Art Editors Take Exclusive Fall Readings

We’ve compiled a short list of our favorite reads for the fall season. From magical realism set in a midnight circus to contemporary commentary on a babysitter’s experience in a toxic home, we’ve chosen a wide range of genres and stories.

“Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “All the Light We Can’t See,” and his latest release, “Cloud Cuckoo Land,” isn’t a disappointment. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” spans centuries and continents by following five different characters as they interact with a fictional ancient Greek text. This text, also called “Cloud Cuckoo Land”, is about a shepherd who embarks on a long and eventful journey in search of an idyllic city in the clouds. He crosses paths with a teenager who plans to bombard a library over a flawed notion of justice; an orphan girl and boy from the village of Constantinople in the 15th century; a girl on her way to another planet in the future; and an 80-year-old elementary school teacher in rural Idaho. Doerr combines story with vibrant imagery and heartwarming – and heartbreaking – characters to create an intertwining web of personalities, hardship and joy. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” is told in Doerr’s poetic, lyrical prose and celebrates the different ways stories impact different people.

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

The Cirque des Rêves is a circus like no other. It only opens at midnight and travels the world without warning of its next destination. Celia Owens, the daughter of a famous magician, is the circus’ illusionist, and her shows are only so compelling because her illusions, unbeknownst to the audience, are real. Meanwhile, Marco Alisdair is the circus owner’s assistant and plays a bigger role in Le Cirque des Rêves than anyone knows.

Celia and Marco have been training their whole lives for a competition whose rules are never quite explained. They know each other simply as their competitor. When the circus begins, however, it becomes a sensation, people rush to its next location as soon as it is known, and Celia and Marco inevitably run into each other. As they try to find out the details of the competition, they fall in love with each other; this, however, has more repercussions than Celia or Marco could guess. Morgenstern’s writing is charming and whimsical, and “The Night Circus” is so intertwined with our world that you almost forget there’s magic involved.

“Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid

For someone looking for a fun story full of important social commentary, Kiley Reid’s “Such A Fun Age” is a must read. Based in Philadelphia, the story follows 25-year-old babysitter Emira Tucker, who finds herself in a surprisingly complicated situation involving her boss Alix Chamberlain’s past. When Emira, a black woman, is falsely accused of kidnapping the white child she is babysitting during a grocery store visit, her relationship with the Chamberlains extends far beyond what she does. anticipated. The story tackles issues of race and problematic power dynamics through a plot full of twists and turns. It approaches race from a modern perspective, emphasizing the effects of everyday microaggressions and prejudice. It points to the problems of the modern “standby” and the lack of recognition.

One of us comes out of a summer as a nanny and finds this story particularly poignant. Emira’s love for two-year-old Briar and their relationship really sits at the heart of the story, standing out as one of the few genuine relationships between the characters. Despite the many problematic behaviors exhibited by the Chamberlains, Emira remains involved with the family for Briar’s sake. There’s a lot to this story, but it’s particularly interesting reading for young people entering adulthood.

“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

“The Secret History” has definitely struck a chord with literary fans in recent years, whether positively or negatively. A novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt, this story follows narrator Richard as he enters the mysterious world of a classics class of six students. With the setting being an elite liberal arts college in New England, it fuels the fantasies of fans of black academia. It’s also a great fall read, as the seasons play an important role in the progression of the story itself. This story features a murder in the opening pages. However, the story also focuses on the build-up to the murder as well as the aftermath. The novel is full of motifs and references to Greek mythology that are integrated in a way that people unfamiliar with Greek mythology can still follow.

Most of the criticism with “The Secret History” has to do with the characters’ unlikability. They are deliberately very pretentious, but there is no resolution or redemption for any of the characters. Even the narrator, who was originally described as “different” from the other characters who all came from wealth, ends up being just as sleazy as the rest. The book itself is quite long and may seem unnecessarily long. Despite these aspects, we recommend it to those who enjoy commentary on the pitfalls of toxic academia.

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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