15 Books To Read During The Fall, Because They Perfectly Capture The Autumnal Spirit
The season of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, crunchy leaves, and cozy sweaters has finally arrived, which means it's time to shake those beach novels out of your reading list and decorate your nightstand with something a little more festive. I have 15 books that should only be read in the fall, for those of you in need of suggestions, so don't worry if you haven't changed up your seasonal TBR just yet.
Fall is my favorite season, because it means the summer heat is finally behind us, and we have nothing but the holidays to look forward to. Autumn is a time to chill out and refresh yourself, knowing that you've made it through another year on this space rock. Being from the south, I have grown up with fall seasons that last only a few short weeks, so I'm all about making those orangey, pumpkin-spiced days count. And with Fall 2017 projected to be warmer than average for most of the U.S., you'll want to read while the reading is good.
'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt
I'm a big believer in reading campus novels during the fall and winter, and the twisty, murderous stylings of Donna Tartt's The Secret History bring the perfect air of mystery to your fall reading lineup.
'Fever Dream' by Samanta Schweblin
Sure, there's Halloween to come in October, but fall brings a naturally spooky mood when it blows into our lives at the end of the year. With a strange and unnerving story told from an isolated hospital, Samanta Schweblin's short novel, Fever Dream, makes a great accompaniment to autumn's moody chill.
'Behold the Dreamers' by Imbolo Mbue
I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but would you just look at the color palette used for the cover of Imbolo Mbue's Behold the Dreamers? This dreary but beautiful story about two couples attempting to weather the 2008 financial crisis will set a somber mood for your fall.
'Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe' by Kapka Kassabova
Fall makes you want to stay close to home, maybe even indoors, where you can curl up with a good book and a hot beverage. You can still travel, though, so long as you pick the right reading materials. For a new adventure, check out Bulgarian-born writer Kapka Kassabova's Border, in which she revisits the country of her birth, decades after the end of Soviet rule.
'The House of the Spirits' by Isabel Allende
In keeping with the spookiness of fall, make sure Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits is on your nightstand this season. This family saga centers on the descendants of Clara del Valle, a Chilean woman whose psychic powers allows her to predict the misfortunes that will befall her family.
'The Mothers' by Brit Bennett
Spring might be the official season of renewal, but fall has always felt more refreshing to me. There's a comforting sense of things being brought full-circle when the leaves change. A circular novel that should definitely be on your fall TBR is Brit Bennett's The Mothers, in which a young woman must return to her hometown and reunite with the best friend and former lover she left behind, who have since become involved with one another.
'The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls' by Anton DiSclafani
Fall brings both nature and school to the forefront, but finding a novel that focuses on both can be a challenge. Thankfully, Anton DiSclafani's The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is here, melding Blue Ridge landscapes with a boarding-school setting for a story you won't soon forget.
'The Accursed' by Joyce Carol Oates
Fall is the season for nostalgia, so let's go back. Way back. Back to a time when Woodrow Wilson was still the president of Princeton University, and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is a brand-new book. This is the world of Joyce Carol Oates' 2013 novel, The Accursed, in which Princeton families learn of a curse upon their houses.
'Salvage The Bones' by Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward set her National Book Award-nominated novel, Salvage the Bones, against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina, but this story has enough tension and heart to keep your attention while the bad weather rolls in.
'Uncommon Type' by Tom Hanks
Fall's nostalgia turns us all into hipsters, to some degree. But to really fall into the vintage-obsessed spirit, you need a book like Tom Hanks' Uncommon Type, a collection of short stories united by a common element: the typewriter.
'After the Bloom' by Leslie Shimotakahara
Full of fall's reflective mood, Leslie Shimotakahara's novel about two Japanese-Canadian women living in the aftermath of internment should be in your bookbag this season.
'The Revolution of Marina M.' by Janet Fitch
The fall of 1917 gave birth to the second half of Russia's revolution, which provides the backdrop for White Oleander author Janet Fitch's 2017 novel, The Revolution of Marina M. Set to be published 100 years to the day after Russia's October Revolution, this one shouldn't be left out of your fall reading list.
'Night Film' by Marisha Pessl
Unlike many of the other books on this list, Marisha Pessl's Night Film is actually set during the fall. This mystery novel begins with a body discovered on an October night, a body that turns out to belong to the director of grisly cult films.
'A Small Revolution' by Jimin Han
Jimin Han's A Small Revolution blends the decidedly fall feeling of college romance with the tension of a horror-thriller. After taking a tour of 1980s South Korea with other college-bound Korean-Americans, Yoona returns to her studies with a romantic interest on the horizon and a kinship with that boy's friend. But when a car crash kills one of her new acquaintances, Yoona lands in the sights of the other, who has grown delusional with grief.
'Another Brooklyn' by Jacqueline Woodson
In this semi-autobiographical novel, Brown Girl Dreaming author Jacqueline Woodson transports readers back in time and space to 1970s Brooklyn, where her protagonist, 11-year-old August, bonds and grows up with three other girls: Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi. The memory of Another Brooklyn captures fall's retrospective nature, so be sure to get it on your nightstand before winter rolls around.