A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

5 Books Giving Us All the Fall Feels

By Rachel Bachler

Trees turn, leaves crunch, night falls altogether at four in the afternoon, and the delightfully sudden fifty-degree drop in temperature entices even the grumpiest of sidewalk commuters to partake in a ceremonial open-mouth, ‘I can see my breath!’ exhale.

Fall, with all its entrancingly warm scarves and pumpkin scones, is the time of year that brings Seattleites together to share in the comfort of a heart-stirring story and the cozy of an oversized, overpriced, sherpa-lined blanket. We invite you to share in this comfort of the season with SAL in our “5 Books Giving Us All the Fall Feels”—these five books will make you want to crawl under the covers and stay there, reading.

Dominique Nabokov

#1 Grand Union | Zadie Smith

So you ate half a gallon of ice cream because it was a Monday; Zadie Smith gets it. So you’ve tried on the entire contents of your closet and can’t stand anything you own; Zadie Smith understands. In the most gloriously authentic way, Smith gives heart to the clumsy, everyday experiences that narrate our often unforgiving modern world in her first collection of short stories, Grand Union. An assortment of stories to validate our most unflattering moments and allow us to laugh at their humanity.


Maira Kalman

#2 Beloved Dog | Maira Kalman

Ah. The irrefutable companion. Slobbery, awful-breathed, for some reason always muddy, and yet excited to the point of blacking out when you come home everyday from work. Author and illustrator Maira Kalman brings a voice (and face!) to the pups we cherish in Beloved Dog, reminding us that life is best experienced moment by moment and that joy isn’t so complicated. (Well, maybe for cat lovers).


Joe Mazza/Little Brown

#3 House of Broken Angels | Luis Alberto Urrea

Growing up with a name like “Little Angel,” under the reign of a big brother by the name of “Big Angel,” may not inspire the most chummy sibling relationship. But family is family, no matter the distance. The best-selling author Luis Alberto Urrea’s The House of Broken Angels is an epic portrait of one Mexican-American border story, celebrating family in all of its messiest and most endearing complexities.


Matt Valentine

#4 My Private Property | Mary Ruefle

If Mary Ruefle wrote a prose poem about the improvements dijon mustard could make to a PB & J, we would surely give that sandwich a try. Award-winning poet and essayist Mary Ruefle takes us, yet again, on a series of brilliant jaunts through the odd and whimsy of human observations in her latest collection of experimental prose, My Private Property. Capturing the grandest and most minuscule curiosities, My Private Property creates a world where keys find their holes and little yellow finches go people-watching.


Elena Seibert

#5 Pachinko | Min Jin Lee

Matchmakers, pachinko parlor crime rings, love affairs, and a family’s will to survive against the greatest odds—just your typical National Book Award Finalist, New York Times bestselling saga. Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko follows an immigrant Korean family through four generations in 20th century Japan. Dreary weekend? Don’t plan on putting this book down.

Posted in 2019/20 Season