Autumn Reading 2013: A Top Ten List

Let’s call it what it is – a to do list.

I have review copies of several of these, so I’ve committed to at least attempting to read them. I’m cheating a little because I’m already at least part way though some of these (Dirty Love, Storm Front, and At Night We Walk in Circles). I’m still in that reading slump (read: life slump, quarter life crisis, funk, etc. etc.) that I mentioned before. I’m working hard to snap out of it. Soon. Maybe. I need to watch High Fidelity or Chasing Amy or something. Or reread Jane Eyre.

Autumn Reading

In no particular order, autumn’s to be read list (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) is as follows:

10. Subtle Bodies by Norman Rush. Whether you like the New York Times Book Review or not (I’m a fan), it’s hard to resist a book that is called “superbly sustained narrative drollery” and written by the “best kind of comic novelist”.

9. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Because I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about it.

8. At Night We Walk In Circles by Daniel Alarcón. I’ve had good luck with translated fiction lately, so far, so good with this one…

7. Storm Front by John Sandford. The only genre series author I’m devoted to. He has a great sense of humor and it’s fun to try and spot the music t-shirts on Virgil.

6. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s about time.

5. Festival Man by Geoff Berner. If you know Geoff Berner’s music you’re probably odd, bookish, and like to drink. I didn’t come up with that, he did, but there may be some truth to that.

4. Want Not by Jonathan Miles. Richard Russo says Jonathan Miles is worth reading – that is enough for me.

3. This House is Haunted by John Boyne. I’ll hopefully fit this one in before Halloween, it’s has a governess in it and sounds like Jane Eyre crossed with Dickens style prose.

2. Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III. I’ve read a couple of the stories from the collection already and they’re amazing. The short story is an art form.


1. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Lest you think I’d forgotten…

I know I’m not the only one looking forward to Doctor Sleep. Anyone else? If not, anything you cannot wait to read?

Finally, any Canadians have any Montreal recommendations? I’ll be there next week. I know several of you are based out of Toronto and Edmonton, but maybe someone from Montreal is out there too. Or maybe you went to Montreal once and had the best experience at “this” location…? Any suggestions are welcome, I’m easy to please.


50 thoughts on “Autumn Reading 2013: A Top Ten List

  1. This House is Haunted is also on my list this week, it sounds perfect for Hallowe’en/the autumn season 😀 And I hope you enjoy The Rosie Project! Sorry to hear you’re still in a reading slump, I find re-reading a favourite classic sometimes helps (usually me and Austen’s Persuasion) 🙂

    I wish I could recommend something about Montreal but I was only there for a day (not even, I think; didn’t help that it was rainy when I was there). The old downtown is nice; in retrospect, I wish I had taken a day trip there or something when I was studying in Ottawa. Oh well…hope you have fun there next week! 😀

    (I remember reading a list somewhere that some of the best poutines in the country are based in Montreal…if you’re into that sort of food ;))


    1. It really does. The governess + the mysterious house with a mysterious master sounds about perfect right now. Everyone loved The Rosie Project, I think I’ll like it. At the very least, it sounds inoffensive. 😉

      My slump will be over eventually. I rarely feel old (or maybe grown-up is a better way of thinking about it), but lately I have. I’m potentially making large, life-changing decisions and I find it exhausting and a bit terrifying. I have this deep-seated need to do everything “right”. Obviously this is not always possible, though I’m loath to admit it.

      I’ll be in northern New England and Montreal next week for vacation/a bit of business. I am generally an adventurous food eater, but I find the idea of poutine to be revolting. I still might try it though, just for the experience.


      1. That’s totally understandable, life-changing decisions have a tendency of wrecking havoc like that. I’m sure everything will turn out great in the end 🙂

        I should be like >_< about poutine but there's that occasional time when I just can't help it (there's this one food truck I go to when I went to uni and guh, it's just right (not salty or anything). I don't think I'd have poutine from anywhere else except them)


  2. I have The Goldfinch on my TBR list, but not the one posted. I just adore its cover! I too am looking forward to King’s Doctor Sleep. I need to add Boyne’s book to my list.


    1. The Goldfinch is possibly on its way to me from Little, Brown, but I’ll believe it when I see it at this point. I’ve been waiting for her latest book for years…

      I WISH I had a review copy of Doctor Sleep, but no such luck. I had to preorder it like the rest of the world. I can only hope it lives up to my insanely high expectations. King rarely lets me down. I think Cell was the last one that truly underwhelmed me, before that it was Dreamcatcher…(I could make quite the game out of this).


  3. I’m going to listen to the audiobook of Doctor Sleep soon- can’t wait to hear what you think of the book. And The Goldfinch also looks fantastic. Happy fall reading 🙂


    1. I was considering that one as well. My mind is in about a million different places these days and I can’t concentrate. I’m struggling to finish Burial Rites even though it’s practically divine.

      I just need it to be October. Then all the job stuff will be decided one way or another (though the idea of moving will cause an entirely different set of issues). I’m whining. Sigh.


      1. If I do get this job (and accept the position), it’ll completely change the path of my career. Right now I’m primarily in scientific research, writing, and outreach and I’d move to a university coalition to do IT/bibliographic troubleshooting. I like being in the sciences and I love my coworkers. But I’ve been there five years, it may be time to move on and I have been fantasizing about getting back to New England. Sometimes I’m almost more worried that I’ll get the job and be forced to actually make the life changing decision. Either way, I can’t wait for it to be done. Are you looking at a completely new field or just a change in job (you freelance/work from home right now…?)?


      2. You’ll know the moment you’re offered the job (because you will be) what to do. I’m a big believer in gut reactions.

        I’m in the process of shifting from freelance writing (technical writing and blog content) to something totally different – I’m going back to university to study genetic counselling. It’s a big change and I feel like a complete mid-life-crisis cliche 😉


      3. I prefer to think of mine as a quarter-life crisis, thank you very much.

        That’s about as different as you can get (although I might have been more shocked if you told me you were going into matematics). Genetic counseling would be an incredibly interesting field to be in, but probably very difficult as well. Good luck! Especially the going back to university part. I occasionally toy with the idea of my PhD, but odds are against that. As with everything “elective” (school, healthcare, etc) in the US, the cost of higher education is staggering.


    1. I do like Ben Affleck, but High Fidelity has music AND lists. A difficult dilemma if I’ve ever encountered on. I could watch one tonight and one tomorrow. Really what I think I’m doing is avoiding the home improvement projects I’ve got going on. I mean those cans of paint look divine sitting in the middle of my floor.


    1. I know! I thought it would be everywhere, but even a few of my trusted King supporters omitted it. It feels like it’s taking for ever to release though, maybe he announced it too soon…

      The same could be said about The Goldfinch. It has been on my TBR list for the last two years.


    1. I will be so disappointed if I don’t love it. I NEED it to be good, I trust in King and I can’t be let down right now. I’d fall into a bookish oblivion.


  4. I cannot wait for Doctor Sleep. I plan on listening to it so big fingers crossed that seemingly awesome plan doesn’t fall through. Also? The Goldfinch. Can’t. Wait. I’m already the first person on hold for it at the library so I’m stoked. I might also add The Rosie Project to my list… not my normal genre but eh, I’ll give it a go.


    1. The Rosie Project went on my list because Kate raved about it, she hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Not that she’s been able to convince me to read The Book Thief yet. But my slump is deep enough with adding that book to it right now…


      1. I only read The Book Thief because I was doing a read along with my kid as it was assigned to him. He’s still working on it though, I couldn’t keep the same pace. lol
        I’m having a bit of a slump too. I’m trying to coerce myself to catch up on all my review books but nothing is interesting me. Blah.


  5. I keep hearing great things about The Rosie Project too! But I haven’t sought it out yet, I don’t know why…

    I’ve never been to Canada (sad face) soooo I’m no help there. But I hope that you have a great time and that you’re able to shake yourself out of your funk! 😀


    1. Ugh, me too! I hate feeling this way but someone asked me the other day why don’t you just “be happy”. Well if it was that easy, the world would be quite the miraculous place…

      Anyway, vacations are always fun (barring lost passports, crappy hotels, etc.). It’s a vacation-interview combination and the interview is the first thing happening. So after that I’ll have five days of vacation to enjoy. AND I’ll get to go to the beach. It’ll be far to cold to swim, of course, but it will still be pretty to see.


  6. I can’t get into Stephen King novels anymore, the writing doesn’t appeal like it did when I was 17.

    Once again I’ve not heard about or read any of these books, however, as per usual I have enjoyed another of your splendid posts 🙂


    1. I’ve found it greatly depends on his novels for me. I typically enjoy his mid length novels the best (Bag of Bones, the Dark Half, Pet Sematary), but I also love The Stand and usually adore his short stories.

      And thank you, I aim to please. Or at the very least be revered and inspirational. It’s the little things.


  7. I’ve seen Doctor Sleep on a few lists, and I REALLY want to read it, but I’ve never actually read the Shining. I think maybe I ought to before I read it’s sequel. Thoughts?

    My TTT

    BTW, I’m having a virtual launch party for the release of new book Quantum Entanglement on the Interchron Series FB page today ( It will be going on between 2pm and 7pm MST. There will be fun pics, goofy quizzes, and lots of prizes. So if you have the time, stop by. You might win a free copy of the book or an Amazon Giftcard!


    1. I think you could get away with reading Doctor Sleep without having read The Shining. The Shining wrapped up fairly well, so while the new book will have a recurring character, I don’t think it will have recurring places/people. Of course, it certainly won’t hurt to read The Shining – it’s a great October read.


    1. Haha. I’m thinking it will at least be another decade before she has a new one out. So you’ve got time with her new one, there’s absolutely no pressure to squeeze it in before a follow up novel. I just got a little scared at how old I’ll be before she theoretically releases her next book…


  8. I’d love to read Doctor Sleep too, but think I had better re-read The Shining first… and I have a LOT of other stuff I should get to before I start re-reading things… sigh! But hey, one day I’ll get back around to it 🙂 Great list!


    1. I got a little ahead of myself and re-read The Shining in January of this year. So while it’s not fresh in my kind, I hope it’s fresh enough. Either way, I’ll have my copy Tuesday and I’m hoping to squeeze it in over vacation.


      1. I’m sure I have a paperback copy somewhere at my parents’ house (two states away), but I saw it’s only $4 right now as an ebook through iBooks (possibly other apps? not sure), so I’m really tempted. I think it might be a good one to have on my iPad… seriously considering it!!


    1. I fly in Wednesday, deal with the business part of the trip Thursday, and am then on vacation until Tuesday. So a bit of both, but mostly pleasure.

      It’s an epic slump, although I think I’m more cognizant of it because of blogging. Sometimes I remember the days where I had zero book obligations fondly. I don’t think it’s helped that I’ve had a large amount of reading for work (almost exclusively on urban agricultural planning – interesting, but only so interesting, you know?).


  9. “Drollery” – I need to find an excuse to use that soon.

    Montreal – haven’t been in 10+ years but I believe the action is on Rue St Catherine. I remember being impressed with the shopping at Ailes de la Mode downtown.


    1. I’ll be staying on Rue de la Commune Ouest. I know it’s in old Montreal, but that’s all I know about it. I’ve not put as much planning into this trip as I usually do.

      In re to drollery: seriously, me too. I’ll be looking to squeeze it into a review.


  10. What about Margaret Atwood? I know she is a “Canadian” author but don’t know from what area exactly. I really enjoyed Blind Assassin. Best of luck on your interview and enjoy the vacation.

    P.S. LOVE the shoes 🙂


    1. Thanks! And those shoes should, at the very least, set me apart fashion wise. As you can imagine, librarians don’t exactly set the fashion world on fire.

      I hope you enjoy your vacation too, it’s going to be gorgeous!


  11. So glad to have stumbled on your blog today! We definitely have some crossovers on our lists – I’m so excited for Want Not, it’s hard to wait to pick it up. I finished The Goldfinch a few weeks ago and it’s even better than I had hoped. Thanks for giving me a few extra to peek at!


    1. I’m waiting on my copy of The Goldfinch from Little, Brown. I’m glad to know you gotten yours because I was seriously beginning to wonder if it really exists. I’ve been pining for this book for going on two years now…

      You may have convinced me to pick up The Cartographer of No Man’s Land!


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