What says “slow autumn” more than curling up under a blanket, sipping on a hot cup of tea, and getting lost in a book? Intentionally stepping outside and enjoying this season to its fullest, especially before the storms of winter, is a healthy mindset to develop. But even when we are wrapped up in pure joy with pumpkin patches, apple picking, leaf peeping road trips, and last-minute vacations, sometimes our bodies and minds still need to slow down…take a breath…and have a rest.
I love nothing more than to get lost in a book, glancing up occasionally to watch golden leaves fluttering past my window. For the ultimate cozy, atmospheric fall, I love reads that hold a little bit of a deeper meaning, a hint of a darker ambience, and focus on some sort of troubled and tormented character.
Here are seven of my personal favorite books to read during this season.
1. Jane Eyre| Gothic mansions, tragic childhoods, forbidden love, and mysterious cries in the dark. Jane Eyre is an ahead-of-its-time novel, and you’ll discover something new each time you read it. In my opinion, the quintessential cold-weather read and perfectly paired with a hot cup of tea.
2. Northanger Abbey | Northanger Abbey is perhaps the more classic counterpart to Jane Eyre. Jane Austen’s most gothic (and fun) novel dives into the dark, grey gloom of more mysterious mansions, wild imaginations, Georgian teenage naiveté, and the lesson that not everything is what it seems. Read it outdoors on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
3. Sherlock Holmes | What better mystery to get lost in than one of those by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Sherlock Holmes will keep you bouncing back and forth between tension and laughter, which is why these stories require a deliciously long, free afternoon and perhaps a deerstalker cap for full effect.
4. The Name of the Wind | Slow autumn down with this intricately built, character-driven fantasy. Author Patrick Rothfuss is one of the greatest writers of our time and has written the start of a series that will have you both wondering what is happening while also keeping you aching for more. And if you’re not a fan of traditional magic fantasy but still enjoy a good fantastical world, this one is for you. Tuck away and read when you have time to give this story the attention it deserves. (Hint: Its sequel The Wise Man’s Fear is possibly even better.)
5. Frankenstein | The classic monster story minus the ghosts, ghouls, and witches if that isn’t your cup of tea. Pair Frankenstein with a cozy blanket, low lights, and a rainy autumn evening to invoke those spooky vibes. Suggestion: Listen via the audiobook version read by actor Dan Stevens. You won’t be disappointed.
6. A Monster Calls | Not much can be said about this short novel — not for its lack of pages, but due to the deep nature of content. A hauntingly stunning metaphorical, low fantasy novel centered around family and overcoming grief, this is one of those books I recommend to everyone I meet no matter what their reading preferences. Read in one sitting…and keep those tissues within arm’s reach.
7. Vengeance Road | This one is slightly out of trend with the others on this list, but a good western is the perfect vibe for fall. Think True Grit for young adults with a bit of romance thrown in. Admittedly, the book has its flaws, but if you enjoy young adult reads and want something a little different this season, give it a try. What I love most about this book is you can feel the author’s enjoyment for it in the writing. And that stunning cover. Read wrapped up in a cozy flannel and with a cup of coffee.
What are you reading this fall?
- I’ve linked these books to sites where you can read their full synopsis. However, if you’re looking for a more sustainable way to add to your book collection, online thrift sites such as Thriftbooks or World of Books are wonderful options for giving books new life and saving money as well. These sites buy books from libraries and/or charity shops and use 100% recyclable packaging on all of their orders. I’ve loved both of these companies and can’t recommend them enough. (Not affiliated with either of these companies.)