1. The Night Circus
I'm starting off this list with a sorcery-saaked book hit from 2011 for good reason. I don't know abut you, but I am fed up with Fall, 2019! Well, with all the disappointing sequels coming out now anyway. I read The Testaments by Margaret Atwood along with Nerdette podcast's inaugural bookclub, and I thought it was two-dimensional. (*Spoiler alert: the Nerdette crew hated it, too.*) I'm a huge Margaret Atwood fan-- some might even say fangirl, so that's a gut-wrenching admission. I was similarly excited for Rainbow Rowell's follow-up to Carry On, her Fangirl (the excellent book) inspired-take on Harry Potter. Wayward Son has also gotten mixed reviews, so burned once, etc. Yes, I'll probably still read it... (I also really love Rainbow Rowell. If you've never read her books, start with the unmagical but unequivocally wonderful Eleanor & Park!) Meanwhile, The Night Circus also concerns magicians. I love a good magic read when temperatures dip and Hallowe'en is in the air.I know you can't always go by reviews, but my need for others' opinions is how bad the last few hyped books I've read have been, and The Night Circus has nearly 6,000 positive reviews. I wish I HAD read the customer reviews of The Testaments or My Year of Rest and Relaxation. (Both very poorly reviewed by readers with weirdly laudatory reviews by professional publications.) Safety in numbers.
2. When Harry Met Sally
I recently re-watched When Harry Met Sally, because it was featured on The Rewatchables, one of my favorite podcasts! I wish I'd waited for fall to re-watch it, though. As you can see from the movie poster alone, it is somehow a fall movie, even though it takes place over the course of many years! Most of the scenes take place in and around New York City in the fall, which gives me the same feeling in my heart that people who love pumpkin spice latté seem to experience in theirs. The scenes are all painted in ochre and sepia tones, and the scenery is as crisp and soothing as the smart, crackling dialogue by Nora Ephron. I also worship Meg Ryan's tailored trousers and artfully cozy layers. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised at how well this movie has aged but you might even get some fall outfit inspo ideas. Her 1989-era fashion looks that current!
3. French Fall Lookbooks
Can't make it to Paris this autumn for Paris Fashion Week? Moi non plus, le sigh. Know what you can do? You can check out so many beautiful fall lookbooks online. Maybe cozy up with a cup of tea or be extra Parisian and grab a shot of espresso and pick out one special piece as a consolation prize! (If that's still out of your budget, send me the piece of your dreams and I bet I can find the French designer version for you secondhand for peanuts.). Here are a few of my fave autumn lookbooks from Paris: Rouje, Ba&h, Sandro, Balzac Paris, Maje, Sézane, and Musier Paris . A few of them don't charge shipping from France, either! I know Sézane doesn't if you spend $200 or become a regular shopper there, and they also usually include a little gift as well.
Above: I'm wearing the one special piece I ordered from Sézane last fall. (This bag is no longer available online, but I found the same one secondhand. Follow me on the Like To Know It app to shop it!) My coat is from Rouje last fall as well and is still available in their stores, not sure about online. Psss, did you know Rouje is doing a pop-up shop in NYC this fall? I bought my Tory Burch booties pre-owned but in new condition from Tradesy!
4. Best Fall Podcasts 2019
As I mentioned in my first example, I'm not a huge fan of hype, having been burned a lot recently. However, Vulture put together an intriguing list of all the new podcasts coming out this fall. If you like crime pods-- something about Hallowe'en seems to make a lot of publications who post these lists online go there with their lists-- but nothing too gory or graphic-- I've personally had it up to here with the whole true crime trend-- then check out Criminal! It's more like a Fresh Air episode with a broken law theme. It's smart and interesting rather than voyeuristic and horrifying. Specifically, you've got to go listen to their pod on "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes". Actually, that one is a little gorier than most of their fare, but the crimes in that episode were committed more than a century ago, so I guess that helped me not feel as nauseated. And the so-called "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes" is a real historical figure! One of the first female detectives in the U.S.! She specialized in finding lost girls, and her story remains sadly relevant. Which leads me to my last but not least fall reading rec...
5. True Crime But Make it Feminist!
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation is quite a mouthful but also sounds like an incredible read, right? I can also happily tell you the reviews are largely positive (phew!). Also, the podcast episode about the real-life Mrs. Sherlock Holmes on Criminal features an interview with Brad Ricca, the author, and his enthusiasm for his subject is definitely catching! Really looking forward to digging into this incredible tale while cozied up by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa...
What's on your fall reading, watching, listening list? xx