MR Book Club: 12 Fall Recommendations

Take your brain on a fall vacation.



There’s just something about reading in the fall. Maybe it’s that familiar back-to-school feeling. Or maybe it’s the novelty of a gray sky after so much blue, a knit after so much cotton, a couch after so much beach. Whatever the catalyst, when the weather dips below 70, we all get more syrupy than a Nicholas Sparks novel (NOT A BOOK REC) about hunkering down, cuddling up, snuggling in. They don’t call it cuffing season for nothing. And there’s really nothing cozier than reading under a blanket, if we’re going to be romantic about it.

By winter we’ll probably be a little cabin feverish, but during the fall we’re a bunch of good-natured shut-ins. We’re rosy-cheeked, we’re charitable, we’re probably overdoing it a little bit with the layers. But most importantly: we’re ready to politely decline social invites because “it’s too cold” in favor of a good read. If you’re looking for something to pick up — either new or tried and true — click through above to 12 recommendations from the team at Man Repeller. Then let us know yours in the comments below!

See you, love you, bye.

P.S. You can also read one of our summer beach reads in the fall, there are no rules!

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

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  • I am now officially scared of you.

    (Don’t know, how it came about, but sometime this week I wondered whether I should ask you, MR team, if any of you had read the Celestine Prophecy. No idea, why I thought this – I had read the book ages ago and forgotten all about it. Almost. Also: I haven’t invented this just now.)

    • Perla

      There’s no such thing as coincidence. You thought it – and the universe provided!

      I remember once I was sitting on the train reading a chapter in this book when all of a sudden I was distracted with thoughts of a close friend whom I haven’t heard from in a while. I didn’t think anything of it, but as soooooon as I got off the train…. BAM!! I bump into this friend. I was so startled that I almost spilled my coffee. Talk about FREAKYYYYY.

      • Yes, yes … while reading it, many interesting things happened to me, too (friends, new people ….). I don’t remember the details anymore … But while reading your statement above “You will cherish the teachings of this book your entire life” I realized you are absolutely right: I just know it. Maybe I should re-read the book to see what my knowledge is all about. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  • Natasha

    I love book recommendations!! Thank you for this. Jesse Klein’s memoir sounds fun and I’m definitely going to check out the Celestine Prophecy.

    If you liked The Goldfinch, you will probably love The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton! It was my favorite read this summer. Another recommendation is Milk and Honey by young poet Rupi Kaur. Her work is poignant and modern and biting and oh so wonderfully female.

    If you love traveling & photography and want to invest in a coffee table book that’ll take your breath away every time you open it, check out Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson. I bought this book as a present for my Dad’s last birthday and it was worth every penny. Every photograph in there fills me with wonder.

    • I agree, The Luminaries is wonderful … I let myself get hooked by Ferrante’s Brilliant Friend this fall, too: not too bad.

      • Natasha

        Thank you I’m going to check that out 🙂

  • I just read The Art of Fielding and absolutely loved it! The Goldfinsh is amazing too. Definitely a couple on that list I want to see if I can find in the library

    – Natalie

  • Akosua Adasi

    Haley is my favourite MR writer so it feels like fate that I started reading ‘The Goldfinch’ right before I saw this post 😊

  • Max

    Everybody should have to read the New Jim Crow imo.

    My fall recommendation is a toss up between Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye or The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann.

    • BK

      I just started the New Jim Crow and am HOOKED ~ it reminds me of Slavery By Another Name (can recommend both book & doco) but even more searing.

  • Molly D

    Ahhh thanks what an amazing idea!!!

    You’ll Grow Out of It is hands down the best memoir I’ve ever read. So poignant and relatable. Absolutely hysterical. WEPT in public reading it.

  • THANK YOU for these recommendations I trust you guys w my life so I shall now read all of the above titles.

    (May I also recommend It’s Okay to Laugh, Crying Is Cool Too by Nora McInerny Purmort…I may be biased bc I live in Minneapolis and so does she but it is excellent and I think y’all would love it.)

  • Erica

    If you like Goldfinch, you MUST read Secret History by Donna Tartt!!! It’s dark, mysterious, and has been compared to Lord of Flies (plot wise). It takes place on the east coast and details about a group of cult-like f’d up college kids and their weird “adventures.”

    • SavHemmings

      THIS SO MUCH! I read this after The Goldfinch and was so intrigued by Tartt because she seems to write one book per decade.

      The Secret History did not disappoint!

    • cindy kazanjian

      YES I love The Secret History!

    • Happy Keanu

      !!! It’s based on my alma matter – Bennington College. Scarily and deliciously accurate to academic life there (without, the, you know…)

      Donna’s our most famous alum. Well, ok, maybe that’s actually Peter Dinkledge. But yes, Secret History is a must read!

    • Emily

      The Little Friend by Donna Tartt is also excellent! Especially if you are trying to remember what it felt like to be a little girl in a little world who thinks the whole world rests on her shoulders. God. She’s so good.

    • Greer Clarke

      People keep recommending Secret History!! Would be interested to know if I love it more than Goldfinch.

      I actually did a review of Goldfinch about this time last year, at the end of my Southern Hemisphere summer, if anybody needs more convincing

    • Basil

      Oh yes! The Secret History and Little Friend are excellent.

      In a similar vein (mystery, kind of creepy) but sadly not as good IMO (though still entertaining) is Purity by Jonathan Franzen

    • pterridactyl

      I revisit The Secret History every couple of years, it’s my alltime fave (Brighton Rock is a close second)

      Important q: why hasn’t it been adapted as a film yet????

    • Haley Nahman

      Yes I also loved the secret history! I just love Donna Tart in gen.

  • Alexandra Williamson

    And the Mountains Echoed. A must read, and a favourite in my book club. 🙂

  • Marley Arviso

    You’ll grow out of it is so so good, def laughed and cried while listening to it. I’m almost done with You can’t touch my hair: and other things I still have to explain, but it is amazing so far. I listen to all my books because I live in Los Angeles and spend SO MUCH TIME IN MY CAR IT SUCKS but these books both made sitting in traffic much more tolerable.

  • My favourite one is the one you talked about some weeks ago… Check it out on my blog

    Thanks for discovering it to me!

  • Adrianna

    I read a lot, almost as much as I listen to podcasts… (I was the one who wrote a list of recommendations longer than the Man Repeller article)

    One of the best books I read recently was The Street of Eternal Sunshine.

    Love and Ruin is an anthology of interesting and unusual nonfiction stories.

    If you’re into graphic novels (or looking to get into graphic novels) I highly recommend Trees and the Wicked + Divine series.

  • BK

    Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. It’s the (true) story of his disastrous climb of Suila Grande (mountain in the Peruvian Alps). I won’t give away the plot but let me just say that Simpson shattering his leg whilst still halfway up the mountain in the middle of a blizzard is literally only a fraction of the shit that goes down in this book. He has a lovely, undulating approach to storytelling but at the same time is very direct and honest. He explains this easily and without condescension; he sort of invites you into the complex world of professional mountain climbing with a warm smile. It’s like having someone who is obviously very intelligent and insightful, but also very unassuming and easygoing, sit next to you, lean in next to your ear and tell you the most exciting, frightening and honest survival story ever. I found a hardcover on eBay for like $5 btw. Also he’s written like 6 more nonfictions about mountaineering.

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  • Basil

    I’m reading A Tale of Love and Darkness and it’s amazing – beautifully written. It’s long and requires attention so perfect for autumn / fall

  • God bless MR Book Club!! So excited to try out these reads. I’m loving Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris right now!

  • Inkygrl

    I heard David Sedaris read last week (delightful as always) and he usually recommends a book at the end of his readings. This time it was Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh which I read a few months ago. Wonderful, dark, beautiful writing.

  • smillipede

    omg at the casual charles taylor name drop incredible

  • Liam Gallant

    The Goldfinch has to be book of the year. I agree with Erica Secret History is amazing in its own right but very different in style and tone to The Goldfinch. The Goldfinch is almost an adventure, road movie, romance. Beautiful book. Love that moment where he and Boris are in bed together, completely unsexual but utterly beautiful.