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4 Books You Need on Your Shelf This Fall

The best thing about fall is that you’re not freezing your butt off. The next best thing is that you can lie in a quiet, scenic park, or grab a seat on your favorite bench with a beautiful view, or just bundle up under your covers and read a book.

Fall is a great time to get on that list of books you’ve been meaning to read. It’s not too cold, which makes you just want to sleep all day, and it’s not too warm, where you can’t read a chapter outdoors without being drenched in your own sweat.

I’ve compiled a list of must-read books for autumn, which you should get your hands on while you still have time:

Olive, Again

Written by award-winning, best-selling author Elizabeth Strout, Olive, Again is a tale about the famous Olive Kitteridge. If you’ve read Strout’s previous work, you’re no stranger to Olive. But if you haven’t, it’s no big deal - this book is amazing anyway and it’s a great introduction to both the character and Strout’s writing. 

Olive, Again follows Olive’s life two years after her husband, Henry’s death in their beloved town of Crosby. The book not only tells us the story of Olive’s life but of those around her too, all of which are woven together and intertwined through Olive. Also - if the book cover doesn’t sell you on why this is the perfect book for fall, I don’t know what will. 

Fun fact: Olive, Again is a sequel to Strout’s book, Olive Kitteridge. The idea for a sequel came to Strout in a cafe Norway, so in the book, Olive takes a trip to Norway.

Know My Name: A Memoir

Know My Name: A Memoir is written by Chanel Miller, a name not necessarily everyone may be familiar with, but if you learn her story, you’re sure to recognize who she is. Miller’s memoir speaks about being sexually assaulted in 2015 by infamous Brock Turner. She made the decision to reclaim her identity after being known as Emily Doe throughout the court proceedings in order to tell her own truth, and give a voice to those who may have gone through a similar situation. 

A must-read for everyone, Know My Name is a book about pain, vulnerability, resilience, and healing. Miller takes us through her journey of navigating through a corrupt, biased justice system and the courage it took to move forward and live a fulfilling life.

Fun fact: the cover was inspired by a form of Japanese art known as ‘kintsugi,’ wherein you repair broken pottery with powdered gold to highlight the cracks, instead of trying to cover them up.

Ayesha At Last

While this isn’t a newer book, it’s one that isn’t very mainstream or well-known. Ayesha At Last is a romantic comedy that pays homage to the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice. Ayesha navigates the rollercoaster that is life, dealing with all sorts of problems and complexities to do with her career, love-life, and family. 

The story highlights the beauty of a close-knit, lively family and a vivacious, out-spoken Muslim woman trying to find her footing. Ayesha manages to eloquently speak her mind, all whilst staying true to her faith. A cross-cultural story, Ayesha At Last is witty, romantic and gushing with heart. Grab some tissues and prepare to be all in your feels with this one.

Fun fact: Ayesha is Canadian and the book is based in Toronto. So, there’s another reason to get your hands on this book.

The Goldfinch

The coming of age award-winning book by Donna Tartt is no secret to bibliophiles. It’s time to pull this classic from your shelves and dust it off. With the movie having been recently released, it’s the perfect time to re-read the story of young, grieving Theo, and his journey through life with art, love, identity and more.

Full of memorable characters and daunting suspense, The Goldfinch is just as beautiful, if not more, every time you read it. Take a trip down memory lane with Tartt and remember what it was about this classic that you loved so much. If you’ve never read it before, this is the sign you’ve been looking for - get your hands on a copy ASAP!

Fun fact: The movie adaptation of The Goldfinch premiered right here at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Put on your reading hats and stock up on your snacks because once you get started with these books - you’re not going anywhere!

Zainab is a 4th-year journalism student from Dubai, UAE who is the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at Ryerson. When she's not taking photos for her Instagram or petting dogs on the street, she's probably watching a rom-com on Netflix or journaling! Zainab loves The Bold Type and would love to work for a magazine in New York City someday! Zainab is a feminist and fierce advocate against social injustice - she hopes to use her platform and writing to create change in the world, one article at a time.
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