As the weather begins to cool and the amount of tasks needing done outside begins to wane, I find myself turning inward and reading more than I do in the summer months. I find fiction novels to be a charming way to break up the deep mental rigor of reading intellectual materials. As such, my list of 5 books to read this fall has quite the variety of topic and context.
But, what is life without changing things up every now and again?
This set of three books (oops) is a wonderful read for any mom trying to figure out how to approach home life, education of her children, discipline, etc. I have found it to be something of a ‘catch all’ when it comes to family life and the facets therein.
The first book really does a lovely job of giving thoughts and tips on family culture, building community, and an overview of many other topics like discipline, etc.
The second book is more oriented towards education. It gives a lot of pointers on different ways and thoughts on educating children, specifically from the home.
I found this book to be very helpful, even though our oldest is only nineteen months old. Maybe that’s just because I enjoy preparing and researching way ahead of time so I don’t leave things to chance.
The third book is focuses on the art of making/keeping the home. Everything from organizing your housekeeping tasks to meal planning and frugal living.
A wonderful compendium for anything and all things regarding finances and keeping house.
I found this book by Wendell Berry to be very thought provoking. His take on current (at the time of writing in the late 1990’s) cultural and agricultural affairs left me quite at a loss for how we let things get to be such a disastrous mess.
He masterfully breaks down the history leading up to the industrialization of agriculture in America as well as how it both affects and necessitates the breakdown of family (and small town) culture.
Not only does he thoughtfully critique the emphasis placed on specialization within our society, but he also brings to light how our views on family life and relationships very much play a part in the way we both view and interact with the natural world around us.
While written quite some time ago now, I think this book is a good read for anyone trying to understand what exactly is going on within both the cultural and agricultural breakdown we’ve been experiencing for these last decades.
That said, as a critique of his work, I am of the belief that the moral depravity and lack of acknowledgment of God which characterizes our time play more of a role in this breakdown than is given credit.
All things stem from the state of our relationship to God, be it good or ill, and, as such, I think it should be given more credence as a starting point for cultural breakdown. However, that shouldn’t diminish the greatness of Wendell’s work.
If you are looking for a historical fiction novel, this book, set in 1600’s Colonial America might just be for you!
It follows the story of a young woman who is faces a host of extremely traumatic, trying experiences. While not letting them define her, it contains themes of mercy, forgiveness, friendship, and perseverance.
Personally, I found it to be a fascinating read. As a homesteader, I really enjoyed seeing the little nuances of how people lived in Colonial America.
From the tallow candles to sewing bees (though I’m sure that’s not what they called them back then) and how everyone seemed to grow much of their own produce and grain, I thought it was a fascinating window into how we are trying to bring back old skills and what they even looked like.
That said, I know a lot of people who have struggled with this particular book in terms of its pacing and other cultural discrepancies for the time period. While the setting and surroundings/things within the story seem to be period appropriate, some of the personal themes are a bit of a stretch.
Some of the themes could be taken as a more feminist bent, though that is up for debate depending on who you ask. Others seem too modern for the time period, especially those themes concerning an understanding of God’s mercy.
Regardless, I found it to be a lovely read for leisure!
Rather a unique read, this book provides a plethora of insights into peasant (self-sufficient) living in 1800’s England.
While many of the practices mentioned have long since fallen out of favor with the general public, I think there is a lot to learn from how people lived back then.
Especially as homesteaders, there are so many pointers on ways of implementing a more self-sufficient lifestyle that is both frugal and simple.
While William Cobbett covers a wide range of topics, they are all broken down neatly into relevant sections. This makes it easy for the reader to follow the author’s thoughts and points he is trying to make.
The one thing I found slightly challenging to follow were the monetary breakdowns he utilizes. As someone who uses the U.S. dollar, trying to keep track of 1800’s English currency was rather difficult.
In terms of a self-help book on learning to grow in virtue, I think this book is phenomenal. Dr. Sri does a wonderful job of breaking down the four cardinal virtues, their many facets, and how to practically work on growing in each one.
He also touches on the vices that are contrary to said virtues and how to recognize them when they manifest in your life.
I found it to be one of those books that I had to work through slowly and really ponder how it applied to my life personally.
Which made it one where I found myself coming back time and time again to revisit certain parts and working on things slowly.
Final Thoughts on Books to Read This Fall
Personally, I think that reading should be a constant part of everyone’s life, no matter how little you do at a time.
The ability to continue to learn new things, old things, or things just for fun is invaluable as we continue to journey through life.
I know that it’s especially hard to manage a consistent reading habit with littles, but I promise that it is well worth the effort.
So, snuggle up in your favorite chair with a warm blanket while your littles are asleep (or for a few minutes when your husband comes home from work) and read a few pages of any book that catches your fancy! Maybe even pick up one of these books to read this fall.
We’d love to hear what you’re reading this fall! Leave us a comment and tell us what you’re reading! 🙂