5 Books That Make Me Feel Nostalgic (Or: “OMG It’s Almost Fall!”)

Emily lists 12 Comments

Officially, autumn is one day away. (I *thought* the first day was today but no, my dear friend corrected me… it is tomorrow. *sigh*) I cannot contain my excitement. My fall Pinterest board (enthusiastically titled “(Fall)ing In Love”) has been scrolled through twelve hundred times a day. I’m just a tad excited. (No one remind me that Georgia has remained a stubborn eight-six degrees. On the other hand, the trees are changing colors, leaf by leaf. POSITIVITY, people.)

Fall is my favorite season for about a billion reasons, but one of them is that I re-read a lot of my favorite childhood books this time of year. It’s something about the pumpkin-scented candles burning, the cozy feeling of sweaters and hot tea and the orange-tinged colors outside the window… I dunno. I just feel so nostalgic. 

Of course, I had to compile a list of books that fill the “Ache-For-Fall” Sized Hole In My Heart. They’re a few of my favorite childhood books that I re-read again and again… for good reason. So you should too. You’re welcome.


According to the nine-year-old scribblings in the front of my copy (including a “practice autograph” of one future author – keep on dreamin’ Maryanne, Emily – ha!) of the first book, I began this series in October 2010. So it’s a given for me to read this one again in the fall time. I’m a big Ann M. Martin fan (thus why you’ll see two of her series on this list) and her Main Street books will give you the warmest, most pure child-like tingles all over. The best part? There are ten books to keep you busy (be still my nine-year-old-bookworm heart.)



To be fair, I didn’t read this too long ago – only last year. I would hand it to my second or third grade self in a heartbeat, but I know I love it every bit as much as I would have then. The first chapter describes New York in all its fall glory (which does indeed sound glorious, even if I myself haven’t experienced New York in the fall. One can only glean so much from books and You’ve Got Mail.) 

Plus, the main character is a darling: a bookish eleven-year-old girl who “surrounds herself with dictionaries and other books to isolate herself from the outside world.” I think yes. As soon as you turn to page one, prepare to find yourself lost in the unimaginable escapades of the Somersets. 🙂

#3: WAITING FOR NORMAL by Leslie Connor

I can’t exactly put my finger on why Waiting for Normal has me thinking fall. Perhaps it’s the warm cover? Or the fact that the main character’s voice has such a sweet, homey sound to it? Or maybe because it’s an award-winning book, which usually equals bittersweet, which equals “curl up on the couch and cry” which equals fall. (?)

(You’ve been forewarned about the “curl up on the couch and cry” part. Waiting for Normal is one of the first books that I vividly remember gut-wrench sobbing over at ten.)


I CRY. These books are my absolute FAVORITEThey follow four generations of girls: Abby growing up in the 1930s, then her daughter Dana in the 50s, Dana’s daughter Francie in the 70s, and then finally Francie’s daughter Georgia in the 90s and early 2000s. Each book is so well-written and put together. Your heart hurts, grieves, laughs, and cries along with all four girls and their families throughout each season of their lives.


I think The Family Tree series (the second book, The Long Way Home, in particular – it’s my favorite one) reminds me of fall because fall is usually a season of change. People start new jobs, attend new schools, buy new shoes… the trees change and somehow it makes everyone feel like it’s a NEW start. This series is all about change. (Honestly, I could write an entire post about these books. They’re that good.)

#5: THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

Ah, a more widely-known novel! The Book Thief is a masterpiece. If you have anything against it, I refuse to hear it. (Yes, technically speaking, as a reader I understand every book has it flaws. BUT THE BOOK THIEF HAS NONE.) Surprisingly, I had never heard of this book three years ago. (Even though at the time it was to be released in film only a few months later.) My mom found this was on sale as an e-book and, it being a WWII historical fiction, bought it for me. I was completely lost in the writing at first – and not in the “sucked into the story right away” part I talked about earlier with Cornelia. I didn’t understand a single thing that was going on. It took some pushing through to get going, but once I understood the narrator’s writing style I was HOOKED.

At twelve years old I had never read anything so beautifully or artfully written. (Now I could say that Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity rivals The Book Thief for top WWII fiction, but we’re talking about The Book Thief.) I was sobbing by only the middle of book, practically DEAD by the end.

My favorite quote from the book, which they used in the movie. (!!)

I can’t say The Book Thief has any “fall-like” attributes, but I always think about reading it at the start of September, or beginning of the school year. It certainly is a brilliant book to challenge any school-age reader (or adult reader, for that matter. I’m still biased that my parents didn’t read the book before seeing the movie. The movie is gorgeous and well-done but you’ll far more appreciate and grasp the story by reading the book, OKAY.)

“She would remind him of what the sun felt like on his skin.” – The Book Thief

What books do you read in the fall? Any that remind you of past autumns, or is there just a certain type/genre you’re drawn to this time of year? And have you read any of the above books?? TELL ALL.


P.S. If you were wondering, I totally hid behind a bookshelf to get a photo of the little girl in the featured image. She’s just chillin’ in a bookstore in her precious dress, reading a book. 😀 (My future children will have so many photos of them in bookstores, ha!)

Comments 12

  1. First of all I got really excited when I saw this post. I kind of did this weird dance. It’s been so long since you’ve posted regularly. And now because of the time change it’ll be really easy for me to be the first comment.
    I have only read two books from this list…. don’t hurt me! And the one I only read becuase you gave it to me. Haha. The Book Thief though. Oh. My. Goodness. So much love for it. I too was weirded out for the first few chapters but then I got addicted. But for me this has more of a winter feel. Don’t really know why. That quote felt like a stab to the heart.
    I don’t really know of any books I feel like reading during certain seasons….. I just kind of read randomly. I usually reread Harry Potter in the fall though. Other than that I don’t really have any preferences. *me shrugging in the distance*.

  2. Emily I loved this post!! I haven’t read half of the books on your list, surprisingly–I’ll have to check them out! I’d say some book series that would go on my ‘nostalgia reading’ list is the Magic Tree House series (heck yes), The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Nancy Drew series (and the Mother-Daughter book club series of course!). I read all of those 2nd-6th grade, but I had forgotten all about the Mainstreet Series! I think I read the Babysitters Club more, though.
    And the Book Thief, oh I cry. I had to read that for 8th grade summer reading–I could’ve chosen any other book on the list but I chose that one and basically? Best decision I ever made. The Book Thief will always be the book that changed my perspective on writing–forevahh.
    I honestly have to agree with your thoughts about the fall season–it truly is a season of change, but ironically, also a season of nostalgia! I always do new things (like a harder year of school ughh) but still go back to things like books, movies and shows I used to enjoy years prior. It’s weird LOL. I always have my Little Women ’94 movie soundtrack playing around this time.
    Happy nostalgia reading! I’m planning to do this for MDBC, so I can finally read the final book LOL.

    I love Ann M. Martin’s books!! One series that I’d add is the MBDC is because I just love that series!
    I am so excited for fall! The perfect weather, oversized sweaters, blankets, football games, pumpkins, and more!!!!
    I basically love this post so much, it’s nostalgic and true!

  4. Oh! MAIN STREET! I love Flora, Ruby, Nikki, Min, and obviously Olivia. I mean, she has my name! 😉
    I totally agree that Main Street is a perfect series to reread..it gives me a fuzzy feeling every time.
    The same goes for The Family Tree series! Love them!
    The Book Thief.
    *turns away*

    Great post Emily! 🙂

  5. The Book Thief is so wonderfully written and emotional, so I’m so glad to see it on your list. <3 And I never read Ann M. Martin, which is a shame because she's such a popular author. I'll definitely have to pick some of her books up sometime. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

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  7. This post is so great, I now want to read all of these books!! Especially your #2, that sounds perfect! I don’t have any specific books that I read during autumn, but I am so excited its finally here! It’s my favorite season as well 😀

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