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Heidi Shaffer, Published October 10 2013

5 Things Friday: Five fall books you shouldn’t miss

Editor’s note: “5 Things Friday” is a weekly feature in SheSays that runs on – you guessed it – Fridays. It focuses on quick tips, ideas, activities and more – all in bunches of five. If you have a “5 Things Friday” suggestion, contact us at shesays@forumcomm.com.

FARGO – As summer fades to fall, my reading list reflects the change.

I put aside my “easy reads,” set on beaches and far-flung vacation spots, and I’m ready for some serious and deep literature.

Here are five books I’m looking forward to tucking into this fall:

1. “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini was released earlier this year, and the best-selling author looks like he’s created a strong follow-up to “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns.”

The recent release is again set in Afghanistan, and I’m hopeful the plot focuses on strong female protagonists as it did in “Splendid Suns.”

2. “Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri went on my pre-order list as soon as the release date was announced this summer.

Pulitzer Prize winner Lahiri, known for titles like “The Namesake” and “Interpreter of Maladies,” again takes readers to the streets of Calcutta for “Lowland.”

Early reviewers gave the book glowing praise, so I hope I’m equally satisfied.

3. “The Circle” by Dave Eggers just hit shelves on Tuesday, and while I’ve read mixed reviews on the book, I’m going to wait and make my own judgments.

Both “Zeitoun” and “What is the What” from Eggers top my all-time favorites list, but I couldn’t fall in love with “A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius” the way so many of my book-loving comrades did.

4. “The Night Guest” is a first-time novel from Fiona McFarlane, and it’s a bit of a departure from what I’d normally choose judging from its description as a crime thriller.

But Amazon.com promises, “This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about aging, love, trust, dependence, and fear.”

We’ll see.

5. “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai is the book I’m most looking forward to cracking.

The only work of non-fiction on my list, “I Am Malala” is the memoir of the teen who garnered international headlines after she was shot in the head in October 2012 by the Taliban for standing up for girls’ rights to education.

I’ve followed her story through journalists’ eyes for the past year, and I can’t wait to hear her thoughts on the ordeal and her miraculous recovery.

Readers can reach Forum features editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511