Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Fall 2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

Boy, this is just the latest-in-the-day "Top Ten Tuesday" ever, huh?

I think it's a pretty good representation of my attitude about the onset of Fall as a whole. While I'm amped for the oncoming cozy season - leaves have already started to turn around here, and so has my wardrobe to chunky sweaters and my pantry to apple cider and pumpkin flavors - I'm stymied by a bit of celebration that has yet to occur: a great friend from college is getting married in Palm Springs in less than two weeks, and I'm making the trip down to Cali to not only ring in the new ring in style, but also check in on my sister and her girlfriend, who both moved down to LA in the middle of August.

So don't get me wrong: Trader Joes Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese is absolutely in my fridge, and one of my younger siblings has already broken out a spiderweb-print tablecloth currently covering our kitchen table. But am I exactly mentally prepared for Autumn, when I'm still responsible for sweating my butt off in the desert of California in a week and a half? 

So, the "Top Ten Tuesday" comes a little later, as my mind tries to grapple between the seasonality outside my window with dreams of California. At least I can try and instate a little structure into the TBR I will inevitably blow off for whatever I feel like reading!

Here's what I'm planning on tackling this Fall: 

end of September: easing back into regular reading

1. Alex Trebek's The Answer Is...

I can't have been the only one who choked up hearing Alex's voice playing during the "In Memorium" segment of last weekend's Emmys. Our family is made up of voracious Jeopardy! players, complete with carefully-adhered-to house rules on how we play, and losing his voice on our television screens every night was a massive blow. It would be nice to revisit his sense of humor and easy presence through his autobiography.

2. Jia Tolentino's Trick Mirror

This was a major player on my stack for the summer, but I never got around to this critically-lauded memoir... maybe because the colors of the cover are just so much more Fall to me? Regardless, I'm looking forward to reading. 

October: spooky time and what pairs well with tea?

3. Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire 

I got halfway through this atmospheric modern gothic last year, before the calendar switched over to November and NaNo started and it no longer felt as seasonal to be spending so much time with angst-ridden vamps. I'm glad I saved the rest for this year so I can enjoy it with an appropriate accompanying environment!

4. Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle

This has turned into somewhat of a repeat read for me. So spooky and off-putting, so wonderfully right for the Halloween season, especially if you're somewhat of a coward like me... not only is this a great read for October, but it's one I frequently recommend. 

5. Libba Bray's Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners #3)

The only thing scarier than the Halloween season, is having a younger brother who gladly takes your book recommendations, and then quickly outruns you in completing an entire series. As someone who likes taking their time working through a collection - matched with someone who has steam-rolled his way through multiple titles in the Wheel of Time series, one after the other, in a row, without breaks - I've been known to enjoy drawing out a series far after it ends. As The Diviners is one of my favorite YA series, I've never gotten around to the third installment... until now! (Hopefully.)

6. Stuart Turton's The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

I know, I know... if I had a dollar for every time I listed this book on one of my TBRs, speed-dating rounds, etc., I would still have less than ten, but more than a comfortable amount of dollars, about it. I'm willing to blame it on the fact that my copy has some of the most aggressive deckled edges I've ever encountered... but maybe if I try it on Kindle, it will go better?

7. Grady Hendrix's The Final Girl Support Group

A recommendation from my younger sister (the one I'm visiting in California), I've been given strict instructions to pass this title along to my other family members once I'm finished. I've been pretty reticent to pick it up, mainly because I read Riley Sager's Final Girls a couple of years ago, and not only completely hated it, but immediately felt pretty damn broadsided by the fact that so many others I knew enjoyed it. It's a book I finished and immediately thought, "I could probably have written that better"... but now there's a relatively similar concept with a (hopefully) better ending, maybe it will be okay?

November: the bridge between holidays, managed by extra-toasty tomes

8. Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy

I've had so many people in my various social feeds losing themselves over Lawson's latest memoir, Broken, that I was fully stoked to find a relatively un-marred hardback copy of this earlier title while perusing a Goodwill this Summer. What I've heard about her is that she's deeply funny while still maintaining a lot of candor, and I can't wait to get around to reading it. 

9. Michelle Zauner's Crying in H Mart

Purchased from a favorite independent bookstore this past August, technically this copy has already been read: my mom, who didn't come equipped for vacation with an appropriate amount of reading material, was clamoring for something to look at poolside, so I handed her mine. Not only did she love it, but she's been anxiously waiting for me to "catch up" and read it, too. This is exactly why I can't buddy read anything, people! 

10. Christopher Buelman's The Blacktongue Thief

Technically, I bought this, and gave it to my brother as a birthday present this past August. But the little tornado ripped through his stacks of vacation reads faster than you could say "library ebook checkout," and we only made it a few days into vacation before he propped it up on the chair in my room and told me I needed to pick it up, too. 

11. Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal

A favorite of mine, and one that represents a genre I haven't given a lot of thought this year: for some reason, Culinary Memoirs - aka, one of my favorite niche subgenres - haven't been prompting me to pick them up as frequently as I've been doing for the past couple of years. I think it's well due time for a revisit, especially because this book is such a comfort fave for me. Plus, it would give me a great reason to finally get to reading one of her other titles in my collection, too! Nothing's more appropriate for the turkey season, than a book about food. 

and all of the rest

I've got only a couple of months left in the year, and quite a few books still left in my Big Box of Romance Novels that I need to tackle before the year is out. So, I'll be making those a priority in the coming months... and hopefully catching up on all of the blogging that I haven't been doing about it this summer, too! 

Is this all more than 10 reads? Technically yes. Also, technically, this list doesn't even encompass all of the titles I've still got stacked and ready to access on the coffee table next to my bed, which numbers into the twenties. Am I planning on jamming my Fall to the brim with an afternoon pot of tea, a warm blanket by the fireplace, and minimal interruptions from family members? Yes. Am I also currently multiple titles behind my pace to complete my 2021 Goodreads Challenge? Also yes. 

Am I going to actually get around to reading literally any of these titles? Good gracious, I hope so. 

Then again, I am going to California in two weeks. Who knows how I'll feel then? 

What's in your Top Ten? Let me know, in the comments below!


  1. I loved Furiously Happy. And I’m glad you joined in even if your post was a bit later than you hoped it would be. :)

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-on-my-fall-2021-to-read-list/

  2. I love how you broke the books down by month. I love The Diviners series; I just need to read the final book.