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stack of books

Fall term has begun and with it will soon come the beautiful changing of the leaves and sweater weather. There is nothing I enjoy more during fall than curling up with a cup of tea (or your favorite warm beverage) and a good book. Luckily, during the break between summer and fall terms I read a lot of fantastic books that I now recommend to everyone I know. There's poetry, memoires, and fiction on this list, so (I hope) there is something for everyone.

1. Ayiti by Roxane Gay: A lot of the books I have read recently have been by Roxane Gay, as you will see from the rest of this list. She is a wonderful and strikingly honest writer who is also a racial commentator and feminist. This particular book is one of her first to be published, and it is a collection of fictional short stories about the Haitian diaspora. Ayiti is a quick, enthralling read that I read in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down.

2. A beautiful composition of brokenness by r.h. Sin: This collection of poetry is about the evolution of the author's struggle with mental illness and their path to recovery. The poems begin quite dark and gradually transforms to become more uplifting towards the end. r.h Sin is a master of prose poetry and this collection is one of my favorites. If you like this, Sin has written several more collections for you to enjoy. 

3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: While many of you may know Sylvia Plath for her poetry - which is also incredible - it is often overlooked that she also wrote this novel before her early death from suicide. The book follows Esther Greenwood as she slowly descends into insanity, all the while keeping the reader so caught up in her story that her madness seems rational. The attention to detail and the character development in this novel are unparalleled. 

4. Hunger by Roxane Gay: Unlike Ayiti, Hunger is a work of nonfiction and recounts the author's relationship to her body and to food. Gay calls Hunger a "memoir of (my) body," and openly discusses disordered eating and the difficulty of "existing while fat." Many readers may relate to Gay's struggles with body image and confidence, which she describes candidly.

5. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur: This is another collection of poetry by the young Rupi Kaur, an active feminist and immigrant. Her poems are about love and loss, hurt and healing, and human transformation. Kaur also writes vividly about sexual assault, so this may not be the collection for someone who may feel triggered by mentions of sexual violence. That being said, her work is beautiful and ends on themes of hope and growth. Her second collection, the sun and her flowers, is also very much worth the read.

I hope you all can find time in your busy lives to immerse yourselves in the worlds these authors so beautifully create.

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