This morning, I woke up to the sound of wind running through the trees, of a gloomy gray sky, and of grass wet with rain from overnight. The house felt cooler, and I grabbed a sweater to take my dog out for his morning constitutional, where we were met with the first hint of the coming crisp air. It couldn’t have been a more welcome first day of autumn.
I love the fall season the most—its warm colors contrasted by the cool weather, the shorter days and longer nights, cozy sweaters and hot cups of coffee. It’s also when I’m feeling my most focused creatively. Where some people are mood readers, I’m very much a seasonal reader.
Though I read voraciously year-round, I find I do my most interesting reading in the fall. Below I’ve listed six books perfect for fall reading. (Fear not, worrisome reader. None of these titles are particularly scary, albeit a bit spooky.)
Autumn Ali Smith
The first in Ali Smith's Seasonal Quartet, Autumn is filled with stunning sentences, unique characters, and beautiful details of autumn in the U.K. Smith's Seasonal Quartet can be read in any order, but as it's now fall, why not start with the first?
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
You may be wondering why a middle grade book about football is on this list. For starters, adults can (and should!) read middle grade fiction. There are beautiful books being published for middle grade readers that you're missing if you think you've aged out of the genre. Secondly, Before the Ever After is a stunning novel-in-verse about the impact professional football has on the body and mind of its players. Football permeated my home growing up every fall, and reading this book was an emotional journey I didn't expect to take.
Melmoth by Sarah Perry
Warning: This book has spooky vibes, but it isn't outright scary. Sarah Perry's Melmoth reads like a classic in the making as we follow Helen and many others on the road to discovering who or what this dark-robed figure is, traveling the globe in search of people responsible for some of history's worst moments.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
I put Celeste Ng's debut novel on here because, while it's a poignant family drama, it is also a mystery—and for those wishing for some atmosphere without the middle-of-the-night spooks, Everything I Never Told You is the perfect fit.
Lanny by Max Porter
A strange novel from the author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Max Porter's Lanny takes place in a village outside of London where the mythical figure Dead Papa Toothwort may or may not be real, and may or may not be listening in on the life of a young boy named Lanny.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The classic gothic novel everyone should read once in their life. Atmospheric, suspenseful, and an ending that'll leave chills running down your spine, Rebecca is the perfect fall book to read by candlelight.