Books to Read this Autumn...

September 7, 2018

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Hi my Lovlies! This week I wanted to share some of my go to faaaaavorite reads for the upcoming autumn weather. I just love waking up to snow falling and sitting by a fireplace drinking a cuppa all snuggled up with a book, ek! Love it.
I don't know about ya'll but  being lost in a book has given me the opportunity to become someone or something else. I look forward to the next time I can be there with Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice, or Lucy Pevensie from Narnia! I love autobiographies and biographies the most, but dabble in fiction, scifi, and romantic books here and there! The top 5 books I have taken so dearly to heart are below. These books are so good that I have read them more than once... hah! Who says you can't reread your library!? Anyway I wrote little snippets of what the story is about and a cute memo from me! Let me know if you've read any of them and also let me know what books you're interested in in the comments - (nobody can have too many books, right!?)

1. Into The Wild - Some people call Christopher Johnson McCandless naive and others call him brave. In April 1992 this young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. Growing up in Annandale, Virgina along his younger sister, mother and father he soon found out there were lies and secrets within his family. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, he had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, a party of moose hunters found his decomposed body. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

I read this when I was in Junior year of high school for my AP Literature class. I remember thinking to myself "I have so much reading this year, how am I ever going to finish?", funny enough this book was the first and last book I read that year, I became obsessed. Not over Chris, or his willingness to go into wilderness alone, but with his ambition, his free spirit, and kind heart. 

2. The Wild Truth - In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer's iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn's acclaimed film of the same name. And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris's unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth, his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own. Exposing the dark reality that existed behind the McCandless's seemingly idyllic home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Carine details a violent home life, one where both parents manipulated the truth about a second family—a deception that pushed Chris over the edge and set the stage for his willing departure into the wild. For years, Carine struggled to maintain a relationship with her parents, and now comes light in the pages of The Wild Truth. 

This book is beautiful and haunting, Carine tells this story with candor and a heartbreaking insight. Imagine trying to keep it together as you're near brink of a sobbing session - on the bus to work may I add - because the truth finally comes out in light of a man who just couldn't take society anymore. 

3. Into Thin Air - When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10,1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds. This book takes you step by step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, Krakauer has you shaking on the edge of your seat, unable to let the book down. Beyond the terrors of this account, however, he also peers deeply into the myth of the world's tallest mountain. What is it about Everest that has compelled so many poeple--including himself--to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense? 

This book is so thrilling and intriguing that I can now say that after reading this book and many others in regards to Everest or just mountain climbing in general, I now have a 10 year plan to attempt to climb Mount Everest. Should my next trip be to Nepal? Let me know down below! 

4. Left For Dead - In 1996 Beck Weathers and a climbing team pushed toward the summit of Mount Everest. Then a storm exploded on the mountain, ripping the team to shreds, forcing brave men to scratch and crawl for their lives. Rescuers who reached Weathers saw that he was dying, and left him. Twelve hours later, the inexplicable occurred. Weathers appeared, blinded, gloveless, and caked with ice—walking down the mountain. In this powerful memoir, now featuring a new Preface, Weathers describes not only his escape from hypothermia and the murderous storm that killed eight climbers, but the journey of his life. This is the story of a man’s route to a dangerous sport and a fateful expedition, as well as the road of recovery he has traveled since; of survival in the face of certain death, the reclaiming of a family and a life; and of the most extraordinary adventure of all. 

What I took from reading Left For Dead is finding the courage to say yes when life offers us a second chance. This was my morning commute read while I was a nanny in my last year of college. What was interesting is that I found myself looking for more ways to be better at climbing and one of those ways ended up rock climbing with the 6 year old girl I had cared for hah! 

5. The Snow Child - Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he's breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

Probably my all time faaaaaaaavorite fictional story! This was given to me as a gift, and a gift I will treasure for life (thank you, Debbie!). If you don't already know I'm kinda obsessed with Alaska and living in the wilderness making home out of what I can find/grow. I have always wanted to have my own garden, my own animals and live a simple life. This book entails all with the good and the bad that goes along with it. Seeing how Jack and Mabel start out scared and distant and then growing together after this snow child appears, and the community support of the little town keeps you holding this book to your nose. Ugh, looooove being lost in this one! 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this weeks post! I'm just so pumped for crisp and cool air that I had to post this with the image of being snuggled up with a hot cuppa in front of a warm fire... ahhh :)

Stick around for more posts to come, I recently went shopping for fall clothing so be prepared to see new inspo on "What to Wear" YAY!

xoxo ashley! 


  1. Ashley, I love your book choices! Right now, my current favorite is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Her story takes place in rural Alaska in the 1970's. A small family tries to start over after the dad comes home from the Vietnam War. It's heartbreaking, beautifully written and completely engaging. It also really showcases Alaska, so it may be one for you.