It’s finally autumn! Though you wouldn’t believe it in London – currently, I’m sitting outside writing this in 24 degrees Celsius with the sun shining. There’s something melancholic about it, knowing that this may well be the last of the summer sun before long, dark nights of cold weather (and hopefully a little bit of winter sun!)
Today I’m going to be discussing my autumn book recommendations (some I’ve read and some I haven’t) – those books that just emulate autumn to you; cosy vibes under a blanket, to be read by candlelight as the nights get longer and colder… I see a theme throughout these books that a lot of the novels I love to read in autumn are all books where the setting plays a huge role in the story! Think Yorkshire moors, the foggy streets of Victorian London…
Let me know down below what books you would recommend for autumn and whether you’ve read any of the ones I mentioned!
This is one of the books that I haven’t actually read yet, but from everything I’ve heard about this story, I can tell it would be absolutely perfect for an autumnal read. A gothic read, centering around a Victorian ghost story with a haunted mansion setting = the ideal book for Hallowe’en.
I almost feel like Wuthering Heights was made exactly for autumnal days. The only novel written by Emily Brontë is one of my absolute favourites for a cosy weekend read! The desolate Yorkshire Moors pose as the perfect autumnal setting – a character in this Gothic novel within itself.
This is the first of two Jack the Ripper books to be featured on my autumn book recommendation post. I searched for ages to find a true and accurate account of the Jack the Ripper case as it was something I desperately wanted to learn more about. Often called one of the best accounts of the history of Jack the Ripper (without any sensationalism), this is a fantastic and well-researched account on the Whitechapel Murders that I cannot wait to read.
I read this book last autumn and I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time. This book is researched to absolute perfection and is incredibly fascinating. Though it is a non-fiction account of the witch trials in Salem in 1692, there are aspects of the book (particularly the envrionment and the journey of the characters) that feel almost fiction-like in their beautiful description. This book will shock you and make you think on how a 1692 Salem can still be reflective of our society today.
The Crucible is my favourite play by Arthur Miller and it ties in VERY nicely with the book mentioned above (The Witches by Stacy Schiff). I’ve studied this book twice in school, read it for enjoyment after I finished school, watch the film starring Daniel Day-Lewis countless times and have also seen a theatre adaptation of it. This play made me realise that the Salem Witch Trials period in history is one of my favourite of all time, prompting me to buy The Witches by Stacy Schiff which features the same factual historical events and real people that went through this.
I wonder how many times on this blog I can actually gush about Frankenstein by Mary Shelley without it getting ridiculous? If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you’ll know that not only do I love Mary Shelley as an author and feminist icon, but I also love all her works and they don’t get any more autumnal than Frankenstein! If you don’t know the story of Frankenstein (where have you been?), it tells the story of Victor Frankenstein who creates a hideous monster during a science experiment. The elements of horror in this Gothic novel make it the perfect Hallowe’en read!
Another Gothic literature read… (is there any surprise that there’s so many on this list!) I have not yet read this book, but from everything I’ve heard about Angela Carter and her incredibly dark imagination, I know that this would be the best read for autumn. Full of moonlit forests, wolves howling in the night, gothic castles and candlelight, Angela Carter’s work was heavily inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (who might perhaps be the epitome of autumnal reads for me).
I’ve never actually read The Woman in Black – though I have seen the theatre adaptation and the film adaptation too! I recently read The Travelling Bag and Other Stories by Susan Hill earlier in the year and I absoluetly fell in love with her writing and ghost stories. The suspense and terror I felt when reading her ghost stories collection was exactly how I need to feel for an autumn and Hallowe’en read.
The second book on Jack the Ripper in my autumn book recommendations list and this is one that I’ve been meaning to buy for AGES! This book centres around the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper and I’m very excited to read a book that talks about the lives of the victims, rather than giving so much attention to the actual perpetrator. It’s worrying to think that I know so much about the killer, but know nothing whatsoever (not even their names) about the women he killed. It’s a common misconception that all the women Jack the Ripper killed were prostitutes, but this was not the case and this book explores that.
I’ve wanted to read Daphne du Maurier books for a long, long time and I didn’t think there was a better time to do this than the colder and wilder months of October and November. Rebecca has been voted the nation’s favourite book in the past and I’ve heard a lot about it, however The House on the Strand is one that I haven’t heard too many people talk about but that sounds equally interesting and spooky. Have you read any Daphne du Maurier books before? Which books do you recomemnd I start with?
Need I say more? All four of these books are absolutely perfect for this time of year, but I would particularly recommend The Hobbit. The descriptions of autumn in The Hobbit are absolutely perfect and nevere fail to put you in the clear autumn air with golden light and foliage all around you. Apparently 22nd September is even Hobbit Day, according to the American Tolkien Society, as it is the day on which Bilbo and Frodo were both born!
Thanks for reading!
Love, Zoë xx