Today I am bringing you list of some favorites (and books on top of my TBR) that I associate with Autumn… Some will make more sense than others. But first! A book haul:
I went to a bookstore this weekend for the first time since February and picked up some books that I’ve been wanting for a while. I finally picked up a copy of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, in this Barnes & Nobles edition that I ADORE. Since this is set around the Christmas season, I heavily associate it with late fall/early winter so I’m really hoping to pick it up soon in the spirit of the season. I also got my hands on this lovely Penguin edition of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! I first read this in high school and it immediately became one of my favorite books. It definitely gives some spooky vibes as well, so Autumn is a perfect time to reread this or pick it up for the first time. I also finally picked up Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, The Secret History by Donna Tartt and The Idiot by Elif Batuman. The Idiot is definitely more of a summer vibes book in my mind, but the aesthetic is serving some major pastel-fall vibes. Ninth House and The Secret History are definitely giving all the fall vibes with a dark-academia aesthetic. I’ve really been craving some emerging adult fiction, so I’m hoping to read these soon. I also bought a couple of quarantine reads: Intimations by Zadie Smith and The Book of Delights by Ross Gay. Intimations are some essays that Smith wrote over the first few months of quarantine, so although it is small, I have no doubt it will deliver some interesting perspectives about our current moment and some nostalgia for those first weeks of this new normal. The Book of Delights is more of a pick-me-up book. I recently went to one of Gay’s (Zoom) Author events and it was, how can I say,,,,delightful. He is such a sweet and positive person and I’ve heard this is a really fantastic collections of small and big delights in life.
Now for some more books to squeeze all the autumnal vibes out of these final weeks:
1984 by George Orwell
This book is about a man living in a repressive regime, and is creepy in an oh shit way, which makes it perfect as election day sneaks upon us. (Although depending on the outcome on November 4th, this may hit a little too close to home.)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I recently read this on audio and I was blown away. This book is not quite scary or horror, but gives all the creepy, supernatural vibes. It’s autumnal and creepy but also bright and nostalgic, like a sepia filter. It begins with a man, back in his hometown after a long time away, when he begins driving back towards his old home, without really knowing why—but he doesn’t go home, he goes to the house of an old friend and neighbor. And while there, he begins to remember strange and sinister events of his childhood. This was my first taste of Gaiman and I was struck by how well he was able to master the wonder and fear of childhood.
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
This book was, how I say, unsettling. In a good way. It’s a long one—the audiobook, which was the format I read, was almost 25 hours, and I believe the physical book hits over 700 pages. It was a beautifully crafted story though, and takes place from August-December, making for a great autumn read. It follows Christopher and his mother, who is fleeing an abusive relationship and begin to start over in a rural Pennsylvania town. Christopher goes missing for 6 days and when he returns, strange things start happening all over town. Christopher’s story begins to intersect with others throughout the town, as the community becomes creepier and creepier. This is probably the first downright scary book I’ve ever read. The ways in which the multiple perspectives intertwined was incredible and had me hooked until the very end.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Never Let Me Go follows students at Hailsham, an English boarding school. As they grow up, the story becomes more and more unsettling—there is something amiss. It’s hard to talk about this book without giving spoilers, but if you like mystery, dystopian, or literary fiction in general, this is your sign to pick it up!
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
I can’t just not talk about this book. Unpopular opinion but I actually really enjoyed it when I read it a few years ago. If you like mysteries and are interested in getting into the thriller genre, this is a perfect stepping stone. This is a YA thriller about a young girl who moves from Hawaii to a small town in Nebraska—but soon, her classmates begin to die in gruesome murders! This book has quite a low rating on goodreads so I do want assert that if you’re already a thriller reader, you will probably NOT enjoy this one. But if you’re like me, who was new to the genre a few years ago, you may enjoy picking this up.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Romance, Pumpkin Patches, and Best Friends wanting the best for each other? We truly love to see it. Need I say more? If you’re looking for something fluffy with all the fall vibes, look no further.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
This is the Pumpkinheads for the queers (I’m kidding! but also not really). There was SO MUCH wonderful queer rep in this book, and some disability rep as well. This follows Nova, a witch, who finds her old friend/childhood crush Tam, a non-binary, werewolf behind her house. The two reconnect and devise a plan to battle the evil that is lurking in the woods behind Nova’s house, with some help from Nova’s friends and grandmothers! Overall it was so cute, and is there anything more autumnal than withes and a mid-autumn festival?
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This graphic novel is 5 short stories that are creepy, unsettling, and ambiguous. If you’re a horror fan new to graphic novels, or a graphic novel fan who is new to the horror scene, this would be a great delve into that new genre!
Supermutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
Something about magic just makes me think of Autumn. This book is full of one-page comic strips set during high school of Supermutant youth. I ADORE this book. It is cute, funny, magical, and sweet.
Some other books I associate with Fall that I’m hoping to read in the coming season is Night Film by Marisha Pessl, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore by Robin Sloan, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Which one do you recommend starting first? What books do you associate with Fall?