Dappered Classics: Four Books for the Fall

Books well worth your time and shelf space.  Four of them this time.

Originally Published 10/14/11

Summer reading lists get all the attention, but with the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, fall is the season to crack open some new reading material.

“When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi” by David Maraniss

Fall means football, and Lombardi is football. In this excellent bio, Maraniss captures the complexity of Lombardi without dismantling the myth.  More than just a book about a football coach, this is a book about a great American life.


“The Nick Adams Stories” by Ernest Hemingway

Even when he’s writing about the tropics, Hemingway has always seemed to me to be the quintessential fall writer. His stories have a streak of melancholy, to put it very mildly, that fits well with changing seasons. This collection pulls together the stories that follow Adams’ coming of age, from kid to soldier to parent. It includes a number of famous, must-read works such as “The Killers” and “Big Two-Hearted River.”


“The Worst Journey in the World” by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

This story of Scott’s doomed Antarctic quest told by the youngest member of the party will help put the coming colder weather in context. Cherry recounts the endless Antarctic night and temperatures so cold teeth cracked in mouths, which should take some of the pain out of having to scrape off the car windows in the morning.  More than just a tale of harrowing adventure though, this book stands as a masterful testament to scientific exploration and human will.


“The Rum Diary” by Hunter S. Thompson

Fall also calls for escapism, in this case booze-soaked island madness. With the movie version coming out at the end of the month, now is the perfect time to read Thompson’s early novel. This book is loosely based on Thompson’s own experiences fleeing New York in 1960 to write in Puerto Rico and it shows the spirit of his later works.

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