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Mental Health

9 Fictional Autumn Reads You Can Find in UCLA’s Libraries

Though we love fall for the abundance of pumpkin spice flavors and piles of leaves to jump in, there’s still that lingering feeling of melancholy that we just can’t quite escape. With each passing day, the warm California evenings start getting chillier and foggier, and I’m left wanting to snuggle up inside! In the event that we get that rare SoCal rainy day, you’ll definitely want to cozy up with a good novel. Here are some book recommendations that encompass all the moods and themes that Autumn has to offer.

Books that capture the somber essence of this season:

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This novel used to be the bane of my existence in high school. It was assigned to me as my final book report during junior year, but after re-reading it, I fell head over-heels for Dumas’ writing. The Count of Monte Cristo follows the laborious and cruel journey of a man attaining revenge on the people closest to him. If you’re in a lamenting mood, this is definitely a read for a cold Fall evening. 

2. Hamlet by Shakespeare 

A classic tragedy that we’re all familiar with. If you’re in an brooding mood or just want to connect with the epitome of teen angst that is Hamlet, then head over to Young Research Library for this classic read.  

3. Atonement by Ian McEwan

I’m not going to lie, this book will suck out any ounce of happiness that midterms season didn’t already take from you. Every dark and upsetting transition in this novel stems from betrayal, unlucky circumstances and terrible people taking advantage of those around them. Warning: This novel contains experiences of sexual assault. 

Familiar books that transcend into all of our shared childhoods:

4. Scary Stories To Tell in The Dark by Alvin Schwartz

No childhood was complete without getting this treasure at the elementary school book fair. You’ll definitely have a yearning feeling to turn back time while re-reading this compilations of short creepy tales. I recommend reading it by candlelight for that extra spook factor. *Bonus* In 2019 there will be a film adaptation of your favorite creepy tales, so now is the perfect time to brush up on them!

5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Before the addicting Harry Potter series was published, there was The Lion, the With and the Wardrobe. This amusing tale will take your mind on a journey, back to the years when you too pictured yourself being the hero of a grand story. Try reading this in your closet for that realistic experience! Don’t blame me if you find a spider or two. 

6. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Before Edward Cullen, there was another attractive immortal teen, and his name was Tuck. Most of us experienced this mysteriously beautiful tale about the the costs of living forever. If that’s not of huge interest to you, then perhaps the light love story will be.

Books dealing with death and growing from the experiences that life has to offer:

7. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

Most people wouldn’t consider A Midsummer Nights Dream when thinking about growth. But if you think about it, the tale begins with young, naive people who are caught up in the dramatic threads of love and jealously. Though they go through extreme and unrealistic trials, they come out with different perspectives. Warning: This tale contains misogyny and sexual assault.

8. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

Experience and life have strange ways of piecing you back together. Follow the story of a man who’s had his share of tragedies in life piece himself back together with the help of a quirky woman and her small, warm family. 

9. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

Even though the main character is a pre-teen, this novel has something to teach everyone at any age. It’s filled with harsh life transitions that push us to strive for the dreams we’ve dared to achieve. Whether you’ve got your life together or are still figuring things out, The Alchemist is a novel that everyone should experience. 

                                         A UCLA student takes a break to re-charge in Powell Library.

No matter what mood you’re in, I totally recommend taking time back for yourself to recharge during this busy time of year. Curling up with a good book may not solve all of your problems, but it certainly helps heal the soul when you can relate to these fictional characters. 

UCLA 2020 Pamela is a Feature Writer for the UCLA Chapter of Her Campus. When Pamela isn't stressing over exams you can find her obsessing over skin care routines, reading POC-centered novels, and attempting to exercise. 
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