Summer is all well and good, but autumn has always been my favourite season. I can already see leaves turning brown, the sky darkening just that few hours earlier, the mornings getting colder. In the words of Ms Taylor Swift, August really has slipped away like a moment in time…
With the chillier, darker, cosier months up ahead, I put together my must-read book list; eclectic, with lots of variety and my favourites to enjoy with a cup of tea on a cold day.
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Dracula is the essential classic that helped spawn the modern vampire that we know and love from YA series like Twilight and Vampire Diaries. Inspired in part by the earlier ‘Carmilla’, a gothic novella by Sheridan Le Fanu, ‘Dracula’ explores the concept of ancient evil, the ‘threat’ of female sexuality and salvation. Although some of the ideas are quite dated, ‘Dracula’s gothic setting and chilling story set against familiar British locations make it one of my favourite books.
THE YA FAVOURITE:
Legendborn, by Tracy Deon
Legendborn is a BookTok fan favourite, with themes of race, magic, legacy and heritage. It follows Brie Mathews as she navigates her pre-college classes-while battling demons and exploring the mystery of her mother’s death. The dark academia-esque setting of a historical society in early autumn makes this book perfect to read this time of year.
THE MODERN CLASSIC:
His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman
His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman, is a modern classic for a reason. Pullman excels at worldbuilding and creating memorable characters, and it is near impossible not to immerse yourself in Lyra’s world.
THE GRAPHIC NOVEL:
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa
The CAOS series on Netflix was a firm cult favourite…until the rushed and underdeveloped last season. Thankfully, we can still follow Sabrina Spellman’s story as a young half-witch in the form of graphic novels. Chilling Adventures follows Sabrina Spellman, a young witch nearing her 16th birthday, tackling teen angst, romance and magical forces.
Although the show is set more firmly in the modern day with 60’s/70’s elements and aesthetics, the graphic novel is set in the 1960’s. The gothic, Halloween vibes are very strong and perfect for a cosy day in.
THE FANTASY FAVE:
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
As the movie version of this novel was a favourite when I was younger, this book brought back a lot of nostalgia. 'Stardust' is better suited for older and adult readers, and is chock-full of magical creatures, incredibly inventive characters and mesmerizing worldbuilding.
THE CONTEMPORARY YA’s:
The List, Siobhan Vivian
The List is a super readable, relatable commentary on the Beauty myth and societal pressures placed on teenage girls, following a yearly list posted every September, naming the ‘ugliest’ and ‘prettiest’ girl in each year group. The List contains elements of mystery, suspense, friendship and relationships, and contains content on eating disorders, sexism and bullying.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a cult classic for a reason- heart wrenching and honest, this book is not only painfully raw but also perfect for the autumn months- maybe it’s the nostalgia attached to the book itself, the infamous ‘infinite’ drive, or the relatability of navigating school.
THE EDUCATIONAL ONE:
Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
For fans of mythology, ‘Norse Mythology’ is the perfect Autumn read. It retells ancient myths in a funny and easy-to-digest way, with Neil Gaiman’s distinct voice bringing the stories to life.
Hopefully this list gave you some recommendations for cosy, interesting, engaging books to read this autumn. For more recommendations, check out Prerana Manoj's article; 10 Books to Read to Help YOU Get Out of a Reading Slump (theteenmagazine.com) or Valentine Marselou's The Books That Got Me Into Reading (theteenmagazine.com)