To me autumn is the perfect season for reading. Cosy weather, even cosier clothes and darker days make for the best reading setting. Also who doesn’t love some cosy if not slightly spooky reads in the later months.
I wanted to do a post similar to this but just for Halloween reads, but I realised way too late that I basically haven’t read many horrors/thrillers or creepy books for an entire post. So instead I’ve decided to talk about five of my favourite autumnal books.
These books are not necessarily set during the season, but they have that certain feeling that reminds me of autumn.
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Every time I think about books with a ‘cosy’ vibe The Raven Boys is always the first that comes to mind. I know this book is technically set in summer (I think) but it has a real autumn feeling to it.
I’m not entirely sure why it has that feeling for me because I read the first book during spring but even then it felt incredibly cosy. Even though I haven’t finished the series yet I really find the characters and the books that I have read very comforting.
As per usual with books I love I am finding it very difficult to explain why I love them. Basically if you haven’t read The Raven Boys yet, where the hell have you been? I was super late to the party and I’m annoyed that I didn’t pick up the series sooner. I may attempt to read the next book at some point this month, however I am spectacular at putting off this series because I don’t want it to end.
Goodreads synopsis: “It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”
The Hazel Wood series by Melissa Albert
*This was going to be just about the first book but I realised too late that I didn’t have a decent picture of it.*
The Hazel Wood is a chilling contemporary thriller that takes what we think we know about fairytales and bends them into a world of brutality. I didn’t know what to expect when I first picked this up, but I read the entire book in one sitting as I could not put it down.
These books sit more on the creepy side of autumnal reads which is why I love it so much. I don’t think I’d ever really read a thriller until The Hazel Wood, but it definitely got me into the genre.
Now they aren’t scary books, but they do have a chilling atmosphere. I know a lot of people really didn’t like the first book, but it has a certain magical quality to it that I really enjoy.
Goodreads synopsis: “Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away-by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.”
Season Of The Witch (The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #1) by Sarah Rees Brenan
Nothing says autumn quite like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Although this is set during summer it definitely has autumnal vibes because well it’s about witches.
Just like the show this book has plenty of spooky situations. With spirits and spine-tingling meetings with the beloved characters of the show this is a super fun and quick read. It was really interesting to get an insight into some of the first encounters between the characters.
Season of The Witch is a perfect autumnal read that makes for a great accompaniment for the show.
Goodreads synopsis: “It’s the summer before her sixteenth birthday, and Sabrina Spellman knows her world is about to change. She’s always studied magic and spells with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda. But she’s also lived a normal mortal life – attending Baxter High, hanging out with her friends Susie and Roz, and going to the movies with her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
Now time is running out on her every day, normal world, and leaving behind Roz and Susie and Harvey is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Especially because Sabrina isn’t sure how Harvey feels about her. Her cousin Ambrose suggests performing a spell to discover Harvey’s true feelings. But when a mysterious wood spirit interferes, the spell backfires in a big way.
Sabrina has always been attracted to the power of being a witch. But now she can’t help wondering if that power is leading her down the wrong path. Will she choose to forsake the path of light and follow the path of night?”
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Now this is a creepy book. It does take a while to really get going but when it does you are completely hooked.
I have never read anything like this before. The characters are deeply complex and the underlying mystery surrounding them even more so. You really cannot predict where the story is going, but you don’t want to. I found myself so wholly gripped with the story and just how purely horrifying it was that I didn’t have space in my mind to think ahead.
If you are a lover of thrillers then I really recommend Burn Our Bodies Down. But do be warned that it takes some time to get going.
Goodreads synopsis: “Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.
But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.
Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?
The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.”
All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
This was a recent read for me and I really liked it. The way in which it was written was very interesting. Again I am saying this has an autumnal feeling because it’s a thriller and I feel like thrillers should mostly be read in autumn.
Below is an excerpt from my recent review. Read it here.
Throughout the entirety of the book, you saw very small glimpses into the future. These should have felt like spoilers as they were giving away very important information, but they actually didn’t. The inclusion of these felt detrimental to the flow of the story and how it was written and I must say I really liked this style.
I definitely recommend picking up this book if you are looking for an intense thriller.
Goodreads synopsis: “Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation.
Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere.
September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.
Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to.
As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?”
Let me know your favourite autumnal reads in the comments!
WANT TO SEE WHAT I’VE BEEN READING LATELY? CHECK OUT MY GOODREADS HERE
Like this post? Why not read this one too: What I Watched: October 2021