Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall Reading

Fall is my favorite time of year. The crisp air, the smell of the leaves, breaking out the comforter, bringing the sweaters out of hibernation, apples, pumpkins, the spices they both cook in, all of it make me gleeful and happy to be alive. It is also the only time of year that inspires me to read specific books. Why I don't know, especially as only one of the books can be considered a "Fall" book.

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope is the one that makes sense as it takes place during the Fall, with its climatic scene occurring on All Hallow's Eve. The scent of fallen leaves and woodsmoke in the air sets a perfect atmosphere for reading this one. I read this book around Halloween every year and this year I'm making my 4th-6th grade literature students read it too, so I'm going to be reading it more than once. I'm so excited.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is a favorite of mine that I read for the first time during the fall, and I think that is why the onset of the season always makes me yearn to return to the land of Ingary and the house of Howl Pendragon. Plus it has a bouncing scarecrow frightening the wits out of the heroine so it sort of fits the season. Right?

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers is another one that I read for the first time in the fall which is really the only explanation for why I would want to read it every year at this time. The best parts of this book take place during the summer and yet I never feel an urge to read it then. Funny how that works.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner is one I have no explanation for, but every year when the weather turns cold I want to read it. Of course as it is one of my all time favorite books ever I don't really need much provocation to pick it up. I just think it is funny that the first cold snap of the year always has me yearning for this book, not the whole series, just this one. I usually end up reading The King of Attolia too though. Just because you kind of have to read them together.

This year I'm also being visited by a powerful urge to reread The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman, which I will most likely give in to. I haven't read this one since the first time I read it back in February of this year. If I recall correctly it takes place in the winter,not the fall. I think it is the cover that is calling to me. It just looks like a Fall type book.

And do you know what goes really well with Fall type books? Hot tea and the perfect cookie for the season. So today I'm including a recipe for just such a cookie. Baking these will make your house really smell like fall is in the air.

I originally stumbled on this recipe here, but I have made a couple minor changes.
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 1/3 cup brown sugar (I use light.)
1 egg
1/4 cup whole milk
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1t baking soda
1t ground cinnamon
1/2t cloves
1/2t nutmeg
1/2t salt
2 cups of chopped unpeeled apple
1 to 1 1/2 cups caramel bits*

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl.
3. Blend butter and brown sugar together thoroughly.
4. Add egg and milk to butter mix and combine completely.
5. Stir the dry ingredients into the creamy mix.
6. Add at apples and caramels.
7. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges.

*I found these at our Super Target. If you are not a fan of caramel I have also made these with Hershey cinnamon chips and they are amazing that way too. Or, if you feel you must, I'm sure some kind of nut would work. I haven't tried that as I don't like nuts in my cookies.


Chachic said...

We don't have fall over here but I have a feeling that if I ever lived in the States, I'd love spring and fall and I would have specific books for those two seasons. :P The BER months are typhoon season over here so maybe that should count as perfect reading weather too? So many excellent books on your list, I really should read The Perilous Gard soon. I've had my copy since 2007!

Brandy said...

Fall and Spring are the best, but most especially fall. :)


Holly said...

The Perilous Gard is the perfect fall book. I think Maggie Stiefvater's books are great seasonal reads, Shiver for fall/winter and Ballad for October.

I really need to read The Grimm Legacy since I really enjoyed Enthusiasm.

And yes, Chachic, READ IT!

Brandy said...

Holly, I have had Stiefvater's Ballad on my TBR forever and haven't gotten to it yet. I might bump it up a bit and read it this fall.

I like Enthusiasm too but liked The Grimm Legacy even more. You should give it a try.

Betsy said...

Fall is my favorite season, too! I'm going to have to try the cookie recipe.

I think I also gravitate to books that I loved as a child and reread over and over (Little Women and Anne of Green Gables come to mind). I don't necessarily want to reread them now, but I sort of crave that level of literary "relationship"--the idea of cuddling up in a blanket with a warm cup of something to drink (and cookies!) that fall is tempting us to.... hmmm... what to read next?