Fall has come to Ohio full swing. Full swing. It’s my favorite time of the year, and I LOVE it when it shows up in my books.
Because of that, I decided it’s time for a list of books that reflect my love of fall AND my love of reading. For me, a good autumn read has darker themes, fall’s bright and muted colors, maybe some rain, and possibly something of the supernatural, I guess because of Halloween. If I’m lucky, the book may have some harvest going on, because that’s fall. Also, because of the time of the year, novels with school in them seem quite prevalent.
Check out my list and see if you agree with my picks, and drop me a comment if you think there are some in your top eight that I missed!
My 8 Great Autumn Reads — in no particular order
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Richard Pappen leaves his dreary West Coast family for a small Vermont college–partly because he falls in love with the thought of autumn in Vermont. There he is accepted into an exclusive major in Classics with an even more exclusive group of friends that he follows willingly into a psychological thriller. Beautifully well written and interesting, if a little long and rambling.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I LOVE this book, especially for fall. The story begins pretty much on a college campus in the fall, and winds through Europe back and forth through time easily. Much of it takes place in the fall, AND it is a search for Vlad the Impaler’s grave, using historical facts to bring this eerie, spooky story to life.
- A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness. This is my all time favorite adult series. The first book starts at Cambridge (England) at the beginning of fall term, with all its rainy weather and eager students, and then travels over to upstate New York for all the fun of autumn in New England, including apples, jack-o-lanterns, and finally culminating with Halloween. Through in witches, vampires, and daemons — it’s the perfect autumn read!
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’m not really sure why I consider this book to be an autumn read (are there parts of it that take place at Harvest in Massachusetts? Does the circus maybe appear in the fall?), but I do. Maybe it’s the mystery of the whole story, and the magical quality of it all, but it reminds me of fall.
- The Cider House Rules by John Irving. Much of this book centers around apples and cider and harvest time. About the rules of life, and how those rules change and vary according to classes and cultures, but that morality should be the basis for everything. Beautifully told, and one of my all time favorite books.
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. When a autumn carnival arrives in Green Town, James Nightshade and William Halloway, both 13, seem to be the only ones noticing the eeriness of it all. They learn that Mr. Dark, the ring master, can grant wishes for anyone, although there is always a dark price to pay, and that many in the town are willing to pay it. A wonderful, eerie classic full of spooky, foreboding fun.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, Book 1) by JK Rowling. Really, any of the Harry Potter books. Back to school and all that North England or Scotland, hilly, autumn splendor. Quidditch, sweaters, robes, and big scarves. It all screams fall, and the onset of colder weather. And, of course, magic.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The Brontës are some of my favorite Gothic authors, and I could have picked any of their books. They all scream autumn and then winter: the falling rain, the dampness, the bone-chilling eeriness of them all. But Emily won this one, although Charlotte was close behind with Jane Eyre.
Now you have a starting point, so get out your slippers, a fuzzy blanket, and a mug of tea and get reading!