Patricia’s 2015 Fall Picks

autumn2015Autumn is an invitation to walk in the woods all day and curl up with an amazing book all night.  Here’s what I’ll be reading as the days shorten while rain patters against windows:


undermajorUndermajordomo Minor* by Patrick deWitt

I would love to be able to go back in time and read The Sisters Brothers again for the first time.  It was funny, heartfelt, and relentlessly entertaining.  So it stands to reason that I have ultra high hopes for deWitt’s newest offering, a darkly comedic love story.  deWitt will be at the Vancouver Writers Fest this October.

ferranteThe Story of The Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

It’s finally here!  The final book in Ferrante’s mesmerizing series, The Neopolitan Novels.  This book continues to trace the tumultuous lives of longtime friends, Lila and Elena as Elena returns home to be with the man she’s always loved. Don’t let the cover fool you, Ferrante’s books are perfect for fall reading.

goldfamecitrusGold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Kirkus Review calls Gold Fame Citrus a “A tour-de-force first novel [that] blisters with drought, myth, and originality” and raves that “Watkins is magnificently original.”  I’m looking forward to sinking down into the novel’s post-apocalyptic desert landscape and seeing if the two main characters, Ray and Luz, have what it takes to survive.


goldenThe Golden Son* by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Gowda’s debut, Secret Daughter, was such a joy to read because of of how easy it was to become immersed in Indian culture and family drama while reading it.  The Golden Son looks to be in the same vein.  Anil is an Indian boy sent to America to become a doctor.  While he acclimatizes to American culture, his family and friends remain tied to tradition.

cityonfireCity on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

I know that Franzen’s Purity is the doorstop-of-a-novel to beat this fall, but I’m much more excited about Hallberg’s City on Fire, which takes place during New York’s 1977 blackout.  At the heart of the story is the mystery of who shot punk fan Sam and why.

cleopatraCleopatra’s Shadows by Emily Holleman

Ever since devouring Margaret George’s The Memoirs of Cleopatra more than 15 years ago, I’ve been a fan of ancient Egyptian historical fiction.  Rather than focussing on Cleopatra herself, Holleman delves into the lives of her sisters, Berenice and Arsinoe.


japaneseThe Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende

I will read anything by Allende, and almost anything set in WWII.  In 1939, Alma’s parents send her from Poland to the safety of San Francisco.  There she meets and falls in love with Ichimei, but then he is sent to an internment camp.  The novel traces the story of their secret relationship in the decades that follow.

avenueAvenue of Mysteries by John Irving

A new John Irving novel is a truly exciting thing indeed.  From Homer to Owen, he has created some of my favourite fictional characters.  While Irving can usually be relied on to write about New England, wrestling, and unusual sexual relationships, this book the story of a Mexican man in the Philippines appears to be a departure.

calvinCalvin by Martine Leavitt

My final pick is a YA book about a schizophrenic boy born on the day the last Calvin and Hobbes comic was printed.  Calvin believes that his illness can be cured if he can persuade Watterson to write one final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.  From the author of the utterly unforgettable Keturah and Lord Death.


*As always, thank you to Edelweiss and NetGalley for ARCs of these titles.

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