Meghan Fellows, Staff Writer
The change in season is upon us. Cooler nights, heavier blankets and all things pumpkin spice are on the horizon. With this change, there is a certain stillness that occurs when the nights get longer. More and more people embrace the calm and reach for a good book. Whether it be fiction, or a comic book series, reading under lamp light with a lit candle is much more comforting when it’s a tad colder outside.
Cassandra Raynor, a Utica College junior, believes that with fall upon us, more people are reaching for chilling reads.
“I like vampirey stuff,” Raynor said. “Vampires in love. In my English class, we’re reading The Shining by Stephen King. I think in the fall people want to read more horror because of Halloween.”
She states that fall is a little different because you’re assigned more reading for your classes, instead of being able to read leisurely. When you do get a chance to read leisurely in between class and work, it’s a great way to relax.
Raynor recommends Compulsion by Allison Brennan.
“I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s about this girl who starts falling for this guy,” Raynor said. “She has a bad feeling about him, but she goes for it anyways. I still fall back on The Fault in our Stars by John Green though. I cried when I first read it.”
Creative Non-fiction professor Suzanne Richardson says that reading in the fall is overall just a better experience.
“In the summer, you don’t want to sit still. You want to be out and about, enjoying the weather,” Richardson said. “Fall and winter are more conductive for reading. Reading is more reflective for people in general when they can focus on it more. There’s good reflection inside the self, as well as in the world when you’re indulging a good book.”
Richardson had a handful of good book recommendations for students;
Excavation by Wendy Ortiz is a book about a young woman involved in a romantic relationship with her middle school teacher.
“The author of this memoir does a great job of not being the victim,” Richardson said. “It’s an example of exchange of power in any sexual relationship.”
Four Legged Girl, a book of poetry by Diane Suess, is about coming of age in New York City.
“The girl in the book is a part of this male dominated punk rock art scene,” Richardson said. “It’s a collection of poems about trying to break through and be noticed in the male centered world as a female.”
Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll is another memoir about growing up in NYC; the upper part of Manhattan.
“It’s a very raw story. There are darker parts, contrasted with innocence,” Richardson said. “The author goes through times when he knows he is making bad choices. He is trying to understand his sexuality, and his talents while growing up.”
Richardson said that she “likes to feel uncomfortable” when she reads.
“I teach literature of addiction, I teach memoir,” Richardson said. “These are people telling deep personal stories of their lives, and usually everyone has a secret. I like rawness-especially in memoir. Things that aren’t formally polished; a little jagged.”
Emily LaSalle, a junior nursing student, is reading a Jodi Picoult novel that follows the same theme of rawness that Professor Richardson enjoys.
“Mercy is about a husbands love for his dying wife. It’s about the sacrifices he is willing to make to help her die with dignity,” LaSalle said.
Fiction can hit a personal nerve just as much as a memoir. If the writing is pure, even fictional characters can have the same resonance as if they were living and breathing just like authors of memoirs.
Whether you like deep and intense memoirs or fiction that takes your hand and leads you into a different world, the fall is a comforting time to ascend into yourself and learn through reading. Take the time to put down your Biology book, and pick up something that can give you inspiration as soon as you read the first line.