Hello, my name is Shannon. (Hi, Shannon!) I am a serial re-reader of books. I come by this honestly. I was the type of kid who devoured stacks of books at a time. There was no way my parents could keep up with the number of library runs or the sheer amount of cash it would have taken to keep me in a steady supply of Scholastic orders. While I read anything I could get my hands on (magazines, the newspaper, cereal boxes, etc.), having an actual book in my hands often meant re-reading from my own bookshelf. I have distinct memories of sitting cuddled in “my” corner of our brown living room couch, reading the last page of a book, and then immediately flipping it around to the front cover to start all over again.
My love of re-reading hasn’t left me. If anything, it’s grown stronger over the past year and a half of the pandemic. There’s something comforting in visiting familiar characters who feel like friends in book form. When there’s so much beyond our control, it’s soothing to visit an old favorite and know exactly what I’ll find there. There’s no risk (I already know it’s a book I love), it’s fun to revisit favorite pieces of dialogue and turns-of-phrase, and I almost always find something new, even in a book I’ve read half a dozen times.
If you’d like to join me in my cult of re-reading this fall, here’s a round-up of cozy, familiar, comforting (re)reads. These are books I think pair best with a blanket, soft pants, and something warm in a mug, even if you only have five minutes to sneak in as children swarm around you.
Book Series To (Re)Read With the Kids (Or Not)
Harry Potter: Really, this one is self-explanatory. My own personal re-read of choice this fall.
Anne of Green Gables: With eight books, this series can keep you occupied for much of the fall (and maybe beyond). And don’t skip the last one; Rilla of Ingleside might be my absolute favorite of the whole series.
Non-Fiction For When You Need Something to Make You Think (But Not Too Hard)
Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House: A deep-dive into John F. and Jackie Kennedy’s White House years, this biography focuses on their friends and social life. It’s fascinating and transports you right back to the high hopes and high society of the early 1960s.
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution: The frothy world of the French court comes alive in this history of Marie Antoinette. This book focuses on her clothing, making the argument that what she wore was just as, if not more important, than anything she could ever say or do.
A Few Classics
Little Women: This is one of the first books I ever fell in love with in elementary school and I like to return to it once the weather turns good and cold. To make this (re)read perfection, you should absolutely follow it up with a viewing of Greta Gerwig’s version of Little Women from 2019. Take in that gorgeous film and all their cozy knitted glory.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: I find something new in this turn-of-the-(last)-century, coming-of-age novel every time I read it. (Fun fact: My youngest takes his name from the main character, Francie Nolan.) Though it all takes place a century ago, the themes and nuances of Francie’s life still feel current today.
Pride and Prejudice: Always a delight. Another one to follow up with a re-watch of the 2005 film adaptation.
Summer Reads For A Still-Sunny Fall Afternoon
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: This book is ridiculous in the best of ways, as Bernadette disappears just before she’s supposed to take a trip to Antarctica with her family. It’s satirical and surprising and despite her flaws, you end up kind of wanting a Bernadette in your life.
Crazy Rich Asians trilogy: These books are satire at their best. I love the descriptions of the clothes, the food (these books will make you hungry), and the hysterical footnotes.
Because the Setting Is Perfect For Snuggling Up
Fredrik Backman’s Beartown series, set in an isolated Scandinavian hockey town, is brilliant. The third and final book of the trilogy is rumored to be released here in the US early next year, so now would be the perfect time to brush up again on the happenings in Beartown by reading through the first two in the series: Beartown and Us Against You.
2021 Releases I Could Already Read Again
Malibu Rising: This peek into Malibu celebrity life in the ‘80s did not disappoint. This is another one to sneak in before the weather turns cool for good.
The Anthropocene Reviewed: John Green’s reviews of things in our everyday world (Canada Geese! Super Mario Kart! Diet Dr Pepper!) might be the most original book I’ve read all year. In theory, you could dip in and out of each review as you please, but I found it hard to put this one down.