Nothing quite enhances the Autumn-vibe for me as being curled up on the couch in the early morning moments of the day with a good book in my hands. A warm blanket tucked around me, my favorite cider-scented candle flickering on the table. A cup of steaming coffee within reach. The essence of a good book merging of two of my very favorite things – autumn and reading. Ahhh, it’s the best.
My list of books to-be-read (#tbr) is usually a mile long. But come this time of year, I am always rearranging things. I like to put the autumn-inspiring books at the top of the pile. Seasonal reading has several of advantages in my opinion. Usually I find that it can really intensify my appreciation for the changes happening around me. The shift in temperature, the leaves changing colors, the crispness in the air. It can definitely add a certain ambiance between the story and real life.
But when Mother Nature is not on board (like this week when it’s been 95+ degrees outside these first few days in October!), reading books with a fall theme or vibe can help create the illusion of autumn for me! I may not be cozied up under a warm blanket but a really good story has the ability to mentally transport me smack into the middle of an apple orchard in fall.
I love finding books that can take me to a place where it’s always autumn.
Also, with Halloween approaching, reading books that are suspenseful or mysterious can really get me excited for the season. I love a good page-turner this time of year. Throw in some unexpected plot-twists and consider me hooked.
So whether you are lucky enough to live someplace where fall is already in full swing or if you are stuck in a perpetual summer heatwave dreaming of autumn adventures – there ARE books that can put the right kind of seasonal magic in the air. So sit back, relax, and grab yourself a cup of your favorite fall beverage. I’ve put together an Autumn-vibe inspiring reading list to keep you in the mood all season long!
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
-Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Cider House Rules by John Irving
My dad introduced me to John Irving’s books in my early adult years. I have always found his novels to be unique, thought-provoking, and quirky. I’ve read several of his books and this one has always been my favorite.
Set in rural Maine, this coming-of-age story that is both tragic in some parts and joyous in others. Thick with delicate moral undertones about life and society, family and parenthood, abandonment, adoption, and abortion. This is may not be the best choice for the faint of heart. The characters are well-developed, humane, odd but likable, and full of idiosyncracies (as Irving’s characters always are). What better way to enhance the vibe for fall than a New England autumn setting, complete with apple orchards, a cider house, and a powerfully compelling story about finding your own way in a not so black-and-white world.
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
My virtual book club read this book a few months ago and in hindsight, perhaps we should have saved it for this month. While I’m not usually a fan of paranormal/ghost story stuff, this book is well executed and I was drawn right in to the intriguing mystery.
Set in rural Vermont, the haunting story alternates between 1950 and 2014. It revolves around a boarding school with a chilling history. In the 50s, Idelewood Hall was the place where troubled young girls got sent away. In the present day, an aspiring journalist with an unhealthy obsession for the abandoned school learns of plans for its restoration. Two decades earlier, her older sister was found murdered on the long vacant school property. She is unconvinced that the right person was convicted for this heinous crime. She decides that writing an article about the restoration will allow her to investigate deeper into her suspicions and hopefully find more answers about her sister’s death.
This is an eery crime drama, murder mystery thriller, with an intricate story line that is surprisingly easy to read and keeps you guessing all the way through. A perfectly spooky story for this time of year.
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
I was in middle school when I first read this unusual classic. The adventures in time and space strangely stuck with me ever since. A few years ago, I decided to re-read it and that was a very nostalgic experience. There are powerful themes of good and evil, light and darkness (of a soul), and fear as an ultimate weapon. Love, hope, and courage ultimately prevail making this a valuable lesson no matter the age of the reader.
This book is a sci-fi, coming-of-age, fantasy novel full of strange magical characters and mystical new dimensions. It truly suits this season well. I highly recommend it. Especially to anyone who loves YA (young adult) fiction, the sci-fi/fantasy genre, or is looking for a nip of nostalgia.
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
My book club selected this a few years ago as our October read and it was a great seasonal choice. It was a real page-turner for me with a rapid moving plot that I enjoyed very much. I’ve read some amazing reviews about it as an Audiobook. So if you are in the market for that option, I would encourage you to give this one a try. It is a plot-driven book with a multi-layered story, well-developed characters, and enough mystery to keep you in suspense.
College student Joe Talbert has to interview and write a brief biography of a stranger for a class assignment. He chances his luck at a nearby nursing home where he finds a willing participant, Carl Iverson. A dying Vietnam veteran, who also happens to be a convicted murderer. He has been medically paroled after 30 years in prison for the rape and murder of a teenage girl. As Joe interviews Carl about his life, he struggles to piece together the duplicity of him. As a valiant war hero and as a reprehensible convict. I don’t want to give you any spoilers to ruin the story – it’s a good one!
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This book surprised me. Mystical creatures – witches, vampires, and deamons aren’t typically my thing (with a HUGE exception of Harry Potter because I loved every single thing about those books). I wasn’t sure what made me enjoy this book so much. I think it was that it’s actually pretty engaging, suspenseful, and ultimately entertaining.
It is like a mature version of Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1) mixed with something more along the lines of The Da Vinci Code. Yet it feels totally original. It’s a strange concoction of history, science, academia, and alchemy all mixed up in fantasy, romance, and magic. Don’t be intimidated by it’s length. It truly is a fun/easy read that pairs up perfectly with this time of year!
I hope this list leaves you feeling inspired and well on your way to enhancing your autumn vibe this season. Can’t wait to hear if you choose any of these to add to your #tbr pile this year.
And I would love to hear what’s on your autumn reading list – please share with me in the comments!
p.s. Looking for a fun way to connect with long distance friends? Maybe consider an autumn-inspired buddy read!