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5 books to cozy up with this fall

Literature critic Christian Burno recommends five books to read this fall. (Courtesy the publishers)
Literature critic Christian Burno recommends five books to read this fall. (Courtesy the publishers)

I don’t know about you, but I think fall is the perfect time to stock up on new books. The temperatures drop, the sweaters get pulled out of the closet, and all of a sudden you’re cozied up on the couch with an exciting title. These are the books I think will measure up to the pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider donuts that’ll consume us all in the next coming months.

'Normal Distance'
By Elisa Gabbert

Emerson alum Gabbert wrote this expansive collection of poetry that asks the tough questions. Such as how does a person suffer gladly and how bored are our dogs? It’s for both avid poetry consumers and the readers who are newer to the genre because of its essayistic, informal and contemporary style. In other words, it’s fun and not at all the stuffy poetry of the past that is hard for some to interpret.


'Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow'
By Gabrielle Zevin

Wow! All I can say for this stunner of a book is wow. Starting on a subway platform in Cambridge, two friends launch into the collaboration of a lifetime: making a movie. The film, Ichigo, shoots them into superstardom before even graduating from Harvard (Zevin is a Harvard alum herself). But for them, this new world brings challenges that will test their creative and ambitious goals. This novel is shaping up to be on my top books of 2022 list.


'The Hundred Waters'
By Lauren Acampora

Former model and photographer Louisa Rader has moved back to Connecticut after trying to make it in the Big Apple. Now married with an adolescent daughter, Louisa fills her time by revitalizing the local art center, but that isn’t enough to keep her from longing for her former, less routine and comfortable life. Enter Gabriel, a young artist and environmentalist who charms both Louisa and her daughter to the point of no return. This reads as an intense anthropological look at the suburbs, desire and the secrets people keep.


'Lucy by the Sea '
By Elizabeth Strout

Sept. 20

Divorcee Lucy Barton moves from her cushy Manhattan apartment to a small town in coastal Maine to seek emotional refuge from the city with her ex-husband. These two are friends, but having to shack up during the early days of a pandemic in lockdown ends up bringing up complex feelings. If you’re ready to read a story set in the pandemic (I’d understand if it’s still hitting a little too close to home), give this sequel by Maine author Strout a try. If you haven’t picked up the first book My Name is Lucy Barton, make sure to grab that one as well.


'Our Missing Hearts'
By Celeste Ng

Oct. 4

Bird Gardner is a preteen living with his father, who works in the local university library. In an attempt to preserve American culture, the government decides to remove works they consider unpatriotic (sound familiar?). This includes Bird’s mother’s book, whom he isn’t close with since she left their family a few years prior. He has learned not to ask too many questions, but Bird receives a cryptic note and goes on a quest to find her through a network of librarians and other children. You may know Cambridge writer Ng from her best-seller turned Hulu hit series “Little Fires Everywhere.”

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Christian Burno Contributor
Christian Burno is a former arts reporting fellow for WBUR’s arts and culture team.

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