Three Ghoulishly-Great Fall Reads

As the leaves change colors, and the air grows crisp you notice Fall is near. Picture this: you’re sitting on campus outside of East College, basking in all its red-brick glory. The sky is completely blue, the trees are heavy with red/orange leaves, and a chilly breeze rustles the pages of the book in your lap. As the days grow shorter, nothing beats a good book, steaming mug of tea, and perhaps an autumnal candle—  the Capri Blue Pumpkin Clove Jar candle ($32.00) from Anthropologie is my personal favorite (but don’t bring candles into dorms!). My favorite Fall novels are reminiscent of the season: cozy, dark, hearty, melancholy, and contemplative every so often. Now is the time to put down your beachy Debbie Macomber novel and exchange it for something that perfectly compliments a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. Here are three autumnal novels, a classic gothic novel, a romantic bestseller, and finally, a young adult book, all guaranteed to make you want to recline with your dog or cat in your lap next to your fireplace, swaddle yourself in your thickest, comfiest sweater, and read for hours.

  1. 1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

    If you need a novel to put you in the Halloween spirit, Frankenstein (or, The Modern Prometheus) is the perfect book for you. Written by an iconic gothic author, Mary Shelley in 1818, Frankenstein tells the tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a young science prodigy who uses his knowledge of mortuary science to construct a “living” creature—  Frankenstein’s monster. Everyone knows the story of Frankenstein, or, at least they think they do, but what people who haven’t read the book don’t know is that it is structured as a story-within-a-story. It parallels the story of Captain Robert Walton, a young seaman with an insatiable desire to explore the North Pole, with Victor’s own story about his obsession with creating life out of inanimate objects and his decline into madness. If the story itself isn’t reason enough to peruse this book, maybe it’s empowered female author (the daughter of women’s rights advocate, Mary Wollstonecraft) will be! Frankenstein came to fruition when Mary Shelley visited Lord Byron, a renowned British poet, in Geneva, and he proposed a competition to see who could tell the best ghost story- obviously, she won! So, not only did she write a masterpiece, but Mary Shelley is a feminist icon who revolutionized the world of gothic literature, and opened the doors for female authors for generations to come. 

  2. 2. Autumn Getaway by Jennifer Gracen 

    Autumn Getaway is the first book in Jennifer Gracen’s Seasons of Love series, and the fact that it has yet to become a Hallmark movie is beyond me. Lydia Powell, a recently divorced single mom, is just starting to pull herself together when she is invited to her college roommate’s wedding at a hauntingly beautiful manor in Connecticut (picture tree-lined streets peppered with red, yellow, and orange leaves, and an eerie Victorian mansion) when she meets Sam. Now, if this doesn’t sound like the plot of nearly every movie aired during Hallmark Channel’s “Fall Harvest” streaming marathon, I don’t know what does! Autumn Getaway is one of those novels that makes you do a happy dance when a character emerges victorious, because you have become so invested in their lives (in the case of Autumn Getaway, love lives), and it is a harmonious blend of new beginnings, fallouts, and romance, the perfect novel to read in tandem with the changing leaves. 

  3. 3. The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle 

    While Fall is a beautiful, pleasant season for most, it isn’t for all. It is especially unpleasant for 17-year-old Cara, as her family suffers through an “accident season” every Fall. Every October, Cara’s family is at high risk for accidents—  they even go as far as to hide knives, pad sharp corners, and steer clear of electrical appliances in order to ameliorate any risk of severe injury or death. Despite their precautions, injuries seem to follow the family and October is the most dreaded month of the year. Cara doesn’t know why she is cursed, or why her family has to lockdown during the tenth month of the year, and she hasn’t the faintest idea how to break the cycle. The Accident Season is the perfect spooky young adult novel for Fall, as it has the complex elements of magical realism, but is still easy to read, and impossible to put down.