We are well into the Fall season and I couldn't be happier. Besides the pumpkin patches, caramel apples, scarves, and crunchy leaves, I enjoy my Fall reads. You know the ones; somewhat sinister, rather bleak, lamenting the loss of summer or celebrating the complexities and nuanced darkness that exists in us all. (Some more than others, of course.) Below is a list of some of my favorite Fall reads. If you're like me and enjoy getting into the Fall spirit with your reading as well, I recommend the titles below.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009): Her latest novel isn’t exactly a departure from the themes that filled TTW – namely love that transcends time and place - but Her Fearful Symmetry is most definitely darker and is read as a Gothic Romance. Page by page this novel becomes more eerie and bizarre, but still contains descriptions of romance and love that only Niffengger can employ.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868): Hailed as one of the first detective novels, The Moonstone unravels the theft of a very valuable diamond, told through a myriad of unreliable narrators.
Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury (2006): During an Indian summer in the Midwest a group of boys organize a small civil war against the older adults in their community to "keep living" and resist growing old. Soon the boys realize it's not their elders who are the enemy; it's time itself. What ensues is an understanding of life and time, aging and dying, and how our outlook of it makes all the difference.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2006): This is a great book to read when you want a captivating story. It's a true modern fairy tale about transitions and the loss of innocence. It's a fun suspense for the book lover, exploring how books shape the world around us and our imagination. It captures the trills, the fears and the triumphs that are held in books.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898): The question of whether or not The Turn of the Screw is an actual ghost story or the story of a woman going mad is open to interpretation, as there is no concrete answer. However, it's a wonderfully creepy novel and well worth the read.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886): One of my very favorite fall reads, "Stevenson's famous exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil,The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, has become synonymous with the idea of a split personality. More than a morality tale, this dark psychological fantasy is also a product of its time, drawing on contemporary theories of class, evolution, criminality, and secret lives." -Goodreads
The Collector by John Fowles (1963): I finished this one a week ago and I am still thinking about it. The Collector explores the darkest of human behavior and obsessive love in a unique and compelling psychological thriller.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly (1818): I always found this one more sad than scary, but it's still a novel I think everyone should read, at the very least to understand who the true Frankenstein really was.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008): Another that I recently finished that is still with me; set in a delightfully macabre atmosphere we follow Nobody Owens, Bod for short, a human boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Bod is taught all of the things that the dead know and learns how to move around the graveyard just as a ghost does. He is granted freedom of the graveyard, visits the world of the ghouls, and befriends a dead witch who lives on unconsecrated ground.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899): Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad’s finest, most enigmatic story. -Goodreads
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2011): To be fair I am only half-way through this book, but I am enjoying it so much I had to include it on this list. Really, all the hype is justified. It's a wonderfully magical book for adults: "Opens at Nightfall; Closes at Dawn." The Le Cirque des Rêves is a circus unlike any other.