The Roundup

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The Roundup

The Roundup

10 Books to Add to Your Fall Reading List

  1. Letters to Milena by Franz Kafka.

“Letters to Milena” is Kafka’s most raw and vulnerable piece of writing. In no other work does Kafka reveal himself as he does in “Letters to Milena”. The book begins with essentially just business correspondence between Milena Jesenská, his Czech translator, but soon transforms into passionate love letters. Milena Jensenska was a charismatic woman who uniquely recognized Kafka’s complex genius and his even more complex character. To him she was “a living fire such as I have never seen”. It was to her he was able to reveal his most intimate self. He even trusted her with the safekeeping of his diaries. “Letters to Milena” provides you with a unique entry into Kafka’s world, revealing the depth of his thoughts and the profound connection between Kafka and Milena.


  1. Just Kids by Patti Smith.

“Just kids” is a beautifully written memoir about Smith’s complicated but enduring relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It’s far more than the tired musician biographies that every artist seems to have out now.  From their poverty engulfed beginning to Mapplethorpe’s early death in 1989, “Just Kids” will transform you into the chaotic world that was New York City in the late sixties and seventies. In 279 pages, Smith pulls you vividly into the lives of these two artists, diving intimately into the intriguing relationship of Robert and Patti. It’s a tear-jerking ode to Mapplethorpe and the world that was New York city during the 1960s and 1970s.


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  1. Looking for Alaska by John Green.

“Looking for Alaska” follows the life of the novel’s main character, Miles “Pudge” Halter, as he goes to boarding school to seek a “great perhaps” (the famous last words of Francois Rabelais). During the before section of the novel, Miles and his friends Chip Martin, Alaska Young, and Takumi Hikohito grow very close. Of course, Miles falls in love with Alaska as they pull ambitious pranks, read books under the stars, and spend thanksgiving together. The after section of the novel will have you sick to your stomach as Miles is faced with a devastating tragedy. If you’re in the mood for a teen angsty coming of age book, “Looking for Alaska” is the perfect one.


  1. Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney.

If you, like everyone else on tiktok, have read Sally Rooney’s “Normal People”, you’ll love “Conversations with friends”. “Conversations with friends” addresses the dangers and pleasures of youth, as it follows the life of 21 year old Frances. Frances is calm and mysterious whereas her best friend Bobbi is beautiful and unapologetically outspoken. Bobbi and Frances preform spoken word poetry together in Dublin and are discovered by an older well-known author. The novel follows the ups and downs of young adulthood and figuring out your place in this world.


  1. I am Not a Poet; I am Sad and I Can not Draw by Sarah Mann.

Sarah Mann is a young, new, and highly underrated writer. She got her boost of fame from posting her work across various social media platforms and just recently published her first ever book. Sarah’s writing style is unapologetically real and refreshing. She writes with an unfiltered passion about the romanticized growth of girlhood to womanhood. This collection of poetry is a beautifully crafted insight to the melodramatic mind of a teenage girl.


  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

“Frankenstein” is a well-known classic and perfect for getting you into the fall mood. Mary Shelley was just 18 when she started writing “Frankenstein” and 20 years old when it was first published in 1818. “Frankenstein” invented the concept of the “mad scientist” and helped establish what would become of horror fiction. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who creates a living creature out of dead body parts. The creature becomes rejected by Frankenstein and society and grows vengeful and lonely. The creation of this creature leads to the death of Frankenstein’s family and friends, and eventually his own downfall. “Frankenstein” is a thought provoking and timeless classic.


  1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

“Slouching towards Bethlehem” is a collection of essays that mainly describe Joan’s experience living in California during the 60s. Published in 1968 as her first ever nonfiction, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” explores culture, counterculture, politics, and personal stories. Especially focusing on the essence of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury Street, the heart of counterculture. This book is a genius blend of personal reflection and cultural criticism, offering a unique perspective of American life during a transformative era.


  1. Film for Her by Orion Carloto

Orion Carloto is a young poet, photographer, model, and artist. “Film for her” is Orion’s first book, published in 2020. Orion captures the beauty of memory with both pen and camera lens, as she writes melancholy poems about the past and making sense of the intangible future. Beautiful film photography accompanies her writing, adding a timeless and romantic element. Word and image are delicately intertwined making a perfect book to read on those melancholy nights.


  1. Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is a force of nature, and his writing intensely reflects that. Spoken word artist, activist and punk rock icon, Rollins pulls you deep into his mind. “Black Coffee Blues” is a collection of writing he wrote throughout his time on the road with punk rock band, Black Flag. Rollins writes like a child unable to lie, who has seen way too much, telling you what is wrong with the world and what’s right. Brutal honesty, in an oddly comforting way. “Black Coffee Blues” is an unapologetic exploration of his thoughts on life, love, society and the relentless pursuit of self-discovery. Offering you a powerful glimpse into the mind of one of punk’s most influential figures.


  1. Dead Poets Society by N.H Kleinbaum

“Dead Poets Society” is a captivating novel that beautifully captures the essence of the critically acclaimed film of the same name. The story revolves around English teacher, John Keating, and his chaotic ways of teaching at Welton academy. It intimately dives into the lives of a group of boys that attend Welton. Inspired by their new and unorthodox teacher, they form the dead poets society. Klienbaum’s adaptation of the movie preserves the heart and soul of the original narrative, allowing you to experience the true impact of Keating’s teachings and the challenges faced by the young boys.

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