Unplug and Open a Book


Curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee might be one of the original ways to unplug. No Kindles allowed this month. Skip ordering a new book online. Instead, browse a local bookstore or library. Savor the sound of cracking open a new book and the touch and smell of the paper fiber. We’re inspired to make more time to read and add these page-turners to our nightstands.

Books to read before you see the movie:

‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ by Agatha Christie
With a new movie starring Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench coming to theaters near you in November, it’s time to reread Agatha Christie’s murder mystery on a train.

‘The Mountains Between Us,’ by Charles Martin
The movie with the rock star cast of Idris Elba and Kate Winslet opens Oct. 6, so you better start reading this part love story, part survival story about two strangers who are stranded on a remote snow-covered mountain after a plane crash.

‘Wonder,’ by R.J. Palacio
Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star in the touching story of a 10-year-old boy with a medical condition that affects his appearance who starts fifth grade at a mainstream elementary school. The debut children’s book by R. J. Palacio was a New York Times best-seller. The movie opens in November.

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,’ by J. K. Rowling
Whether you’re reading the first book in the Harry Potter series for the first time or rereading it for the second or third time, seize on the 20th anniversary of its publication and related Harry Potter celebrations to experience the magic of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


The book to read before you take the tour:

‘Invention of Wings,’ by Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd’s 2015 best-seller set in Charleston tells the story of Hetty Grimke, an urban slave, who serves as the handmaid to the Grimkes’ daughter Sarah and the girls’ complex relationship as they grow up. The book is inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke. Learn more about Grimke and tour the landmarks in the book during the Preservation Society’s Invention of Wings Walking Tour.


The book to read before you attend the book signing:

‘Real American,’ by Julie Lythcott Haims
In her powerful memoir, Julie Lythcott-Haims, the only child of an African-American father and a white British mother, describes her battle with the low self-esteem that American racism inflicts on people of color and the healing power of community in overcoming the isolation of “the other.” Meet Lythcott-Haims at 4 p.m. Oct. 8 at Blue Bicycle Books.


The New York Times Best-Seller based on real-life events:

‘Before We Were Yours,’ by Lisa Wingate
A South Carolina lawyer researching her family’s past learns about a Tennessee orphanage that kidnapped children and placed them for adoption with wealthy people. The book is based on the life of Georgia Tann, the director of an adoption organization that sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.

The Pulitzer Winner:

“The Underground Railroad,’
by Colson Whitehead
The book follows the journey of a young female slave as she tries seeks freedom on a literal underground railroad. Her escape becomes more perilous after she kills a young white boy who tries to capture her.

Novel about the role of social media in our lives:

‘My Not So Perfect Life,’ by Sophie Kinsella
Katie’s life is a daily struggle — from her dismal rental to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. She finds refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts. Then she’s forced to question her assumptions about what makes for her life meaningful.The novel is a critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world.

The book the critics are talking about:

‘Sing Unburied Sing,’ by Jesmyn Ward
A Southern odyssey that follows the journey of a drug-addicted mother who takes her son and toddler daughter on a journey across Mississippi to pick up their white father after he is released from prison. This epic novel deals with race, addiction and family.

Nonfiction by female icons:

‘Coming to My Senses,’
by Alice Waters
The Chez Panisse chef and cultural icon pens her memoir, telling of her evolution from rebellious but impressionable follower to a respected activist who strives to change the world through food.

‘The Origin of Others,’ by Toni Morrison
Morrison explores her own memories as well as history, politics and literature (Beecher Stowe, Hemingway, Faulkner, O’Connor) as she tries to answer questions about identity, race, the desire for belonging and what motivates humans to construct “others.”

‘What Happened,’ by Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton recounts what it was like to be the first female nominee of a major party to run for President of the United States.