After living in Southwest Florida until I was 18-years-old, experiencing my first fall was earth-shattering. It might have only lasted a few weeks, but feeling that crisp air and being able to wear boots comfortably was a magical experience. Spring is still my favorite season because I love the idea of new possibilities, but fall is definitely a close second. There’s nothing like breaking out your sweaters after a long summer or cracking open a good book near a fire. I’ve got a list of seven books to read this fall. Let’s get started!
1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Please try to tell me a better time of year to read this classically fall series. Harry Potter always reminds me of the beginning of school, crisp fall leaves, and trolls in the dungeon on Halloween. I’ve already done my re-read of the year for this series, but it’s highly likely that I join Harry, Ron, and Hermione for another adventure in October once the leaves begin to fall.
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Brontë’s only published novel is a story of love, betrayal, and revenge. Heathcliff comes to Wuthering Heights after being adopted by Mr. Earnshaw. Heathcliff quickly becomes friends with Mr. Earnshaw’s daughter, Catherine, but he never quite gets along with his son, Hindley. The story follows the three as they go through life, find new lovers, have children, and hurt one another in various manners. The story is told mainly as a flashback by a former servant to a new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood. I have to admit — this classic was never one of my favorites — but there’s something about the moors and Heathcliff’s broody nature that makes Wuthering Heights scream fall to me. I’m thinking of giving it another shot this year…
3. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
I know Gone Girl is the “it” book for Flynn, but Dark Places has always been my favorite. Dark Places follows Libby Day as she uncovers the mystery behind her mother and sisters murders. After witnessing the gruesome murders, Libby manages to escape her home and later testifies against her brother in court for committing the murders. After being contacted by a true crime group interested in the Day Family Murder, Libby beings to dig farther into her past to uncover a mystery she never even though existed. Flynn switches between the present day and the days leading up to the murder twenty-five years ago, and she successfully keeps readers turning page after page to discover the answer to the mystery. Maybe don’t read this one too late at night, but a crisp fall day in the mountains is the perfect time to dive into this thriller.
4. Wild: From Lost to Found of the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Switching gears — Wild takes readers on a hike of a lifetime as Strayed seeks to find out who she really is and what she really wants out of life after losing her mother, experiencing divorce, and so much more. I’m no hiker, and neither is Strayed at the beginning of her journey, but reading Wild made me think I might actually be able to survive weeks in the woods with only myself as company (I most definitely cannot, and I’m more likely to have a Lorelei Gilmore adventure than a Cheryl Strayed revelation). A story about finding yourself and discovering things you never knew possible, Wild is sure to put you in a fall mood.
5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Not my favorite Rowell book, but there’s no denying that Fangirl elicits epic feeling of fall. Between her desire to stay up late writing fan-fiction and her ever present cardigan, Cath is the epitome of fall. This book follows two sisters on two very different journeys during their freshman year of college. Cath wants to stay indoors and continue her incredibly successful fan-fiction writing, while her sister is more interested in partying and meeting cute boys IRL. Both experience college in their own way and after some ups and downs, they come to realize that neither way is the right way. A super quick read, this is the perfect book to pick up when reading in the park on a chilly day — just don’t forget your cardigan.
6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
What better time for an adventure than a crisp fall day? Embark on the journey of a lifetime with Bilbo and the dwarves as they meet goblins, trolls, and so much more. Bilbo has never done anything out of the ordinary, until one day a band of dwarves show up on his doorstep demanding to be fed and inviting him on a quest. The dwarves want to reclaim their treasure and rid the land of the dragon, Smaug, that terrorizes the country. Originally intended as a children’s story, The Hobbit can truly be enjoyed at any age, but especially wrapped in a warm blanket on a cool evening.
7. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I’m not going to lie — the only reason this book is on this list is because of the cover. Orange and black scream fall reading to me. But it’s also a truly wonderful book. It that follows a young boy, Christopher, who looks at the world a little bit differently than the average person. On his journey to find out who killed the neighbor’s dog, Christopher uncovers much more than he had asked for you. Check out my full review. You won’t regret cracking the spine on this one by the fire.
Summer has been such a wonderful time of year where I have explored Nashville and made new friends, but I can’t lie, I’m pretty excited to hibernate during the fall and winter and read all the books on my shelves. What are you most looking forward to doing this fall?