OPB's Fall Book List

By David Stuckey (OPB)
Oct. 7, 2015 8:49 p.m.

A diverse and multifaceted booklist, curated for lovers of reading to experience this season. Our collection is broken down by fiction, non-fiction, local, children's books, and comics. A list for you — no matter who you are. 



When it comes to fiction, the (college) students usually buy bestsellers and books that are adapted to movies are popular. A lot of students came in and bought "The Martian." But we also get students buying the classics — someone came in today and picked up George Orwell's '1984.'"

Meerah Powell, Bookseller at The Duck Store at The University of Oregon

"Purity" by Jonathan Franzen
The great American novelist returns with a tale about a young girl clamoring to find herself even though her own origins are a mystery. Her search eventually takes her to South America where she teams with a Julian Assange-type character to find truth, but a tale of murder finds them.

"Death by Water" by Kenzaburo Oe
Our protagonist is renowned writer Kogito Choko and he's now tackling his most challenging work to date: writing a fictionalized account of his father's drowning and finally bringing closure to the mystery that has haunted him his entire life.


Younger people in pop culture are writing memoirs and that's getting young people to read. Non-fiction teaches us about very real things and skill sets. Also, people like to hear about other people's struggles and it makes a reader feel like they're not alone.

Nicolepte Lind, Bookseller at Reading Frenzy

"Hunger Makes A Me Modern Girl" by Carrie Brownstein
In an intimate and honest memoir, Brownstein chronicles her life before Portlandia fame, as one of the most important members of the feminist punk rock movement in the Northwest.

"The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace" by Jeff Hobbs
One day while scanning Facebook, Jeff Hobbs learns that his Yale roommate from 13 years prior, Robert DeShaun Peace, has been murdered in a drug-related crime. Thus sparks Hobb's investigation of his friend's death and a tale of how the duality of ones' life can be shocking, mysterious and a tool for understanding.


The Pacific Northwest has always been a soulful and meaningful place. There's a great community of writers who inspire and encourage each other.

Sally McPherson, Co-owner of Broadway Books

"Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas" by David Banis and Hunter Shobe
This aesthetically brilliant work features 150 infographic maps of Portland that explore unexpected topics in the Bridge City.

"All The Things We Never Knew" by Sheila Hamilton
Just six weeks after Sheila Hamilton realizes her husband is suffering from bipolar disorder, he dies tragically. This important work chronicles her family's grief and the search for answers to one of America's most perplexing issues — mental illness.


Storytelling that flows properly and characters that are endearing are key to both picture books and novels. But with any children's books, the ones that are fresh and fun are usually the most successful.

Kira Porton-Jones, Manager and book buyer at A Children's Place

"George" by Alex Gino
Everyone who looks at George thinks they see a boy. But George knows she's not a boy — she's a girl. When her teacher announces the class is going to put on a play of "Charlotte's Web," George concocts a plan to reveal her secret to everyone, once and for all.

"Walk On Earth A Stranger" by Rae Carson
Set in Gold Rush-era California, this book (the first of a trilogy) follows Lee Westfall and her loving family and friends. But Westfall has a dangerous secret. She can sense gold in the earth around her — and she soon finds out what lengths people will go to control someone with a such a power in the landfills of American greed.


There's such a wide variety now. It's not just superhero comics for boys and fantasy for girls. There's superhero stories, science fiction, fantasy — and there's a huge selection for kids. Never has there been such a broad variety of comics.

Debbie Fagnant, Co-owner of Excalibur Comics

"Paper Girls" by Brian K. Vaughn
Billed as "Stand By Me" meets "War of the Worlds," this epic story is about four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls who uncover the most important story of all time in the early hours of Halloween ... 1988.

"PrinceLess" by Jeremy Whitley

Princess Adrienne is tired ... tired of waiting on a Prince to rescue her. Instead she discovers new adventures on her own in this all-ages tale designed for those who are ready to rescue themselves.