Book Recs: Fall Reads

Autumn is here! The scent of pumpkin spice and cinnamon is in the air, the days and nights are much cooler and shorter and even rainy, leaves are starting to change, my boots and blazers are popping up in my daily wardrobe, and there’s a strong urge in me to snuggle down under the covers with a book and a hot drink.

Although I’m an island girl from the Caribbean, I love the autumn season — for the things I associate with it (comfort, reading, pleasing scents, and colors), not for the cold — and look forward to its coming every year. I also enjoy reading spooky and atmospheric books around this time, so I’d like to share with you a few such books I’ve read.

I’ve divided my recommendations into three sections based on my reading moods for the autumn season. The first section lists books that give me a strong sense of the autumn season. The second section consists of lighter, fun reads that I associate with the season, and the last section lists dark, thrilling reads.

1602: Witch Hunter Angela by Marguerite Bennett & Kieron Gillen, illus. by Stephanie Hans

1602: Witch Hunter Angela is part of the Marvel 1602 comic-book series, which places the superheroes in the year 1602. I think the main series is written by Neil Gaiman and this bit on Angela is a spin-off. The story is about Angela (typically a goddess associated with the Asgardians) and her companion (and possibly lover), Serah, hunting Faustians, beings who made deals with a faery queen to gain power.

There is some darkness to the story that would fit the mood of autumn and Halloween months, as the story touches on the great sacrifices people make to get what they want — often for selfish reasons. And since the story involves a faery queen, the bargain to gain power does not often go as the humans or creatures expect. However, it’s really the color palette for the illustrations that make me think of autumn. They emphasize the darkness in the story and help to make it atmospheric. The variety of oranges, greens, and browns used makes me think of crisp, fallen leaves crunching underfoot in autumn.

Other books that give me autumn feels:
Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi (illus.) & Holly Black
The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
In the Dark Wood by Dale Bailey

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg (illus.)

Here’s a picture book about a widow named Minna who lives alone and one day finds herself in possession of a witch’s broom, which was left behind because the witch thought all the magic in it had ran out. But there’s just a little left to allow the broom to help Minna around the house. Too bad, though, that Minna’s neighbors do not favor the broom too.

It’s not the story itself that makes me think of the autumn months but the details included in the illustrations: there are pumpkins, the trees are bare, and there are lots of fallen leaves around. That plus the inclusion of witches and the odd broomstick just makes me think this is a good one to pick up when the leaves start to turn.

Here are Lighter books that give me cozy feels for autumn:
The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Kay O’Neill (illus.)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Ah, here’s one of my favorites. The Monstrumologist is a YA supernatural, historical-fiction novel about a 12-year-old boy named Will Henry who serves as an apprentice to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, who is a monstrumologist, a scientist who studies organisms commonly considered to be monsters. The story is relayed via Will’s diary entries dating back to 1888, when Will began his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop. Somehow Will survived until the year 2007, when he died and his diaries were turned over to the author of the novel — Rick Yancey.

This is the first in a quartet, and in this book we learn of the relationship between Will and Dr. Pellinore and follow along as they investigate a series of grisly murders committed by a fearsome beast. The academic nature of Will and Dr. Pellinore’s investigation, the exploration of monsters (both human and creature), the blanket of fear that surrounds the characters, and the settings (a cemetery and even an asylum) combine to make this a great read for the autumn months.

Here are some spooky, scary books for autumn:
Wytches by Scott Snyder, illus. by Jock
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (illus.)
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
The Shining by Steven King
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

If you have any book recommendations for the autumn months, whether they be spooky or cozy or just make you think of the autumn season, please leave them below. I’d love to know.

13 thoughts on “Book Recs: Fall Reads

  1. Talking of island folks and weather, I just attended a book signing by Kit de Waal and she told the story of her father, living in England but pining for St Kitts, who went “home” and almost immediately came back again, complaining it was too hot over there! Some interesting books here.


  2. I love the idea of The Widow’s Broom, that’s awesome. 🙂 I’m not sure what I’d pick for autumn, but given that Halloween is just around the corner I’m listening to an audiobook of Agatha Christie’s The Last Seance: Tales of the Supernatural. It’s an anthology of her stories that have supernatural elements to them, or at least make mention of it. Lots of fun, some very good stories in the bunch so far.


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