to follow.
3. The Mothers, by Britt Bennett
"All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of a unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season." In less than six hours (a new personal record!) I finished this book which is hands down, the best one I've read this year. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, this first-time author's novel is an emotionally raw story about community, love, and secrets. And boy is it juicy!
4. New People, by Danzy Senna
I'm a fan of novels that aren't told in a "traditional" manner. This is why New People caught my attention. Darkly comedic, it follows Maria at the close of the 20th century and her battle with the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side syndrome. She's engaged to be married to one man, but yet she can't stop daydreaming about another, a poet she barely knows. Her fantasy soon escalates to fixation and the obsession threatens to unravel her "perfect" life.
5. We Love You, Charlie Freeman, by Kaitlyn Greenidge
What sparked my interest in reading this book is the fact that I couldn't for the life of me decipher what the heck it was about. And I don't know about you, but I love a good literary adventure. The story follows the Freeman family--Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, Charlotte and Callie--who've been invited to the Toneybee Institute to participate in a research experiment where they'll teach Charlie, a chimpanzee sign language. Sounds great and fun, until Charlotte discovers the institute’s questionable history and secrets of the past seep into the present in devastating ways.
To learn more about each title, click the books below!
What books are you reading this fall? Leave suggestions in the comments!