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Best Fall Book Picks From 10 Motivated Locals

We had fun in the sun, splashed in the water and hiked in the hills and now summer has come to an end. But it’s not all bad. It’s the perfect time to cuddle up in your fuzziest blanket, make a nice cup of tea and sit by the window and watch the rain come down with a good book.

Now that the days are shorter and cooler, one of the things I look forward to the most are inspiring, entertaining and comforting reads. In fact, historically there have only been two things that will guarantee a better mood for me and those two things have been 1. a great story and 2. great music.

So I’ve asked 10 motivated book loving locals for their favorite picks so you can skip the search and get a head start on your reading this fall.

Ready Player One

Kristi Clarke – Owner at Kelowna Collective
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

I’m a huge fan of sci fi ever since the first time I watched Star Wars. Because I’m always looking for a good sci fi story, I picked up this book a while back before a plane trip and I’m so glad I did. I started reading it and before I knew it, I was in the last two chapters and the clock read 2 am. It was one of those books that gave me a dilemma – you want to continue reading it but you’ll be so sad when it’s over. It was so good I made my whole family read it!

It had all my favorite things – 80’s memorabilia, video games, virtual reality, futuristic tech and satisfying riddles. What more could I ask for? If you’re looking for a highly entertaining read that’ll keep you turning pages, I’d recommend this book.

Plus I hear Steven Spielberg is directing a movie from this book that will be released sometime in 2018. So if you like reading the book first, better get started.


the wisdom of the enneagram

Lauren Hjalmarson – Content Creator at notTV
The Wisdom of the Enneagram – Don Richard Riso

The Enneagram is a personality typing system similar to Myers-Briggs but it weaves the types together in a pattern that gives insight into how we function when we’re healthy, average, or emotionally unhealthy. It also provides pathways to personal growth based on the types, rather than assuming that a person will exhibit the same characteristics over the course of their life. I find this book valuable and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to understand themselves better with an eye to personal growth.


A Gentleman in Moscow

Karen Close – Editor at Sageing Magazine
A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow delighted me, my husband (we seldom enthuse about the same books) and my book club. I was totally captivated by this book’s humor, varied characters, and beautiful, sensually provoking, descriptions. Most importantly for me was Count Alexander Rostov’s deep and generous passion to live the fullest of lives, despite circumstances, while discovering the depths of his humanity and its cunning. I am a strong believer that the purpose of a human life is to: Know yourself. Be yourself. Love yourself. Share yourself.

This is fictional tale of a relentless ‘gentleman’ committed to the ideal “to thine own self be true”. He creates his own reality in a consistently challenging environment. The great delight comes when the reader realises that each of his personal choices creates the intriguing, hugely satisfying, conclusion.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Karen Bowen (Principal at Manager Know How) & Kris Rostecki (Owner of Inspirado Designs)
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**K – Mark Manson

Karen: Once you get past the use of the F word for impact, there are some really powerful messages in this book. It’s an easy read, and again after the first chapter when the F word is less prevalent, filled with interesting stories which illustrate the concepts. I laughed out loud often while listening (mine was a audio book). The premise of self-acceptance, knowing what is important to you, and making accountable choices that either hold you back or propel you forward resonated with me. A key message for me was about resilience and navigation through the “crappy” parts of life…because they WILL happen. We all have stories about what “happened to us”, and it is up to us how we react and respond. I found it funny, honest, and refreshing with questions that might seem shallow but have deep roots in changing how we think and interact with the world. 

Kris: It was recommended to me by several other entrepreneurs from Trep Cafe. I found that it isn’t about not giving a care, but rather, how and what to give a care about. It was full of relatable examples, and little nuggets that offered me a fresh perspective on how my mind currently processes. Not only for business, but also with family, friends and partner. I listened to it on Audible, but will be picking up a hard copy to go through again!


Chinaman's Chance

Jason Stewart – Co-owner at Hello Kelowna
Chinaman’s Chance – Ross Thomas

I’m a huge film noir fan, and while most of the American film genre spans the forties and fifties, this particular book focuses on Los Angeles in the early 70’s, a city and time I’ve always been fascinated by. One of my favourite films, The Long Goodbye by Robert Altman perfectly encapsulated this city and era. It features a somewhat haphazard detective played by Elliot Gould who wonders through some stunning long takes and glorious zooms (did I say I was a huge film geek yet?) to solve a case as a PD who you think initially might not be up to the job.

That’s basically what this particular book is about – pay no mind to the old school title that references a character in the book that is well aware of this “name” given to him and makes fun of it from time to time. Ross Thomas was a pretty prolific crime fiction author who wrote a number of novels like this, and the book came recommended by one of my favourite podcasts – “The Watch” on the


Still Life

Chantal Weill – Co-owner at Hello Kelowna
Detective Gamache – Louise Penny

I would recommend any of the Louise Penny mysteries in the Detective Gamache series. It starts with Still Life and ends with Glass Houses. I like them because they’re the perfect blend of tightly, well-plotted mysteries in a richly developed character-focused world. It’s similar to TV shows like Broadchurch where its not as much about solving the original crime but what’s revealed about the townspeople along the way. I enjoyed the Gamache character as a tough-guy detective who still gets compassionate and thoughtful, it is almost comical. The town it takes place in also makes it interesting to me. It’s a fictional town called Three Pines but it is a thinly-veiled Lac Brome (Knowlton in English) in the Eastern townships just outside Montreal. It’s a place I loved visiting when I lived there.

All in all, it’s great comfort read for fall.

City of Thieves

Shane Austin – Co-found at Okanagan CoLab
City of Thieves – David Benioff

It was so good I read it twice!

The book City of Thieves completely took me by surprise. It was full of rich storytelling, dynamic and interesting characters, and twists and turns that kept me glued to every page. It shows you the struggle between darkness and light; entwined through the plot… opening your eyes and affecting your heart. Even though it’s fiction, it is based on historical fact. Knowing this type of tale occurred in the real world is enough to stir you. I guarantee that you’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, you might even cry. This is a treasured book that will play on your mind long after you’ve put it down. I couldn’t recommend it enough.


A Thousand Splendid Suns

Yvette Rasmussen – Owner at Okanagan Vagabonds
A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is an exquisitely written novel that provides a glimpse into the heart and soul of two Afghan women surviving the Taliban. Hosseini takes us on an exhaustive journey of despair, degradation and humiliation while allowing us to hang onto fading rays of hope and unexpected glimpses of humanity.

This book stole my heart, at times ripping it out of my chest. I believe this quote says more than I ever could about why women need to read this story. “I know that when this war is over, Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men, maybe more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated.” Chapter 16, p. 103. As women, this is a message we must share with our daughters. Bravery, resilience and dignity live when equality is a right, not a gift.


Wisdom Soul Startup

Megan Shallow – Social Media Expert at BNL Media
Janice Taylor – Wisdom Soul Startup Review

This book showed up in my life unexpectedly and had the biggest impact on me making the decision to take a leap and jump into an entrepreneurial journey. It gave me the courage to follow my passion rather than staying safe in a 9-5 job that was financially stable. When I read the book I felt she was talking directly to me, touching on points I didn’t even think belonged in business, such as spirituality.

Janice Taylor, the CEO and Founder of Mazu based here in Kelowna, wrote this inspiring, relatable, and grounding book. When a girlfriend took me to her book release last year, I instantly became inspired by Janice’s energy and story. She showed me that there is more than one way to thrive in the business world and showcased how the power of community and connection can impact the success of your life.

This book is a must-read for any entrepreneurs out there. Especially to women who maybe feel they don’t deserve to be successful and continue to engage in self-sabotaging behaviours that limit their potential for success. If you’re starting a start-up journey I recommend this book!  As soon as I started it I couldn’t put it down… and the fact that she lives here in Kelowna makes me so proud of the women that are changing the way business’ grow.


Ok, you’ve got a good reading list going now. Time to give chapters a visit, grab a pumpkin spice latte and prepare your fall book stack. Happy reading!

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