Old City Books in Alexandria, Virginia. Photo by Matt Carr.
Is there anything better than reading good books on a crisp autumn day? We asked DC-area booksellers what readings they’d be happy to unlock this season, from fantasy romance to sports analytics. Here are their picks for your reading list.
Ali Kirkpatrick, owner ancient city books
This fall, Kirkpatrick read Louise Kennedy’s first novel excesses. It’s a character-driven book that covers the life of a young woman in Belfast’s 1970s Belfast, with both political and personal turmoil. “I love how Kennedy clearly makes the place and the people real and urgent. You can get lost in this book,” says Kirkpatrick..
Jane McDevitt, Branch Manager at Politics and prose
In honor of the spooky season, McDevitt reads contemporary fiction stars by Susan Dennard. “I love to read charming romance stories or fantasies this time of year,” McDevitt says. “It’s totally relaxing and an escape from reality.” On a mission to join an ancient order guarding her town, protagonist Winnie Wednesday enlists the help of bad boy (and ex-best friend) Jay Friday.
Zachary Green, Director at He wrote the second story
Anything by Seanan McGuire is going to Green, but now he’s picking up seasonal concerns-an The appropriate title for the fall transition. Green issues a warning: McGuire “reaches your soul and destroys it, then rebuilds you again.” According to Green, the characters will make you laugh and cry at the same time.
Rachel Holm, bookseller at ancient city books
Anton Bogomazov, book buyer at Politics and prose
Bogomazov is excited to read Manil Suri’s Analytics Big Bang of Numbers. Suri – a novelist and mathematician in Silver Spring – explores the idea that we can build the universe using only mathematics. Bogomazov Also trying to re-read Lord of the rings every fall. “There’s just something about sitting down with a drink and a giant book,” he says.
Teklit excited for induction of joy By Ross Jay, a collection of essays on how joy and sadness are interconnected at all times. “I love poetry and I love when poets branch out into prose novels – it’s really cool,” says Teklet. The book was released on October 25.
Noell Sottile, volunteer bookseller at Lantern
Sutil is excited to travel again, and her reading list reflects that sentiment. For now, prepare for Australia by reading Bill Bryson’s book in a burning country. In the book, Bryson documents his findings on a trip down the road, with people he meets along the way. “I’m looking forward to going, but I’m not sure I’ll get a sunburn when I’m there,” Sottile says.
Donna Wells, Director of Children and Adolescents at Politics and prose
Wales reads Man-made monsters written By Andrea Rogers and illustrations by Jeff Edwards. This YA novel features werewolves, vampires, and zombies along with deeper themes of dispossession as the story follows the Cherokee family through the centuries. ““I usually shy away from horror, but that horror got my attention,” Wells says.
Joy A. Thornton, volunteer bookseller at Lantern
As an art historian, Thornton is drawn to books with artistic themes. She is looking forward to reading Sargent and Spain Written by Eileen Kilmurray, Richard Lewis Ormond, and Sarah Cash. that Show Based on the script currently on display in the National Gallery of Art, complete with over 120 oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings. “The scholars who wrote the book recently threw it away, and they are fantastic,” says Thornton.