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3 Books to Channel “Dark Academia” Energy This Fall

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emmanuel chapter.

Content Warning: This story mentions mental illness.

With fall officially in full swing, all I’ve been wanting to do is hibernate in my bed with a good book. This season also makes me feel more like myself, because I have endless opportunities to wear skirts with tights, big sweaters, and doc Martens! As the temperature drops I become infatuated with everything that has to do with the dark academia aesthetic. Suddenly, all I want to do is study in the library and buy used books. If this sounds like your vibe for the fall, there are a few key books to get you in the spirit!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar is the most deserved book to be at the top of this list. Sylvia Plath’s writing will both enchant and horrify you, which is a perfect mixture for spooky season. The novel follows a young college girl, Esther, and her mental health struggles. Esther moves to New York City for a summer internship at a magazine. She feels out of place, and uncertain of her life path. The famous fig tree analogy is originally from this novel, and for any young person it remains incredibly relatable.

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Also about a college student, Selin is a freshman at Harvard studying linguistics. The novel follows her complicated relationship with Ivan, and explores the beautiful setting of Boston in many different seasons. The two both have feelings for eachother, but neither know how to express them or communicate properly. As wonderful as Batuman’s writing is, it’s equally as frustrating to watch the two refuse to admit their feelings and torture themselves for no reason.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottesa Moshfegh

My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a very popular book, and for good reason. The main character, who remains unnamed for the entire book, is a recent graduate from Colombia. She feels disillusioned from her life and the world around her, and sets out to hibernate. By increasing her dosage of sleeping medication from her irresponsible Psychiatrist, she begins sleeping for longer and logner periods of time. The book has many twists and turns, and certainly leaves a bad feeling in your stomach. It’s not an easy read, but it’s one that will make you think, and relate to the narrators feelings in ways that may surprise you.

Aine Hoye

Emmanuel '25

Aine is the editor of Emmanuel College's Her Campus chapter. She's an English major, and loves reading in her free time. HC has been a huge part of her life since her first year of college, and she's loved every minute!