Perfect Autumn Reads

When I think about autumn I think about Dark Academia, Halloween, chilly evenings and misty mornings. Based on these vibes I selected six books I loved and I think are perfect to read during autumn, with a warm cup of tea in your hand, cuddled under a blanket while it's pouring rain outside. They were all 4 or 5 star reads for me. Even though some books might have some scary vibes, none of them fall in the category of Horror, since I don't like Horror at all haha. Here is what a got for you:


- an adult fantasy with ghosts

- a YA contemporary set at university

- a graphic novel set at a pumpkin farm

- a dark academia drama

- a scary children's story

- a dark minded classic



1. NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo


My first recommendation is NINTH HOUSE, which I am currently rereading. The story is set at Yale university during autumn and winter. It's a book about ghosts that gives you chilly vibes without being a spooky horror story.


Be aware, this book has some triggering topics: assault, rape, murder, trauma and PTSD.


synopsis: Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?


Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.



2. FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell


FANGIRL is another book set at university, but has no spooky vibes at all. I just link autumn season to the new school year. This book is perfect for introvert bookworms (like me).

Fangirl was one of my favorite reads of 2020. If I had the time I would have definitely reread it during autumn, but a reread will have to wait until next year...


synopsis: A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.


Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan..


But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.


Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.


Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.


For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?


And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?



3. PUMPKINHEADS by Rainbow Rowell


I got another Rainbow Rowell recommen-dation for you! It might seem like I am a big Rowell fan, but these two books are actually the only ones I read by this author.

PUMPKINHEADS is a graphic novel, a format I love but don't read enough. It is set at a pumpkin farm in autumn, so no better month to read it than October! I read it in only one hour, so it's perfect to cuddle up in a blanket by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate while it's raining outside, and read it in one sitting!


synopsis: Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.


Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.


But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.


Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .


What if their last shift was an adventure?



4. STONER by John Williams


STONER is an academic novel and a more tough read. This is mainly a recommendation for adult readers that like literature that's more character than action driven. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you can open your mind for the slow storytelling you will find yourself getting very invested in the character and he won't leave your mind for a few days.


synopsis: William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.



5. CORALINE by Neil Gaiman


You may know the title better from the animated movie of the same name. I watched the movie before reading the book and loved both! I really can't say which one was better. CORALINE is a scare story for children, but can be enjoyed by people of all ages. I listened to the audiobook on Scribd, which I can really recommend! It's narrated by the author Neil Gaiman himself and you can feel that there's no person who knows the story better than him when he is telling it to us.


synopsis: The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....


In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.


The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.


Only it's different.


At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.


Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.



6. CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger


This book is as much disliked as praised. I read it for school (fortunately, because I don't think I would have picked it up otherwise). It's another very character driven book, which I love, but it's not for everyone. Don't start this book if you know you don't like characters that whine a bit and spend a lot of time in their own heads. If you do like that kind of stories, read it! It's a rather short story so you won't waist a lot of time with it.


synopsis: The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.



I hope I gave you some reading inspiration! Enjoy.


Love,

Janne

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