Fall Favorites

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 RĂªves is a circus unlike any other.


  1. I am thoroughly intimidated by the many books listed here.

    I'm working on Night Circus and am also totally into it. It's awesome. I was slightly worried after reading every blogger ever be like "OMG IT'S THE MOST AMAZING THING OF ALL TIME," but yeah. Well. Not THE most amazing thing, but it's really good.

  2. What a great list of books! You're right, fall really does require some dark, sinister, and bleak reads. Moonstone and Heart of Darkness are on my wish list. Have you read Dracula? It's another great one for this time of year.

  3. I can't wait to read The Night Circus! I thought Her Fearful Symmetry was a great fall book.

  4. I am reading The Graveyard Book with my class of ten year olds. They love it!

  5. Can't agree more with The Book of Lost Things!! Such a fantastic story. I am currently reading the Night Circus. I am not really liking it as much yet, but I will continue to stick with it.

  6. I almost took "The Night Circus" home with me from Costco yesterday. I may have to go back and grab it! It looked really intriguing to me. Great list of fall books, and thanks for sharing! Those book 'pumpkins' in the photograph are way cool too. Have a great weekend! Cheers! Chris

  7. I loved The Moonstone and have read The Turn of the Screw twice... interpreted it differently both times! Her Fearful Symmetry is at the top of my tbr pile, but now you have me wondering about going back to The Turn of the Screw one more time.

  8. I loved The Book of Lost Things very much (and The Gates, when it comes to it!), and I'm relieved to hear you are enjoying the Night Circus. I look forward to reading it.

    Farewell Summer is one Bradbury book I haven't read, and it sounds awesome! I just pulled Something Wicked This Way Comes off the shelf this morning. It's a great fall book, too, as is The Halloween Tree, of course. :)

  9. Excellent choices! I haven't read Farewell Summer, but Bradbury does write perfect Fall/Halloween books. Adding it to my wishlist as we speak.

  10. I agree on the Moonstone recommendation, and maybe I'll pick up The Woman in White. I've been lackng for a new book to read for a few days now but you might have inspired me to make a choice!