Fall brings shorter days, leaves changing color, and cooler weather. During this time, nothing is more comforting than a warm blanket and a good book — maybe even a woodsy candle and a cup of hot chocolate or tea. Fall books come in as wide varieties as the changing leaves. For example, you can read a campus novel that will give you back-to-school vibes. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a creepy classic or witchy romance to put yourself in the Halloween spirit.
Some of my favorite books in fall are those with vivid descriptions of the outdoors – the foliage, frost nipping the air, and all the autumnal vibes oozing from each page.
Fall reads can be just about anything and a mixture of everything – spooky, lighthearted, serious, or smart reads. So no matter what you’re in the mood for, you can’t go wrong by selecting one (or some) of these books for fall and wrapping yourself in their autumnal worlds.
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic, and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric. It’s also a novel about how we explain the world to ourselves, ourselves to others, and the meaning of our lives in a universe that remains impenetrably mysterious.
Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson
Part fairy tale, part mystery, part coming-of-age novel, this novel tells the story of Isobel Fairfax, a girl growing up in Lythe, a typical 1960s British suburb. But Lythe was once the heart of an Elizabethan feudal estate and home to a young English tutor named William Shakespeare, and as Isobel investigates the strange history of her family, her neighbors, and her village, she occasionally gets caught in Shakespearean time warps.
Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
First published in 1862, Lady Audley’s Secret shocked readers because it dared to suggest that beneath a perfect surface a woman might be willing to lie, con, and even kill for the life she wanted.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding New York Times bestseller transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Two starcrossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in The Night Circus, the spellbinding New York Times bestseller that has captured the world’s imagination.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. It is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England’s West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin.
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Last Night I Dreamt I went to Manderley Again…
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew.
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
A historical novel set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
This breathtaking debut, winner of the Costa First Novel Award, is a murder mystery that travels across the Atlantic and through the darkest channels of history. A brilliant, searing depiction of race, class, and oppression that penetrates the skin and sears the soul, it is the story of a woman of her own making in a world that would see her unmade.
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children’s stories, beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe.
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
By turns savage, suspenseful, and intensely moving, The Buried Giant is a luminous meditation on the act of forgetting and the power of memory.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyen
Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
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