As classes begin and the workload grows, I’m already wishing for summer to return or for winter to get here as quickly as possible. It's easy to forget that despite the overwhelming stream of tests and reports, autumn has its perks too. To help entertain you this semester, I have listed seven books from a wide variety of genres that will keep you in the spirit of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all things fall.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Inspired by a collection of mysterious vintage photographs, Riggs creates a world of time-travel, invisible monsters and super-powered children. This fantasy novel follows Jacob Portman, who travels to a small Welsh island to understand the truth about his grandfather’s life and the circumstances of his death. He ends up discovering more than he intended, including an abandoned home for supernatural children. Jacob’s journey and the photographs that accompany it are guaranteed to haunt and intrigue you. Also, the movie adaptation in 2016 was directed by Tim Burton, and if that doesn’t convince you of how unsettling this book can be, I don’t know what will.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Easy to read and heart-warming, this graphic novel tells the story of the last autumn that best friends Deja and Josiah spend as coworkers at a pumpkin patch in Nebraska. However, instead of spending Halloween mourning the end of their time together before college, Deja decides to help Josiah finally talk to his crush, but it’s easier said than done. The crazy adventure that follows, along with the novel’s beautiful artwork, is the perfect read for this fall season and will fill your heart with a cozy feeling.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Set during Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain, this poignant novel recounts the experience of living in this era through various points of views. Ruta Sepetys doesn’t shy away from the horrors brought on by Franco’s dictatorship and draws on research articles and authentic experiences to develop her own story and characters. While reading, the book will transport you into a time of secrecy, where the truth is often not what it seems. The themes of fear, mystery, and family provide the perfect mood for the season and the story will keep you hooked the entire time.
Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe (Editors)
In this short-story anthology, fifteen authors write unique stories about diverse witches who are defiant and overcome the obstacles in their lives in their own ways. Each story takes place in an original setting, but feminism and empowerment are present throughout the narrative all the same. This book is an entertaining Halloween read and will leave you inspired by the strength of these young witches.
Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
A small-town psychological thriller, this novel will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat the whole way through. Kacey only recently moved to Broken Falls, but she already finds herself in a close friendship with Bailey and Jade. However, distance suddenly overcomes them, and before Kacey can question why, Bailey goes missing. Now everyone is searching for answers to what happened, and they keep expecting Kacey to provide them. Full of suspense and with a dark ending you won’t see coming, this book provides the perfect mystery to read this Halloween season.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
If you’re feeling nostalgic or in the mood for a good cry, add this childhood classic to your TBR pile right now. Whether you had to read it in elementary school or simply just saw the film, this book is well-worth the re-read. Following the friendship of two children as they create an imaginary world for themselves in the nearby woods, this short novel will enchant you with a story of friends, family, and growing up. Warning: Have a box of tissues nearby. Trust me, you’ll need it.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
It would be a crime to not include at least one novel by the Queen of Mystery on this list. In this classic, we follow detective Hercule Poirot as he tries to solve a murder case and catch the killer while traveling on the train where it was committed. Agatha Christie never disappoints with her intricate plotting and well-placed clues that will have you theorizing the entire time. If you still haven’t picked up this famous novel, this is the perfect time of year to do so.
So this season, whenever you get a break between assignments and want to curl up in bed with a good read, pick up one of these books and get ready to feel that autumn mood!