Back to the books. Another summer is almost done. Another school year about to begin. I love fall for many reasons-cooler nights, warm blankets, and oh so many amazing books to discover. I’m playing catch up on a few series here, as well as jumping into the muddled brain of one very funny writer/blogger. I simply couldn’t resist the first title on this list, or the last one.

Fear of Dying: A Novel by Erica Jong
Fear of Dying is a big, warm-hearted, generous book that will satisfy Jong’s longtime fans and delight her new readers.”—Jennifer Weiner. Erica Jong reminds me of one of my most beloved authors, Judy Blume. Like Blume, Jong writes about what it’s really like to be a woman (girl), the wonder, the heartbreak, the passion, the messes, and the relationships that make us human. Jong was writing chick-lit before the term existed. Erotica? She had that covered 40 years ago as well. From Erica Jong’s website:  “Fear of Dying brings together a career of writing, reflecting, asking questions, and trying to solve the puzzle of her own life, and in turn will help shed light on the lives of so many others. Questioning herself with deep honesty, Erica Jong continues to open the sealed doors of our lives.”

Audio published by Brilliance Audio. Available 9/8

Library of Souls: The Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
With a movie currently in production, directed by Tim Burton, the time has come for me to dive into Ransom Rigg’s fantasy series. Time is running out for the peculiar children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater danger than ever. This could be the last in the series, written for young adults.

Audio published by Blackstone Audio. Available 9/22

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
The title is what really grabbed me. Jenny’s second book called my name the day I was selecting titles for this post. With her inimitable humor and honesty, Jenny Lawson again takes us inside her mind. Beware—there is a lot of swearing. Lawson’s first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) spent time on the New York Times Best Seller List. Lawson narrates both books, so the experience of listening is more like catching up with a furiously happy friend. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways.

Audio published by Macmillan Audio. Available 8/22

Mister Max: The Book of Kings by Cynthia Voigt
In Act III of Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt’s Mister Max trilogy, Max sets off to rescue his missing parents. “The perfect read-aloud, the story will appeal to fans of fantasy, adventure, mystery, and humor.” – The Christian Science Monitor. Ever since Max’s parents were spirited away (in book 1) on a mysterious ship, he has longed to find them. He’s solved case after case for other people, and he’s puzzled out the coded messages sent by his father (book 2). Max doesn’t know exactly what’s happened, but he knows his parents are in danger – and it’s up to Max to save them. If you haven’t read the first two books in the Mister Max trilogy, perfect for grades 3-6, I invite you to read them now, and continue right on through to the satisfying conclusion.

Audio published by Random House Audio. Available 9/8

The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
I’m not much for traditional romance novels, but throw in an exotic culture and I’m all ears. Sonali’s debut novel, A Bollywood Affair, received rave reviews and was listed on a number of Best Books of 2014 lists, including Library Journal and NPR. Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.

Audio published by Blackstone Audio. Available 9/29