gloved hand resting on a table holding a hot drink with an open book in the background
Check it Out

The Librarian's Nightstand - Fall 2023

The crisp and shorter days of fall have us reaching for our snuggliest sweaters, toasty drinks, and spellbinding reads. Our six book-loving branch librarians have each selected one of their recent favourites to recommend for your fall reading list. Let's take a look!

Their Picks

Aldershot Branch Librarian Andrea

Andrea beside book cover

“Reconciliation is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and that what is different between them needs to be respected.” - Wab Kinew. With Kinew’s historic win as the first Indigenous provincial premier, a re-reading of The Reason You Walk was well overdue.

Kinew writes about reconnecting with his father after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Over the course of a year, he learns more about his father’s past and reflects on hope, healing, and forgiveness. More than a novel about father-son relationships, this memoir is about reconciliation on both a personal and a national level and discovering your purpose: the reason you walk.

Andrea is still on a true crime and self-narrated autobiography kick. She is currently reading Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe and listening to Making It So by Patrick Stewart.

Borrow The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

Alton Branch Librarian Emma

Emma beside book cover

When newly minted matchmaker Sophie Go returns to Toronto after three years in Shanghai, she is revealed as a fraud for never graduating from matchmaking school. In dire need to save her reputation in a competitive market like Toronto, she stumbles upon a unique set of clients in her condo complex: the Old Ducks, seven septuagenarian Chinese bachelors who have yet to find love.

Sophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club is a great choice if you’re looking for a heart-warming, feel-good read with a touch of romance. The magical realism and cast of truly loveable characters make this book so special. The bonus feature is the delightfully yummy food descriptions sprinkled frequently throughout the story. I thought this was such a fun, quirky and adorable read!

Emma likes to tuck into contemporary and historical fiction, young adult novels, and memoirs and lists Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Lovely War by Julie Berry, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh as her favourite novels.

Borrow Sophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim

Brant Hills Branch Librarian Heather

Heather beside book cover

Dr. Toby Fleishman never thought that one day his freshly former wife would just drop their children off at his place and never come back. As Toby tries to figure out what happened and what it means, all while juggling his job and parental duties, his tidy narrative of a spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to really understand where Rachel went and what really happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen it clearly in the first place.

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a hilarious, direct, and at times racy story of divorce and rebuilding, this is a great read for people looking to put a light spin to heavier topics.

Heather dives into dramatic family sagas and historical fiction as her go-to audiobook picks and reaches for romantic beach novels and light mysteries for her leisure reading. Her favourite authors include John Green, Liane Moriarty, and Edward Rutherfurd.

Borrow Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Central Branch Librarian Mehr

Mehr beside book cover

You need to add Spells For Forgetting by Adrienne Young to your fall reading list! It is a cozy atmospheric mystery, set in a tight-knit island community. Emery Blackwood and August Salt grew up on Saiorse Island, immersed in the island's deeply rooted folklore and traditions. August is forced to flee the island the night a fire engulfs the Salt Family Orchard, and a girl is found dead in the woods.

I loved listening to the audiobook because it has a full cast narration, so each character has a distinct voice and personality. This book is perfect for those who love a cozy mystery full of secrets and a second-chance romance.

Mehr loves young adult fantasy and science fiction-dystopian novels. Occasionally, she'll dive into contemporary fiction when she needs to return to Earth after visiting epic fantasy worlds. Some of her favourite authors are Marissa Meyer, S.A. Chakraborty, and S.K. Ali.

Borrow Spells For Forgetting by Adrienne Young

New Appleby Branch Librarian Kumkum

Kumkum beside book cover

The Covenant of Water, Abraham Verghese's multi-generational saga set in Kerala, India, commences in 1900 with 12-year-old Mariamma, who reluctantly embarks on a boat journey to marry a widower with a young son. A mysterious condition plagues the family, causing drowning deaths across generations. It affects the ever-optimistic and loving Mariamma, her husband, son, his artist wife, and her physician granddaughter, who uncovers the truth. Running parallel is the story of a Scottish doctor named Digby, offering insights into the colonial mindset and merging with events unfolding in Ammachi's family.

This rich, poignant, well-written tale weaves diverse characters through surprising plotlines amid political unrest, disease, and climate catastrophes. The audio version provides an excellent listening experience, another winner from the best-selling author of Cutting for Stone.

Kumkum often reads two to three books at a time, selecting from various genres, including mysteries and thrillers, relationship fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction.

Borrow The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Tansley Woods Branch Librarian Deepti

Deepti beside book cover

The Perfumist of Paris is the last book of the Jaipur trilogy written by Alka Joshi. The first book, The Henna Artist, tells the story of Lakshmi, who builds a career for herself after escaping an abusive husband. In the second book, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, Lakshmi and her helper Malik solve a mystery behind an architectural failure. In this third book, the story revolves around Lakshmi's younger sister, Radha, who is trying to find the balance between working as a lab assistant for a major perfume company in Paris and being a mother while still dealing with the grief of giving up her firstborn for adoption.

I loved the author's magical descriptions of smells and scents in this book and how the story flows effortlessly between Paris and Agra. A bonus for readers: the main characters are present in all three books, and there is no need to read the books in order.

Teacher-turned-librarian, Deepti, loves a good suspense mystery—especially books by master storyteller Jeffrey Archer—or young adult fiction adventures.

Borrow The Perfumist of Paris by Alka Joshi