Fall Reading Recommendations

Stack of books surrounded by fall leaves

As you’re building your fall and winter reading list, we wanted to share recommendations from a few of our Continuing Education instructors. These books are sure to get you thinking, reflecting, and planning your next project!

A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm book coverA Naturalist Buys an Old Farm by Edwin Way Teale

“This is a delightful book written by a true naturalist. Edwin Way Teale focuses on the natural world in a direct, tangible, and accessible way that all of us can aspire to. Each chapter is an exploration of his seasonal observations in New England on a piece of land used previously as a farm. From observing the habits of ants to relaxing in a hammock counting the chirps of a nearby chipmunk, his observations are detailed, inquisitive and delightful for the reader. From his writings I have learned to slow down and enjoy participation of every detail right outside my door. Particularly during this time of COVID, the appreciation of the micro has enlivened the long moments and months of staying home for health and safety.” 

Recommended by Instructor Penny Rose, Backyard Birding  


Bring Your Human to Work book coverBring Your Human to Work by Erica Keswin

“Human beings are wired to connect with other people and form relationships. It makes sense that this would be as true in the workplace as it is in other areas of life. This engaging book lays out ten steps to create a human-centered workplace like encouraging employees to be healthy in body and spirit, running meetings with clear purpose, building professional development into company culture, and simply saying 'thank you.' These steps can serve as a guide to creating the kind of workplace where people feel valued, appreciated, and motivated to do their best work.” 

Recommended by Instructor Gayle Johnson, Leadership and Management



I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings book coverI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

“I recommend I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings because it is a book dedicated to the power of truth and written with an eloquence that speaks to the human experience. Each time I read this book, I marvel at how she makes me feel. Despite all she endures, she not only faces pain head on but rises above it. She teaches me that regardless of what life gives you, you can endure and survive by accepting yourself and reaching out with courage to other human beings.”

Recommended by Instructor Victoria John, Women and Mythology and It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: A Julia Cameron Journey



Router Joinery Workshop book cover Router Joinery Workshop by Carol Reed

“There are many woodworking books in today's marketplace and most of them are themed about a specific tool. So I am going to share that my favorite tool is a Router, not the computer kind but the electrical or battery kind. The router can do so many different kinds of woodworking joints, it seems like a tool for the ages. Any book that has the word Router in it is for me. This one has some interesting router usage setups. Any serious woodworker would have at least one router if not more.”

Recommended by Instructor Peter Marx, Home Remodeling 101


Save the Cat book cover Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

“As a fiction writer, this book was the simplest and clearest description of story structure I’d ever read. It has examples from movies I’ve actually seen, which makes it even easier to understand. He writes with humor, also, which I appreciate! He calls out the reader—somehow knowing what we are thinking, how we are doubting his ‘rules.’ But in the end, he reminds us that: ‘Most of all, you must try to find the fun in everything you write. Because having fun lets you know you are on the right track.’”

Recommended by Instructor Leslie Hall, Beginning Fiction Crash Course and NaNoWriMo: Write a Novel in 30 Days



For more recommendations, see these resources:

Phinney Books Recommendations

Seattle Public Library Staff Picks

Third Place Books Staff Picks

Washington Center for the Book, 2020 Awards Finalists (and Winners)