It doesn't matter if you've spent the last few months complaining about the heat. Now that the warm-weather days are numbered, I bet you've started staring wistfully at your summer wardrobe and wondering where the time went. The changing of seasons can come with mixed feelings, but there's nothing to help you get ready for chilly Autumn days like a good book. Whether you're looking to lean into the cosy vibes and curl up with a gripping novel, or embrace that September back-to-school feeling with a non-fiction read full of ideas to help you achieve your goals, there's something out there for you. Books are also the ideal form of escapism at times when the political climate feels especially fraught. So there's really no excuse not to bury your nose in a good book. And if anyone asks, you're simply practicing self-care.
With that in mind, I've gathered together seven of the best reads to help you embrace the end of summer and get excited for the months ahead. From enthralling murder mysteries and stories about family secrets to heartwarming royal romances and seriously sweet baking books, whatever you're after, there's something to quench your book-reading thirst. So get stuck in.
'Slay In Your Lane: The Journal' By Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinené
The companion to 2018's essential reading, 'Slay In Your Lane: The Journal' builds on the blueprint that the OG Black Girl Bible laid out. And this time it's tailored to you. As well as bringing nuggets of wisdom from influential and inspirational black women, it invites you to map out your vision, tap into your own magic, and thrive — whatever that may look like to you.
'The Things We Left Unsaid' By Emma Kennedy
If you're still hankering after heatwave weather, nothing will cure you of that longing like Emma Kennedy's debut novel. It sees main character Rachel move back into her family home during a stiflingly warm summer. While there she grapples with painful memories, the shadow of her mother's success, and things long left unspoken.
'Baking With Kim-Joy '
Nothing says cosy quite like a good baking session, and those wishing to take their creations to a whole new level of cuteness should look no further than 2018 Bake Off Contestant Kim-Joy's new cookery book. In it she details how to recreate her signature sweet treats, complete with glitter, woodland creatures, and lots of rainbows. If you're in need of a load-lightening hobby you can do at home, this could well be it.
'Royal Holiday' By Jasmine Guillory
If you love all things Meghan Markle but find reading about her in the press deeply disheartening, then Royal Holiday is the novel for you. Inspired by Markle's mum Doria Ragland, the new read from romance author Jasmine Guillory follows Vivian Forest, the mother of a fashion stylist, who tags along on her daughter's trip to the UK to work with a royal. While there she finds herself wrapped up in an unexpected romance.
'Grand Union' By Zadie Smith
Autumn can be a hectic time as things pick back up after summer's slower pace. For those set to be booked and busy, with just enough time to dip in and out of a good read, Zadie Smith's new short story collection is just the thing. Spanning more genres and themes than you'd imagine possible, Grand Union is perfect for big thinkers with little time on their hands.
'The Unexpected Return Of Josephine Fox' By Claire Gradidge
There's nothing I enjoy quite so much as a good murder mystery with a woman detective doing the sleuthing. And if it's a period novel, even better. I find they make for ideal low-stakes escapist reading in these challenging times. With that in mind, why not try The Unexpected Return Of Josephine Fox by Claire Gradidge? Which ticks all of those boxes and more.
'We Have Always Been Here' By Samra Habib
As seasons go, autumn can feel like a time of greater change even than spring. If the new season has left you feeling a little lost within yourself, then find comfort and strength in Samra Habib's memoir We Have Always Been Here, about rediscovering her faith, reconciling it with her queer identity, and learning to love herself for exactly who she is.