Posted by: Sally Ingraham | September 21, 2009

Autumnal Reads


Of, belonging to, or peculiar to, autumn; as, an autumnal tint; produced or gathered in autumn; as, autumnal fruits; flowering in autumn; as, an autumnal plant.

Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa.


Tomorrow is the first day of autumn, so it seems suitable to think about what I am planning to read in the coming months. I don’t usually have a plan, per say, beyond the vague idea of rereading the Earthsea series or something similar. However this year, on a whim, I got involved in a couple of reading challenges, and my haphazard reading style morphed into something quite different.

On a small aside, I want to note the fact that the Orbis Terrarum Challenge has kind of changed my life – or at least a small, but significant, part of it. Because of my participation, not only have I met a fabulous group of people and read some extremely interesting books that come from far outside my normal reading choices, but I can now consider myself to be a “book blogger” and my life as a reader has taken on new intent and purpose – and been infused with a great deal more fun too! A huge thanks to Bethany of dreadlock girl reads for organizing and hosting the challenge. 🙂

Anyway, so this year for the first time I joined a reading challenge, and now I can happily add a couple of read-along projects to my agenda too. I suddenly have a plan, and it’s a busy one. My autumn reading, thus far, consists of this:
Fall Reading
I have combined my Proust-reading effort with that of a great group of people, headed by Frances, who has set the loose dead-line of Friday, Nov. 6th as a discussion point for The Guermantes Way. I began reading Proust on my own in January, with the idea of reading a volume of In Search of Lost Time per month, finishing the book well before the end of 2009. Ha! That’s amusing to me now. It seems like a much better plan to spread the remaining three volumes across 2010, and share the entire experience with fellow Proust-voyagers. I am thoroughly enjoying the third volume at the moment, and am excited to see what everyone else thinks when we reach our next port-of-call on Nov. 6th.

My newest project is the read-along of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy hosted by Richard of Caravana de Recuerdos and Emily of Evening All Afternoon. We will read one volume a month Oct.-Dec. I’m really looking forward to it, even more so now that my very own beautiful copy of the book arrived in the mail the other day!

I decided that since I am focusing on such chunky books for awhile, on the side I will read short stories. The other day I was in the library waiting for the internet connection to co-operate, when my eyes came out of their fuzzy stare and I realized I was looking at The Stories of Edith Wharton. Why did the name ‘Edith Wharton’ sound so familiar, I wondered. Then I remembered that Emily had read and reviewed a biography of the author, so I decided to bring the book home and check Wharton out. So far she is wonderful.

What I don’t have pictured above are the remaining three titles on my Orbis Terrarum Challenge list. These books are The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell by Jorge Amado, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, and I, The Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos. I got on Minerva, the Maine state online library catalog, today to see about inter-library loaning one of these books for my October read, but had to give a little yelp of terror when I realized that The Savage Detectives is over 500 pages, and I, The Supreme is close. I think I’ll save those for later – as in, after I’ve finished The Guermantes Way at least!! Meanwhile, I have to laugh a little because while I couldn’t find the Jorge Amado book I wanted anywhere in the state of Maine (??) I did find plenty of his other books – he’s a prolific Brazilian author. Then I realized that I actually own a book by him. I picked it up on my (very last) trip to the library book sale (yes, after my own self-imposed cut-off point…!) My challenge list isn’t set in stone, so I believe that I will read the Amado book that I have at home (whatever it is…hmm…?) for October.

Phew! There you have it – my busy, but very exciting autumn reading outline. I hope everyone else has as many books to get excited about as I do – then we can all feel overwhelmed but awesome together! 🙂


  1. Ooh, I should move my volume of Wharton short stories up the queue so that we can discuss them! Reading that bio definitely made me more interested in her.

    It sounds like you have a great reading autumn lined up for yourself! I’m revisiting Proust in audiobook form at the moment, and remembering how much I love him. 🙂

  2. So excited more people are joining the Kristin Lavransdatter readalong! Mine came in the mail on Friday and I can’t wait to jump in 😀

  3. I’m so thankful for Bethany and the O.T. challenge, too! I couldn’t imagine not having met you and Emily and Richard in the book blogosphere! That would be missing so much!!

    I’m happy we caught up to you with Proust. Ha ha! I haven’t started yet, though.

    Awaiting my Kristin copies any day now. 🙂

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