Personal Reading List for Fall 2017

Fall is my all-time favorite season of the year. It’s the most beautiful season and the season with the most seasonal activities, including football games, hay rides, pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and haunted houses! Fall has the most perfect weather. We can finally turn off the AC, and we don’t have to spend money on heat yet either! One aspect of fall that I am truly excited for is opening the windows, breathing in the crisp air, and snuggling up with my some pumpkin-flavored goodies and a good book. This fall, I decided to pick five books to add to my reading list. I’ve included a mix of personal, educational, and season-based books. Check them out!

Present Over Perfect

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simple, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist is my choice for a self-improvement/lifestyle book this fall. I am drawn to the book because it emphasizes a life of simplicity, something I’ve been craving but have not yet been able to achieve. When I was at one of my lowest points in college, full of stress and self-loathing, I checked out a library book titled something like “10 Steps to Simplify Your Life.” The problem was, I was too stressed and busy to ever read the book. I ended up renewing it three times and then returning it on the last day possible, never reading beyond the first page. Today, I’ve made it a priority to set aside time to read these books and make lifestyle changes. Present Over Perfect has challenged many of my friends to make space for mindfulness and embrace more time alone (something that can be scary for many of us). I’m excited to see what I learn!

Before I Fall

Get it, Before I fall? My attempt at a cheesy seasonal-connection. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is one of my young-adult reads for the season. Many of my students read the book last year and recommended it to me. It follows the life of Sam, a popular and seemingly snobbish girl who has it all and loses it in an instant, when she gets in a car wreck with her friends after drinking and dies. After death, she relives this day over and over again, each time making different choices. To my understanding, Sam’s choices become increasingly more moral and good-natured. My students really connected with this book. It makes you ask yourself, if you died, would you be satisfied with the choices you made in this life? I hope that I can recommend this book to more students after reading it, challenging them to really consider their actions and words in their time here on Earth.

The Aviator’s Wife

Ah yes, The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. This book might actually be better placed at the top of my list, because I have been DYING to read it ever since my co-operating teacher during student teaching told me about it. She taught this amazing block course called AMEX-The American Experience. It was an honors block course combining English and Social Studies credits, set up thematically so that the lit circles in the English portion used books that were historically related to the time period and content that was being covered in the Social Science portion. The Aviator’s Wife is a great book for teachers looking to include a bit of lesser-known history in the classroom. It is a fictional biography of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh, but can be easily paired with Anne’s writings, such as Against the Wind and Tide, the sixth volume of her journals and letters. Countless history buffs have given this book incredible reviews, so I am eager to check it out for myself!

The Chemist

Stephanie Meyer has written books that aren’t about vampires? That’s the word on the street anyway! Though Meyer gets a lot of flack from English majors and lovers of literature, I personally enjoy her stories and her writing style. The fact is, Twilight was one of the only books my book-hating middle school friends read, and it was a multi-billion dollar success. I don’t ever want to be a teacher that scoffs at my students’ choices in books. Instead, I’d like to have discussions with my students about the books they enjoy and why they enjoy them. Rant aside, I am curious to read The Chemist this fall. From what I’ve read, it’s full of action and dramatic tension, a perfect all-night read in the spooky fall atmosphere. Maybe I’ll read it by light of a full moon? Either way, Meyer has me hooked and I’m curious to see what The Chemist is all about.

The Witches: Salem, 1692

You had to have seen this one coming. Though I do scare easily at horror movies, books about the Salem Witch Trials have my interest. I love history, and, rather than reading about fictional witches this fall, I’d like to learn more about Schiff’s account of this gripping and seemingly unreal bit of American history. I’m always on the look out for excerpts to spice up my American Lit curriculum, and this book could be key!


Have you read any of these books? Leave your feedback below! I’d also love to know what you’re reading or what you’d recommend for me as a teacher or as a human looking for some personal growth.

Perhaps you’d like to buy your own and read along this fall; click on the pictures to follow a link to get yours on Amazon! Happy reading!


Author: Rachel

Welcome to Learn-Grow-Teach-Go! I’m Rachel. Join me as I explore what it means to be a life-long learner and begin to live out a more full, balanced, and simplistic lifestyle. I am currently a high school English teacher, and I enjoy traveling the world and adventuring in my spare time. Whether you’re looking for advice on living minimally and simplistically, teaching ideas and lessons, or travel tips and trips, you’ve found the right place. Glad to have you here!

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