Fall Reads: Non-Fiction

The beautiful transition from Summer to Fall can bring to mind a variety of topics. Whether it’s observing nature, getting cozy, or Halloween mysteries, PPL invites you to explore your favorite autumnal topics with books in our Non-Fiction collection! Check out our recommendations below and find a cozy reading spot at one of our five locations!

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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Description: Braiding sweetgrass is a unique collection of nature essays written from the perspective of Robin Wall Kimmerer, a professional botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kimmerer emphasizes the reciprocity between humans and other life forms on earth and intertwines each essay into a powerful argument for strengthening this relationship while we have the chance. The anecdotal, poetic essays teach readers about nature from a place of love and provide a refreshing lens with which to view the changing of the seasons this autumn.


On Writing by Stephen King

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Description: A Non-Fiction book by Stephen King? Get a thrilling lesson from the master of modern-day horror on how he has practiced and lived his craft. Full of both practical advice for writers and an interesting backstory for horror-fiction nerds, On Writing will give you a completely new look at the Stephen King canon and how great stories are made. So while you’re in between your most frightening reads this October, be sure to check out this engaging memoir at Plano Public Library.


Upstream by Mary Oliver

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Description: Inspired by a wonderous childhood memory in which Mary finds herself walking Upstream and into a whole new natural world, Upstream is a collection of observations and conclusions on wilderness and life. Oliver’s fascination and devotion to the natural world is explored with odes to her favorite poets, animals, and plants. While taking on simple topics, Oliver always seems to find complexity and a contagious excitement in the minutiae of life.


Cultish by Amanda Montell

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Description: While you’re having fun digging into conspiracies and eerie events this October, pick up a copy of Cultish and learn how the language of fanaticism has influenced our culture in both the past and present. Montell discusses the speech tactics used by cult leaders, politicians, and advertisers alike that have proven to transform human behavior. Perfect for lovers of true crime podcasts, weird Netflix docuseries, and all of the things that answer the big question of “Why?” on human behavior.


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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Description: Pick up the quintessential true crime book by Truman Capote for a closer look at all of the gut-wrenching crime and suspense movies you might be watching this Fall. Learn about the murder of a small-town family, The Clutters, and the investigation that followed this crime. In Cold Blood gives deep into the minds of the young killers and sets the groundwork for many True Crime books that were to follow.


The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

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Description: Hygge is all about the things we associate with fall: cuddling up by a fire, drinking a warm cup of tea, connecting with loved ones and nature, and finding true comfort. Luckily, this Danish practice is in place all-year long and can be achieved by following the instructions in The Little Book of Hygge. Discover happiness practices and statistics, or even make your own Hygge emergency kit to bring you to the state of Hygge in any circumstance. The book’s cute graphic representations and inviting layout make it a great quick read for your coziest moments this autumn. 


Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

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Description: Leaves of Grass is Walt Whitman’s single, everchanging work of poetry, which is a must-read in times of reflection and peace. It touches on every bit of humanity, but it highlights the oneness of the natural world and the raw strength of human relationships. Whether you want a formal introduction to American poetry or just want to flip through the collection and find what speaks to you, Leaves of Grass will capture you with its unforgettable vigor and eloquence.  


Death Makes A Holiday by David J. Skal

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Description: Death Makes A Holiday provides a historical and social overview of Halloween and the meaning our cultures assign to it. Skal travels the country seeking personal experiences of Halloween to add to their own collection of research and background. With a uniquely dark subject and history, Death Makes A Holiday provides interesting insight into humanity’s views of death, ritual, and celebration.

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