Changing leaves, the brisk air, apple-picking, cozy sweaters… Autumn has officially begun and it always feels like a demarcation point, not unlike the first day of school. I want to buy a fresh set of pens, notebooks and get back to work! Aside from Lagging Indicators-related projects and an outline for my next novel, there are so many new releases and happenings that I’m excited about. Fall offerings tend to be more sober and cerebral, encouraging introspection and providing deep sources of inspiration. Creating an inviting home and work environment is also essential to finding energy as the days become shorter and darkness envelops us. Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to this season!
Since I’ll be spending more time inside, sitting at my desk and working on my computer, burning scented candles will make the space feel less claustrophobic and bring the outdoors in. Woodsy aromas like these–with a dash of pumpkin–make me feel like I’ve taken a walk in the forest.
Some trendwatchers have declared that pumpkin spice has reached its peak, but not for me! I love nothing more than treating myself to anything infused with it. The Swedish pepparkaka is technically a gingerbread cake, but it has a zesty, peppery taste that reminds me of pumpkin spice (and I only bake it in the fall and winter) so I’ve included it in the mix.
Although I live in Sweden, I consider it my civic duty to vote from abroad. I’m looking forward to filling out my absentee ballot and voting in the US Midterm Elections on November 6th. Don’t forget to register to vote. You can register from outside the United States too.
Now, on the culture! The arts, entertainment and literary events premiering this Fall are exceptional. In an ideal world, I would go/read/see everything, but these are my highlights.
If I could only read one book this autumn, it would be Michelle Obama’s Becoming. She was such an inspiration and role model as First Lady and continues to sprinkle fairy dust on us with her words of wisdom. I have a feeling that since she and former President Obama are no longer in government, she can be more forthcoming. I can’t wait to read more about her journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House!
The Fall reading list is filled with so many other thought-provoking books from favorite as well as debut authors.
Settling into a movie theatre with a box of popcorn is one of my favorite Fall activities. These are a few upcoming movies that have caught my eye: Creed II, headlined by Michael B. Jordan—also reunites Sylvester Stallone with Dolph Lundgren—will be a fun watch with my kids; Widows, starring Viola Davis, to see with my husband; Bohemian Rhapsody because I grew up listening to Queen and Freddie Mercury’s life story fascinates me; and The Hate U Give based on Angie Thomas’s best-selling novel will be important viewing for the whole family.
Five years ago, the Hilma af Klint exhibit broke attendance records at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. This groundbreaking Swedish female artist began creating bold abstract paintings in 1906—years before her male contemporaries—but she didn’t get the recognition she deserved. I hope her show at the Guggenheim Museum will be just as popular and introduce her work to a whole new audience.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was the soundtrack when it came out in 1998. I’m thrilled she’s doing a 20th Anniversary Tour and that she’s coming to Stockholm on December 10th. I’ll be checking this one out with my daughter!
In between all this stimulation :), I’ll squeeze in relaxing weekends by the fire with my family in the Swedish archipelago. What are you looking most forward to this Fall? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!