Fall is upon us! It’s raining, it’s chilly, and I have a cold, and those are all the surefire signs that fall is a thing.
Top Ten Tuesday is a thing created by www.brokeandbookish.com and there’s a new prompt for every Tuesday and you just get to make top ten lists, which is fun because I get to yell into the void about my favourite things (raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…).
Today’s prompt is Top Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes, but that’s a lot of slashes, friend, so I condensed it for you.
- It’s so cliché, I know, but Harry Potter is just perfect for fall (especially Philosopher’s Stone). You have a cozy castle, delicious atmosphere, and there’s almost always a mention of the Halloween feast. Besides, Scotland is stuck in eternal fall (I can confirm this. I was in Scotland one June and it was definitely fall there.). There’s also the feeling of going back to school or going back home whenever you open one of the books. (Because you go back home around Thanksgiving, if you live in North America.) (Aside: Happy Thanksgiving! Last weekend was Thanksgiving for me, because in Canada we do Thanksgiving in the right month, although an October Thanksgiving might just be because in many places up here we have snow in November and Thanksgiving is more of a rain/crisp leaves time of year.)
- Six of Crows has a very fall cover to me. I don’t know if it’s just me, but as soon as the leaves start falling, I start noticing crows everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The colours of the cover are also very fall-y, with red and black, and fall feels like a time for heists and criminals, what with the deliciously dreary weather and the cold winter wind biting at your bones. (Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere. My sympathies.)
- Also, fall is the time of Halloween, and Halloween is the time of ghosts, so The Diviners by Libba Bray is definitely something to read in the fall. The first book is keep-you-up-all-night spooky. It’s about the ghost of a serial killer being summoned back from the dead in 1920s New York and it’s one of my favourite books of all time. It has it all: creepy nursery rhyme, freaky ghost, incredible atmosphere. It’s also the first in a four-book series (the latest book, Before the Devil Breaks You, just came out a few days ago), but the first book is definitely self-contained enough for you to pick it up.
- In the vein of serial killers, Stalking Jack the Ripper is also an excellent fall choice. It’s set in foggy Victorian London (fog is fall-y), and it’s about a girl training to be an autopsy person (I don’t know the term for this. She cuts open dead bodies.) who starts going after Jack the Ripper.
- And then, if I’m going to mention Victorian London and mysteries, I have to recommend the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I have read all of these stories, and they are amazing. Most of them are very short, so they’re fast-paced and fun, and the writing has aged really well. If you love the TV show Sherlock, definitely read these. I can hear Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice in my head when I read the dialogue in these. That’s how well the TV show adapts them.
- Another very falltastic cover is for Vicious by Victoria Schwab. It’s covered in shades of red, yellow, and black, which are fall colours, and the story itself is about supervillains, which makes me think about Halloween costume ideas, so, there you go. Fall.
- This book should really be higher up on this list, but The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman should always be on your radar, but fall is an especially good time to pick it up. While the title does have the word graveyard in it, don’t be deceived into thinking that this is some sort of Neil Gaiman doing Stephen King type of fall book. No, this is the sort of fall book where you’ll want to curl up with a mug of coffee or tea and a snuggly blanket. It’s about a boy named Bod who’s raised by ghosts in a graveyard, and it is so heartwarming. The fall atmosphere here is the warm-beverages, cozy-sweater feel of fall, for sure.
- A classic book to pick up in the fall would be Murder on the Orient Express. Agatha Christie is just a good choice for fall, but I think Orient Express is especially fitting this year because there is a movie based off of it coming out November 3rd starring Kenneth Branagh(!), Michelle Pfeiffer (!!), Judi Dench (!!!), Leslie Odom Jr (!!!!), and Daisy Ridley (!!!!!). It’s like an early Christmas present. The book itself is a quick, edge-of-your seat read, so I’d definitely recommend that.
- Jumping off of the Leslie Odom Jr thing, I’d also recommend reading the Alexander Hamilton biography (if you’re into Hamilton, which I am) by Ron Chernow in the fall. It’s a long read, but I think it pairs well with the whole back-to-school aspect of fall because Hamilton had insane work ethic and reading about it shames me into trying to up my work ethic game.
- Finally, my tenth fall recommendation is Fangirl. It obviously has the whole going-off-to-school element which meshes with the time of year and it’s great for reading with hands wrapped around your warm beverage of choice, but I think it’s a very good fall book because fall is a good season for giving thanks (please don’t murder me for being sappy) and thinking about friends and family. (Who else are you supposed to force to make soup for you when you’re sick? Think, people.) Fangirl is not just about two people falling in love (ick, what is that?). It’s about celebrating fandom (Fall is a good time for fandom. See new Star Wars movie coming out soon and what I said about Harry Potter.) and it’s about finding who you are in a piling yourself under blankets way. (Does this make sense? Like, as opposed to a “I’m going to do everything on this bucket list this summer!” way.)
So that’s it for my fall recommendations. These are all Quality Books® and now je me suis donnée l’envie* (please help, my brain can’t English this) to read these books. All of them. Now.
*drowns under a pile of books*
*Google Translate will not help me with this. It says that I “gave myself the envy”, but that’s not how words work. I guess it just means “now I want to”? But not exactly. Ugh. I hate it when this happens.