The Lincoln Highway, by Amor Towles
In Nebraska during the summer of 1954, 18-year-old Emmett is released from his sentence on a work farm to retrieve his 8-year-old brother following the death of his father and the subsequent foreclosure on the family farm. The plan is to head west on the Lincoln Highway for a fresh start, but two of Emmett’s friends, who escaped from the work farm, have other ideas. So begins an incredible odyssey blown completely off course, hopping freight trains and encountering Americana. Filled with retribution, heartache, empathy and humor, Towles delivers a rich and powerful novel with deeply developed characters.
No Diving Allowed, by Louise Marburg
From F. Scott Fitzgerald to John Cheever, the swimming pool has long held a unique place in the mythos of the American idyll, by turns status symbol and respite. The 14 stories that comprise No Diving Allowed fearlessly plunge the depths of the human condition as Marburg freights her narratives with the often unfathomable pressure of what lies beneath.
Jacket Weather, by Mike DeCapite
Jacket Weather drops you right into the beating heart of New York City — the heart of the music scene of the ’80s, the steamy gym of early morning, the delicious pain of obsessive love, the quiet rainy morning with the half-finished New York Times crossword, and a recipe for perfect Italian pasta. This one is a real treat.
The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven, by Nathaniel Ian Miller
Beginning in 1916, the hapless young Sven leaves Stockholm for a life of adventure in the icy north. A terrible mining accident alters his life and appearance, pushing him farther north to lead a solitary existence. Fate steps in, bringing a small, fascinating cast of people into his world, enhancing his isolation and worldview. Miller provides unforgettable characters, a deeply mesmerizing tale, and the most exquisite prose.
Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen: A Novel of Victorian Cookery and Friendship, by Annabel Abbs
A light novel about Eliza Acton, a British woman who lived in the 1800s. For 10 years she worked with her kitchen maid, Ann, and recorded her recipes with precise measurements and in a format that was readable. Publishing her cookbook, she changed the way recipes were written forever.
On Animals, by Susan Orlean
In a charming menagerie of stories of beasts and birds and the bizarre humans who share their world, Orlean writes about a range of creatures — the household pets we dote on; the animals we raise to end up as meat on our plates; the creatures who could eat us for dinner; the various tamed and untamed animals we share our planet with. In her own backyard, Orlean discovers the delights of keeping chickens. In a different backyard, in New Jersey, she meets a woman who has 23 pet tigers — something none of her neighbors knew about until one of them escaped. In Iceland, the world’s most famous whale resists efforts to set him free; in Morocco, the world’s hardest working donkeys find respite at a special clinic. We meet a show dog, a lost dog, and a pigeon who knows exactly how to get home.
The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, by Dave Grohl
You may know Grohl as the Nirvana drummer or the frontman of the Foo Fighters or the interesting and reflective essayist who writes beautifully for magazines like The Atlantic. These essays encompass his childhood, life as a dad, creation of both iconic bands, activism, and memories of stars like Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney and Little Richard.
Boo, Baa, La La La, by Sandra Boynton
When does a cow say “Boooooo”? When it’s Halloween and she wants to try something newwwwww. Superb silliness from the beloved Sandra Boynton will make all the ghouls and boys giggle with this new board book just perfect for fall fun. (Ages 0-3.)
Looking for a Jumbie, by Tracey Baptiste
Mama says Jumbies only exist in stories, but Naya is pretty sure she knows where to find them. This We’re Going on a Bear Hunt-ish book with a Caribbean beat is the perfect (only a little bit scary) autumn read-aloud. (Ages 4-6.)
Bat Wings? Cat Wings!, By Laura Gehl
The cow says moo and the dog says ruff, but there’s always that kid who wants to turn everything on its head, and this is the perfect book for those little rebels. Animal facts combine with a bit of ridiculousness to make for a fun read-aloud that’s ideal for bedtime or any time giggles are in order. (Ages 4-7.)
The Beatryce Prophecy, by Kate DiCamillo
When your family is in danger, when you are the subject of a prophecy, when you are in the way of a king’s mission, it really helps if you have the soft ear of a goat to hold onto — and a friend or two on your side. From the three-time Newbery Award winning author, this brilliant novel is a must for young adventurers. (Ages 9-12.) PS
Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.