Leslie's Bookcase

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Fall-Winter Reading List – updated with reviews

Last Fall after reading dozens of new book titles, publisher notes, and excerpts, and of course looking at beautiful book covers, I presented my first reading list, for Fall/Winter 2016.

The books on this list caught my attention for various reasons, which are noted below along with the publishers notes.

As of March, I am updating this post with reviews from most all of these books. I was sidetracked from the list several times which is OK because I found my favorite book of the year and also spent recent weeks watching all 9 films nominated for best picture.

RELATED POST: 2016 ROUND-UP

My Reading list for Fall/Winter 2016, updated with links to reviews

I LOVED:

The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

This description had me at “Paris Wife”!

“In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.”

Update: Click here to read my review/reflections on The Other Einstein.


I LOVED:

The Terranauts: A Novel by T.C. Boyle

A science fiction novel from a master storyteller; the excerpt I read reminded me of Brave New World.

“It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, forty miles from Tucson, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. Their sealed, three-acre compound comprises five biomes—rainforest, savanna, desert, ocean, and marsh—and enough wildlife, water, and vegetation to sustain them.”

Update: Read why I loved this book!


I LIKED:

Swing Time by  Zadie Smith

I’ve been a fan of Zadie Smith since White Teeth!

“Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.”

I didn’t write a whole post of this book, you can check my goodreads for some thoughts.


Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon

Based on a death-bed confession, this book – or description at least – seems epic!!

“Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact—and the creative power—of keeping secrets and telling lies…From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of the “American Century,” the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir, Moonglow is Chabon at his most moving and inventive.”

I liked this book even though I was a bit underwhelmed based on my “epic” expectations which I addressed in a previous post.


I Will Send Rain: A Novel by Rae Meadows

This book’s setting during the Dust Bowl reminded me both of Grapes of Wrath and some stories from my ancestors.

“Annie Bell can’t escape the dust. It’s in her hair, covering the windowsills, coating the animals in the barn, in the corners of her children’s dry, cracked lips. It’s 1934 and the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma is struggling as the earliest storms of The Dust Bowl descend. All around them the wheat harvests are drying out and people are packing up their belongings as storms lay waste to the Great Plains. As the Bells wait for the rains to come, Annie and each member of her family are pulled in different directions.”

This is the one


News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles


I love my newspaper and current events, so I am fascinated by this character who travels across Texas to read news to gathered audiences.

“In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.”

I have to admit that this is the one book on the list I started but couldn’t finish. However, my dad was reading it, and I think he liked it.


The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

Reading this book will sustain my WWII genre reading frenzy.

The Nightingale meets Water for Elephants in this powerful novel of friendship and sacrifice, set in a traveling circus during World War II, by international bestselling author Pam Jenoff.

Read my post on this book here.


To Capture What We Cannot Keep: A Novel by Beatrice Colin


I admit it was the beautiful cover and title that first caught my attention!

“Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.”

Read my review of To Capture What We Cannot Keep here.



Help me out – What books did I miss this fall??

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16 Comments

  1. I think the one I’m most intrigued by is News of the World: A Novel – I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anything like that. Makes me want to go into full-on research mode!

    Ooh, Swing Time sounds amazing! I’m a sucker for anything with ‘swing’ in the title, though, so I’ll probably peek around and see if I can find that locally. I could do kindle but I prefer a real, physical book.

    I’m in the midst of American Gods after Gaiman won my heart with The Ocean at the End of the Lane but good gods, I can only do one book at a time these days. Happy reading!

  2. Thank you! I was looking for some books to add to my wishlist! Look forward to your reviews.

  3. Ooooh, I hadn’t heard of several of these, so now I’ll be adding them to my Goodreads list.

    I’m taking a reader’s advisory course right now, so I’ll be reading a few different genres for class. I think I’m most excited to read The Fifth Season, which I’ll be starting this week.

    • Leslie

      September 20, 2016 at 9:16 am

      The Fifth Season looks great too! I sort of miss taking classes because they did make me read outside of my usual genres…obviously most of my picks are same genre at this point. Best wishes with your semester!

  4. I definitely see a few that I am going to add to my list!

  5. I haven’t heard of any of these before but I LOVE some of these covers so much!! Moonglow has an epic minimalist cover and I’m totally intrigued by To Capture What We Cannot Keep. I hope you enjoy these! 😊

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Leslie

      October 7, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Cait! I absolutely love your site and photos and appreciate you stopping by mine! Moonglow is SOOO intriguing, cover and otherwise! 🙂

  6. What a well rounded fall book list <3 I'll have to check some of these things out(:. I'd recommend I am Malala& A book of poems by Maya Angelou 🙂

  7. Great list! Pinning it for later. 🙂

  8. This is a fantastic list!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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