Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and curling up with a good book is sounding more and more appealing. We've compiled a list of our favorite autumnal reads to get you in the mood for all things spooky, dark, and magical.
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
I grew up as a kid who could not handle horror movies and was terrified of ghost stories. And yet I was fascinated with the world of the paranormal. I studied werewolves and witches and looked up the true history behind them and went ghost hunting and I thought I had learned everything there was to know about monsters and spirits.
How delightful to be wrong. This book is full of historical accounts and eye-witness accounts of people's brush with the world beyond the veil. Fan of the podcast or no, you will be fascinated with the folklore of fear from around the world and it's ripples on history. And just in time for Samhain!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
“The circus arrives without warning.”
Gates opening as night falls, Le Cirque des Rêves is home to attractions of great mystery and allure. Acts so fantastical that it is difficult to believe they are rooted in reality. Some are not. Two rival magicians use the circus to house an ongoing competition between their students to showcase incredible feats of magic. Erin Morgenstern crafts a setting of immense beauty and lyricism that is perfect year round, but is the quintessential autumn novel.
Serving suggestions: apple cider and popcorn.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
“It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.”
Avoiding the harvest festival of Mabon in Oxfords Bodleian Library, closeted Witch and Science Historian Dr. Diana Bishop calls up an ancient alchemical manuscript that shakes eldritch creature community. As the mercurial Daemons begin to follow her with unwanted prophecy Diana finds she must accept the protection, and ultimately an All Souls date with a brilliant Scientist Vampire. With action, history, magic and romance this trilogy FEELS like an Edinburgh autumn, full of witches and vampires and engaging history this is perfect for cozy sweaters, tea, and blustery nights.
#AllSoulsRead twitter read-a-long for month of Oct culminating in a fandom Con.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Three sisters must fight to the death to claim the crown. Separated as children they are raised to understand their own special abilities; poisoner, elementalist, and naturalist. The story is told through multiple perspectives with each character having defined voice. This book is dark and brooding with great character development throughout the novel. While not set during autumn, it definitely has gloomy vibes that I always crave this time of year.
The Names of the Stars by Pete Fromm
25 years after babysitting fish in the River of No Return Wilderness (Indian Creek Chronicles) Pete Fromm is hired by Montana FWP to babysit fish over the winter in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Trekking into the wilderness in the autumn, he encounters deer, elk, and bears. Now the father of two boys, he reflects on fatherhood and his journey from Indian Creek to the Bob.
Tales of Horror by H.P. Lovecraft
A collection of Lovecraft’s greatest works which is perfect for all your Halloween horror needs. With his most iconic stories like Call of Cthulhu and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, delve into the unknown and discover the chaos and insanity that comes when secrets which are better left unknown unearth. “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”.
The Cove by Ron Rash
Not your typical spooky fall read, but a dark tale nonetheless, The Cove crosses off some of the necessary bullet points for autumnal literary consumption: a dark and forbidding setting, a possible witch, and a stranger appearing out of the forest bearing secrets. But it also delivers more than that, with a striking love story and probing moral questions wound into the fabric of the novel. This is a great read with characters, a setting, and an ending that will stay with you…or, you might say, haunt you!