With Labor Day behind us and back to school season in full swing, it's the perfect time to invest in a good book — or several— and committ to readerly pursuits. After all, the arrival of autumn means that the light will be less harsh, cozy throw blankets will start to re-circulate around the house, and you'll still be able to comfortably read outdoors (just don't forget those extra layers). 

The start of fall is also a great to reflect on any standout books that you might have escaped into over the summer, if any.

I tore through a diverse through: A lurid best-seller from the 1950s ("Peyton Place by Grace Metalious),  a super-intense tale of teen obsession from the 1970s ("Endless Love" by Scott Spencer), a mid-century guide to housekeeping and entertaining (Mary and Russel Wright's "Guide to Easier Living"), and the wonderful "Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction." This coffee table-ready tome from Metropolis Books pairs gorgeous architectural photography — this is beach house porn at its finest, folks— with expertly researched text (courtesy Christopher Rawlins) to paint a complete picture of the prolific yet obscure New York-based architect, Horace Gifford. I adored it. (More, including a slideshow, on "Fire Island Modernist" can be found over at sister site Treehugger).

With the months ahead in mind, below you'll find a few forthcoming and newly released titles worth checking out. It's an eclectic bunch, for sure — topics range from passive houses to green prefabs to suburban planning— with thoughtful text and pretty pictures in equal measure. Is there a design/architecture or gardening book that you're particularly looking forward to spending some quality time with this fall?

"Back to the Cabin: More Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway" by Dale Mulfinger (Taunton Press) 11/8

"Building for the Future: An Introduction to Passivhaus" by Justin Bere (RIBA Publishing) 10/1

"Paradise Planned: The Garden Suburb and the Modern City" by Robert A.M. Stern, David Fishman, and Jacob Tilove (The Monacelli Press) 12/3






"Green Architecture Now! Vol. 1" by Philip Jodidio (Taschen) 11/1
"The Sustainable Asian House" by Paul McGillick (Tuttle Publishing) 10/8 
"Modern Modular: The Prefab Houses of Resolution Architecture 4: Architecture" by Joseph Tanney, Robert Luntz (Princeton Architectural Press) 11/12








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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Fall 2013 reading list: 10 green design tomes
Fall 2013 reading list: 10 green design tomes