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What We’re Reading: Fall 2020

What We're Reading: Fall 2020
By The Celadon Team
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Jamie Raab, Publisher and President

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

I haven’t read Yaa Gyasi’s new novel yet, but it’s next in my queue. I loved her previous novel Homegoing and am delighted she has written a new novel.

My daughter is reading Transcendent Kingdom now, and I always trust her taste. She always appreciates strong storytelling and good writing, as do I.


Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

Deb Futter, Co-Publisher and SVP

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

The next two books on my to-read list are Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and The Searcher by Tana French. Because they are two of my favorite writers, and these are their latest books!


The Searcher by Tana French

Ryan Doherty, VP, Executive Editor

The Searcher by Tana French

I wasn’t a fan of her last one, The Witch Elm, but I’ve been told by some great readers that this new one is worth it. I read that French had been reading a lot of Westerns ahead of writing this, so it apparently is quite different from her Dublin Murder Squad series. For readers of thoughtful, sophisticated crime.


Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Christine Mykityshyn, Director of Publicity

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

I cannot wait to tear into Rumaan Alam’s new novel, Leave the World Behind. Literary Twitter (and many readers whose opinions I trust!) has been buzzing about this book for the better part of a year. It already has so much going for it: film news, awards buzz, and instant New York Times bestseller status! 


Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Jennifer Jackson, Senior Director, Consumer Marketing

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Although this novelization of Hillary Clinton’s life and relationships came out in the spring, I waited to read it until election season for obvious reasons. In Rodham, Hillary decides not to marry Bill and moves back to Chicago to follow her own path as a law professor and politician. It’s a thought-provoking story of what could have been, during a time when we’re all wondering what the future holds.


Bluets by Maggie Nelson

Heather Orlando-Jerabek, Publicity Assistant

Bluets by Maggie Nelson

I loved this tiny — but mighty — list of vignettes and musings on the color blue! Nelson’s prose is incisive, devastating, and unexpected. I read this in one sitting, but you could easily read one “bluet” a day and ponder. This one will definitely be on my deserves-another-read list! 

Lauren Groff made a list of books she loved for The Strand, and I ordered the whole list (from independent bookstores, of course)! This was one of them. 


Why We Dream by Alice Robb

Jaime Noven, Marketing Manager

Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey by Alice Robb

It must be reading about lucid dreaming in Alex North’s The Shadows that caused me to pick up Why We Dream. Right now, I’m reading about how sleep scientist Stephen LaBerge figured out a way to communicate with the real world while he was lucid dreaming in the lab: by using eye movements and fist clenching in Morse code. Sometimes reality seems stranger than fiction.


Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

Lauren Dooley, Marketing Assistant

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

My fall book recommendation is Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi. The cover with a beautiful aloe vera plant against soft lilac belies the multi-layered drama and mystery within. Tension builds throughout with the toxic mother-daughter dynamic continually shifting as they grapple with their pasts and uncertain futures. Both brutal and illuminating, this is certainly one for re-reading. 


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Rebecca Ritchey, Social Media Manager

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

I gravitate towards gothic fiction in the fall, and one of my favorites is We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. It’s about a girl who lives isolated with her sister and invalid uncle after the rest of her family dies under suspicious circumstances. It’s brilliant and dark and weird. Jackson is especially skilled at highlighting the horror in even the most mundane.


The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Asha LaFavor, Marketing & PR Intern

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

A fall book I’m excited about is The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I’m currently listening to the audiobook and the narrator does an amazing job of expressing the different moods and feelings of the characters. I don’t read much horror and I’ve already had to pause the audiobook a few times because some of the scenes have been so graphic that they’ve stressed me out, but it’s a good “I need to know what’s going on” stress.

My friend Joan from Twitter recommended this book to me, and she raved about how much she loved it. I feel like this book would be good for people who enjoy horror books that are a bit slow paced, set in the South, and have gothic elements. I definitely don’t think this is a light read, and trigger and content warnings should be read ahead of time.

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