BLOGTOBER Day 6: Autumn recommendations
I think it’s safe to say that autumn is here to stay. Here in the UK the weather has been all over the place this year – it got hotter much earlier than it normally does and stayed hot until the last few days of September – but since October began it’s been solidly blankets, cardigans, and a cozy time.
I’ve seen a few people posting their autumn reading recommendations over the past few days, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. These ten books are ones that are perfect to read in autumn (but aren’t too spooky, as my spooky Halloween recs will be coming a bit later in the month!).
A Far Away Magic by Amy Wilson
A Far Away Magic is a middle-grade Beauty and the Beast retelling.
Angel has just had to move to a new school following the death of her parents, where she meets Bavar. Angel is drawn to Bavar even though no one else seems to even notice he exists, and he’s happy about that.
All Bavar wants to do is fade into the background where he can be left alone to deal with the issues he’s having with his home life: namely that both of his parents have abandoned him, and he’s been left in charge of a magical rift which he must guard to stop monsters getting through and killing all of humanity.
Just average problems, right?
The cover is probably the main reason that this book gave me autumn vibes, but Angel and Bavar also walk home from school together a few times and nothing reminds me of autumn more than that; catching up with friends you haven’t seen all summer, dragging out the minutes until you have to head home. Who knew I’d end up feeling nostalgic for walking around in the early evening, shivering!
I was considering putting this in my spooky recommendations because the monsters are pretty terrifying, but it definitely gives me more of an autumn feeling than a scary one.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Although Pip starts her Extended Project entries in August, I’d highly recommend reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder in the autumn months. There’s just something about crime thrillers that make them the perfect books to read when the nights are drawing in and the weather is taking a colder turn.
In A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder we meet Pippa Fitz-Amobi, who decides to investigate a closed murder investigation which never made much sense to her. Before long Pip knows she’s onto something, as someone starts sending her anonymous threats, and why would anyone threaten her if there wasn’t more to the story than meets the eye?
I also highly recommend Holly Jackson’s second novel, Good Girl, Bad Blood, and I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series too.
All The Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle
All The Bad Apples is another book that could easily fit onto a spooky recommendations list, as there are some supernatural elements to this story.
In All The Bad Apples we follow Deena, whose older sister Mandy is missing, presumed dead. When Deena receives a letter from Mandy her family think she must have sent the letters before her death, but Deena is sure it means that Mandy is alive and is out there waiting for her.
Travelling across Ireland following Mandy’s letters, this novel jumps backwards and forwards in time telling the story of each of the prior generations of the Rys family. This is a heartbreaking novel which shines a light on some of the darker aspects of Ireland’s past – particularly the Catholic workhouses, where young unmarried pregnant women were forced to hide in shame – making it educational as well as enraging. It’s impossible to read this without feeling a feminist fire spark in your heart.
Something about Moira Fowley-Doyle’s book covers really says autumn to me – I think it’s the gorgeous ginger hair of the model on the cover – but the setting is also perfect for reading in the autumn months. Deena and her friends travel through the night, through storms and spooky settings, to try to find the truth about Mandy, and the setting is so vibrantly described that it really sends a shiver down your spine.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Emergency Contact is one of those books which hits the spot between YA and Adult perfectly.
Penny has just started college when she meets Sam, her roommate’s step-uncle. He’s having a panic attack on the street after finding out that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, and Penny swoops in to save the day.
Exchanging contact details, they promise to be each other’s emergency contacts: if Sam has any more panic attacks, Penny will be there; if Penny needs help with college then Sam will do what he can.
When characters start college in novels it always reminds me of autumn. The beautiful campuses with the leaves turning orange and the rapidly approaching Christmas season makes these books perfect to read when you’re getting ready for the holiday season yourself.
Fairy Keeper by Amy Bearce
It has been a long time since I read Fairy Keeper, but something about this lyrically beautiful middle-grade novel really reminds me of the autumn months.
Perhaps it’s the fairies who live in hives in the trees almost like bees, where their keeper Sierra tends to them and collects their nectar. Or perhaps it’s the cross-country adventure when all of Sierra’s fairies mysteriously die and her fairy queen disappears.
The world of Aluvia is magical mystical place, and each of the books in the series corresponds perfectly to a season: the second book in the series, Mer-Charmer, is the perfect summery read, while the third book in the series, Dragon Redeemer, has an epically wintery cover (so I’m hoping to read it during the Christmas months this year and finally finish off the series!).
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
If you decide to watch the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House then you should definitely wait until closer to Halloween, because the adaptation of this book is 10x scarier than the story itself. I couldn’t resist putting this popular classic on this seasonal recommendations list, though, because I think it’s one of my favourite classics of all time.
The Haunting of Hill House is unsettling. I wouldn’t necessarily call it scary, because everything that goes on is psychological, but if you’re someone who lets things play with your mind easily then this is going to be an uncomfortable read for you.
Following four eccentric characters (an occult scholar desperately searching for evidence of a haunting; his assistant; an unpopular woman called Eleanor; and the future heir of Hill House, Luke) it’s difficult to see which direction The Haunting of Hill House is heading in until it gets there, because all of the events are baffling and disconnected until it all comes together at the end.
The Netflix adaptation is a different story – the group of strangers are switched for a family who are haunted in more ways than one – and I actually think I might like it more than the novel, but Shirley Jackson has a way of writing that is perfect to read in dark, chilly seasons.
IT by Stephen King
I should probably save this and put it on my spooky recommendations because I think it’s going to get much scarier – I’m only 200 pages into the story at the moment – but I’ve definitely picked the best time to read this novel. It is chunky (my edition comes in at almost 1,400 pages) but the first chapter features a torrential storm, flooding, a yellow rain mac and wellington boots… Definitely autumnal attire!
If you don’t know anything about IT where have you been?! There’s a creepy clown called Pennywise terrorising the town, and a gang of friends team up to take him down. I’m not scared of clowns which is probably why I’m not finding it scary so far, but the film adaptation of IT gave my mum a lifelong hatred of clowns, so who knows how I might feel by the end of this book…
So far, I’m really enjoying this tome. The first 200 pages are focused on establishing the story of Pennywise, who has been terrorising the town of Derry in Maine every 27 years like clockwork. During the last spell of deaths, a group of friends made a promise that if bad things started to happen in Derry again then they would all head home and take It out for good. They’re held to that promise by Mike Hanlon – the only one of the group who decided to stay in Derry – and head home to try to break the curse on Derry.
I’m always scared of reading huge books, but this one has been such an easy read so far. Stephen King might write long novels, but he knows how to make them flow beautifully, and the pace in this book is kicking up a notch every fifty pages or so. I have no idea how he’s going to make things last for almost 1,200 pages more, but I’m looking forward to discovering it!
Loveless by Alice Oseman
I’m featuring Loveless for pretty much the same reason as Emergency Contact, so if you’re looking for more YA that bridges the gap to Adult beautifully then I’d recommend picking up Alice Oseman’s most recent release.
Loveless is another novel following a character as they move to university and start learning how to live life away from their parents and their home comforts, but protagonist Georgia is learning to deal with more than most.
When Georgia starts university she’s determined that she’s finally going to fall in love with someone. She’s the only person from her sixth form who has never been kissed and is fed up with being the butt of the joke, so she decides that things are going to change at uni. That plan ends up falling flat on its face, however, when Georgia discovers the meaning of the terms asexual aromantic and discovers how deeply she relates to them. Now, instead of trying to find a boyfriend, Georgia is trying to find the best way to tell her friends and family that she isn’t heterosexual and explaining what exactly this new identity means.
The Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens
If you haven’t started the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries series yet, the autumn is the perfect time to do so. The first book, Murder Most Unladylike, is set in October, and in it we meet Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong and join the Detective Society as they investigate their first murder. Later on in the series there are also books set on Bonfire Night and at Christmas, so if you aren’t fussed about reading them in order – or feel like binge reading them, because they’re just that good! – then this is definitely the series for you.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Now you’re all looking at me thinking, “that’s a bit of a stretch” right? I know I ALWAYS recommend Red Rising – it is my favourite book of all time, after all – but I always associate it with autumn in my head. It might be because the first time I picked it up it was November, or it might be because of the focus on the red colour palette – coppers, auburns, reds, this book screams leaves changing colour (and other things changing colour, too).
If you haven’t picked up Red Rising yet, I don’t know what to do with you. I’ve been yelling about this book since 2014. Just go and read it!
I hope you enjoyed these autumn recommendations!
Let me know down in the comments which books you love reading in the autumn months. I’d love some more books to add to my autumn TBR.