School is back in session and the warm days of summer are quickly growing shorter. Before long, our counters will boast plates of applesauce muffins and we’ll find ourselves snuggling up with a cozy quilt and a pumpkin spice latte. As you start to set out pumpkins on your porch and pick up Halloween candy from the store (because you need that a month early right?), reach for a great book too. Fall is the perfect time to kick back and lose yourself in a story. Whether you need a book to take along to soccer practice or simply want something to read before bed, I’ve got a few great suggestions for you.

Kick back, pour yourself a cup of tea, and curl up on the couch,  because I’ve got a list of fall must reads for you!

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1. Black Chalk by Christopher J. YatesBlack Chalk

Love psychological thrillers? Love getting lost in a page-turner? This book is absolutely chock-full of twists and turns, compelling you to lose track of your normal life. I was recently sent a stack of books from a publisher and could not wait to begin this one! It did NOT disappoint. I can only sit back and wait for the inevitable movie, as this story begs to be told on the big screen as well.

A compulsively readable psychological thriller set in New York and at Oxford University in which a group of six students play an elaborate game of dares and consequences with tragic result


haatchi2. haatchi & little b: the inspiring true story of one boy and his dog by Wendy Holden

I read a lot of books that are dark or have a dystopian feel to them. Haatchi & Little B was like a breath of fresh air. It’s no wonder that the story of this incredibly heartwarming duo has captured the attention of the nation. You will not soon forget the bond between one incredibly brave and adorable little boy and his faithful companion – a rescued three-legged dog. Get the tissues, and be prepared to fall in love, and be reminded that goodness does still exist.

When Owen met Haatchi, the lives of one adorable little boy and one great, big dog were destined to change forever.

Owen-known to his family as “little buddy” or “Little B”-has a rare genetic disorder that leaves him largely confined to a wheelchair.Haatchi-an adorable Anatolian Shepherd puppy-was abused and left for dead on railroad tracks. He was struck by an oncoming train, and although his life was saved, his leg and tail were partially severed. But kind-hearted Will and Colleen Howkins, Little B’s father and stepmother, decided to introduce the big dog and the little boy to each other, and an unbelievable bond was formed that transformed both boy and dog in miraculous ways.


3. Small Blessings by Martha Woodroofsmall blessings

Small Blessings reminds the reader that you never can tell just how your life is going to turn out. One day you can be browsing through a bookshop, minding your own business, and the next day – everything can be different. Life twists and turns, and we can accept change as a natural and welcome part of our life, or we can resist it – fighting the inevitable. This is a charming book that inspires you to think about the way you approach change in your own life, to embrace optimism, and to never become too comfortable. This book is written with a lot of wit and charm, and boasts a cast of lovable and realistic characters.

Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing his department’s oddball faculty, and caring for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.
Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop’s charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner. Her first social interaction since her breakdown, Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon–a feeling confirmed when he receives a letter from his former paramour, informing him he’d fathered a son who is heading Tom’s way on a train. His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.
A heartwarming story with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters to cheer for, Small Blessings’s wonderfully optimistic heart reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life has veered irrevocably off track, the track shifts in ways we never can have imagined.


last pilot4. The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock

I have always been a big fan of historical fiction – and find this time period particularly interesting. Add to the historical interest a profoundly emotional story, and you have a book that will grip you – affecting you after you put the book down. This story grapples with so much of the human experience – love, loss, birth, death, marriage, despair, work, grief, self-doubt, fear….this is the story of the Harrisons, but it is also the story about you. The Last Pilot will force you to come to terms with how you handle life’s ups and downs – and the choices Jim Harrison makes will stick with you.

Jim Harrison is a test pilot in the United States Air Force. He spends his days cheating death in the skies above the Mojave Desert and his nights at his friend Pancho’s bar, often with his wife, Grace. She and Harrison are secretly desperate for a child-and when, against all odds, Grace learns that she is pregnant, the two are overcome with joy.

While America becomes swept up in the fervor of the Space Race, Harrison turns his attention home, passing up the chance to become an astronaut to welcome his daughter, Florence, into the world.  But when his family is faced with a sudden and inexplicable tragedy, Harrison’s instincts as a father and a pilot are put to test. As a pilot, he feels compelled to lead them through it-and as a father, he fears that he has fallen short.

The aftermath will haunt the Harrisons and strain their marriage as Jim struggles under the weight of his decisions. Beginning when the dust of the Second World War has only just begun to settle and rushing onward into the Sixties, Benjamin Johncock traces the path of this young couple as they are uprooted by events much larger than themselves. The turns the Harrisons take together are at once astonishing and recognizable; their journey, both frightening and full of hope. 


Have a great rest of your summer, and happy reading!!

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