Instead of a recommending novel to read this month, I am going to suggest a cookbook. This is not an ordinary cookbook filled with just recipes and pictures, but rather a book that has both of those things along with some decorating and entertaining ideas, as well as suggestions on how to enjoy this time of year. The book is Autumn by Susan Branch.
It was originally published in 2004, but the 10th anniversary edition was released this year by a different publisher. Although it is reportedly the exact same book, according to Susan's website the new edition includes an attached ribbon bookmark like some of her other cookbooks have. I'm sure that it only adds to the charm. I have the original edition, and I love to pull it out each September to help usher in this time of year. I often leave it out on my coffee table as part of my seasonal decorations. In addition to writing several cookbooks and authoring another book about her 2 month trip to rural England, Susan Branch is an accomplished watercolor artist. Her books are printed in her own handwriting and are filled with her artwork on almost every page. She said that the inspiration for this book came from her "daily walks through the color dappled woods to the sea, birds winging their way south, woodsmoke on the wind, leaves turning and drifting from the trees...". Her words make you want to join her for one of those daily walks on Martha's Vineyard followed by a cup of tea at her kitchen table. Simply opening the book to enjoy her art is a treat in itself, but enjoying the seasonal recipes with your family and friends is an added bonus. As the author herself states "Cooking is the perfect way to keep the house warm". Paging through this book and implementing any of the ideas it offers is the perfect way to warm your soul and welcome in the colorful and cozy season of autmn.