Ah, fall. The universe’s most beloved season because we are no longer sweating under the sun and have yet to freeze in the snow (or maybe that’s just me?). It brings about thoughts of pumpkins, crunchy leaves, woolen scarves, knitted sweaters, Halloween, and everything in between. I adore fall, because it feels like a fresh new beginning (obviously the start of a new school year has had an input on that idea). I wanted to give a list of fall reading recommendations, simply because fall is the season that most lends itself to themed reads, whether that be books that make you want to curl up in front of a fire, give you the shivers, or makes you want to solve a mystery! In the spirit of pumpkin spice lattes, I give you…The Cozy, The Spooky, and The Mysterious.
In a sentence…
The Wind in the Willows tells the adventurous tales of a small group of animals that has been beloved for over 100 years. It takes place in an English wood during the Edwardian era and it reminds me of an autumn walk through the valley, crunching leaves along the way and listening to the lives of the animals around you.
Read to my second grade class by one of my most favourite teachers, James and the Giant Peach is one of my most dear childhood memories. The magic and warmth of the friendship between James and his new friends will always bring joy to my heart.
I once made a promise to myself that The Tales of Beedle the Bard would be the stories I told my children before they went to bed at night. My personal favourite is The Fountain of Fair Fortune, but I also loved The Warlock’s Hairy Heart and The Tale of the Three Brothers, like any good Harry Potter fan should.
I first listened to the audiobook of Stardust, and it made me fall in love with the writing of Neil Gaiman and the way he melodically tells his stories. Stardust remains my favourite of his books to this day, and the magic of the stars continues to inspire me.
I always thought that Wales needed to have more of a presence in books, and with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I was delivered of my wish. Perhaps on the line between cosy and spooky, this book gives you a slightly eerie chill while simultaneously sharing the importance of friendship with those that let you be your pure, original self.
In a sentence…
Carmilla is unique in that while being the story of a vampire in search of a young girl, it doesn’t read like your typical horror story but instead flows with flowery, Victorian language. As a bonus, it’s also quite short, which is perfect for a chilling afternoon with the wind howling in the days leading up to Halloween.
The Wicked Deep verges on the line between spooky and mysterious, but the witchy aspect of its story wins out. It tells the tale of three sisters returning to the same town that murdered them year after year, searching for a new sacrifice for their revenge. Until of course, a boy from out of town arrives and has an ulterior motive in mind.
When Rory arrives at her new boarding school in London, she immediately gets pulled into the mystery of a series of murders that mimic those of Jack the Ripper. She finds a suspect, but is the only one that can see him…because he’s a ghost. If rainy, dreary London is the vibe you’re into, you’ll love The Name of the Star. Ghosts and ghost hunters – what’s not to love?
Macbeth was my favourite Shakespeare play to study in high school. It’s a classic for a reason, y’all. If murder, madness, bloodbaths, and witchery is up your alley…well, what are you waiting for?
Who doesn’t want to read more about the Salem Witch Trials? The Crucible was another of my favourites in school. It blows my mind that it’s based on real events. I still want to visit the real Salem one day. Perhaps at during the Halloween season…or maybe that’s a bit too spooky.
I just don’t think you can go through life without reading Frankenstein. It’s such a classic that I feel it forms a very crucial pillar in the world of literature. Frankenstein’s monster will always be high up on the pedestal of the best horror characters.
One of my favorite essays I ever wrote in high school was on the comparison of Jack, the leader of the boys on the island, and the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. My friends think I’m crazy for liking Lord of the Flies, but I think it has something really interesting to say about survival and social hierarchies.
1984 isn’t so much spooky because it’s a horror novel, but I find that the Big Brother concept is as shiver-inducing as a wolf howling at the moon or shadows in the night. Sometimes I think the modern age should look more to books like this to determine if the paths we are going down will ever be beneficial.
In a sentence…
The Circle is one of those books that starts out normal but then creepily sneaks up behind you. You don’t notice anything out of the ordinary until you’re 10 feet deep and desperately trying to stay afloat. It’s not gory, it’s not a thriller, but it says some interesting things about social media, privacy, and our ever-growing dependence on technology.
I actually read Gone Girl on the recommendation of a friend who has a very different taste in books than I do. But she insisted, so I gave it a try, and I am so glad I did. It’s a thrilling book and I’m amazed that I liked it as much as I did.
I really read The Girl on the Train because of how much I enjoyed Gone Girl, to be completely honest. I didn’t guess who the killer was at all, which is always the best part of a book. I would definitely recommend it if you aren’t quite familiar with the thriller genre but are keen to get a look in.
We all know that Robert Galbraith is the pen name of one J.K. Rowling, and I am glad she had the chance to venture away from the popularity of Harry Potter for a bit. At the time, The Cuckoo’s Calling was definitely out of my comfort zone, but knowing one of my favourite authors wrote it helped me bridge that gap into murder mysteries, and now I love them.
And Then There Were None was my first ever Agatha Christie novel, and while I’m disappointed I chose her best book to read first, I’m incredibly grateful for the introduction to the rest of her massive bibliography. I now collect them and am always in the mood for one of her books, but especially so during fall.
Scythe and its sequel Thunderhead are two of the best books I’ve read in 2018. Instead of being set in a dystopian world, the series takes place in a utopia where even death has been eradicated. So how to manage a growing population? By having specially trained scythes operate in the business of killing people, obviously. Because utopia hasn’t been done a whole lot, it’s difficult to predict the twists and turns of the plot, which is refreshing.
I couldn’t decide which category to put Three Dark Crowns in, but I think out of the three it has more of a mystery to it than anything else. By far my favourite fantasy series to be published in recent years, Three Dark Crowns follows three queen sisters who are raised to kill each other until one emerges victorious. The third book has just been released, which makes it perfect timing to binge the first three books this season.
What are some of your favourite books to read in the fall? Let’s chat in the comments!