Our market editor Rena Tom is an avid reader and always seems to have the perfect book suggestion for any situation. We asked her to start putting together quarterly lists for seasonal reading inspiration, and her first one is full of great finds. Thanks, Rena! —Alexis
There is something incredibly comforting and place-related about reading books, for me. I zip through plenty of short reading on my phone while I’m on the go, but there’s no association made or retained between the odd New Yorker or Esquire article and, say, heading eastbound on the 21 bus.
A book, though—hardcover, paperback, or tablet—is forever tied with where I first pick it up and begin to read, and when in the season I devour it. Some books seem destined to be read at beaches, and others need to be consumed by a crackling fireplace, maybe with a glass of wine.
Here are some autumnal books for you to dive into. Some are old favorites and others are quite new. They all involve a level of discovery and introspection that seems appropriate for this time of year. Enjoy.
1. The Lost Art of Finding Our Way by John Edward Huth
If you love science writing, or if you love maps, or if you love arcane knowledge about how people managed before technology, you will also love this book. Great if you like to contemplate physically being in the world.
2. Things Come Apart by Todd McLellan
Beautiful photographs of common products broken down into their components. If you are a fan of Things Organized Neatly or love contemplating the guts of objects, this is for you.
3. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
Short and sweet anecdotes about habits that creative people in a wide variety of fields perform in order to work. The habits are as quirky or pedestrian, sometimes both, and show that inspiration takes many forms indeed.
4. Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh
A sweet, unusual love story (disguised as science fiction) that takes online dating and social media influence to its logical extreme.
5. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
I can’t even describe this one. It’s a sexy, heartbreaking, smart novel about radical acts in art, politics, and life in seventies New York. Completely fascinating and a page-turner.
6. Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins
A favorite novel that somehow ties together radiation, war, the South, love, and magic over more than 20 years with beautiful prose.
7. Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon
As a parent, this book was riveting. Solomon extensively interviews families with children who are exceptional in some way, and how that affects them all as the child grows and forms his or her singular identity.
8. Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime by David Maisel
A gorgeous book of contemporary photography who reveals landscapes altered and sometimes ruined by man that are still brutally beautiful.