My favourite time of year is here! There is something so cozy about fall and I am definitely drawn to a certain kind of book this time of year. I love that TTT is giving me an opportunity to talk about the books I plan to read this season.
What does a fall book mean to me? I am drawn to atmospheric, dark, creepy, historical, and/or mysterious books this time of year. I also really love reading SciFi/fantasy during the autumn months. I tend to pick up books that are slower paced and I definitely don’t read as much romance or lighter contemporary during the fall. I really want an immersive book to read with a tea or hot chocolate with candles lit while all snuggled in a blanket.
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.
It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.
But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.
And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.
Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?
With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.
If you read my fall recommendation post from yesterday, you will know how much I enjoyed Turton’s debut novel, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Does his newest release, The Devil and the Dark Water, not sound like the perfect book to read this time of year? It sounds like the perfect mix of historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy. The synopsis definitely has me intrigued!
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he’s dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?
With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.
I keep saying this, but I need to continue on with this series! I loved the first book, Still Life, so much, and I have been told that the series only gets better and better. I love the setting and the cozy atmosphere- these books will be perfect to read in between some of my heavier novels. I currently own the next four books and would love to at least read those before the end of the year!
Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2) by Katherine Arden
Having survived sinister scarecrows and the malevolent smiling man in Small Spaces, newly minted best friends Ollie, Coco, and Brian are ready to spend a relaxing winter break skiing together with their parents at Mount Hemlock Resort. But when a snowstorm sets in, causing the power to flicker out and the cold to creep closer and closer, the three are forced to settle for hot chocolate and board games by the fire.
Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want to trust him, but Ollie’s watch, which once saved them from the smiling man, has a new cautionary message: BEWARE.
With Mr. Voland’s help, Ollie, Coco, and Brian reach out to the dead voices at Mount Hemlock. Maybe the ghosts need their help–or maybe not all ghosts can or should be trusted.
Dead Voices is a terrifying follow-up to Small Spaces with thrills and chills galore and the captive foreboding of a classic ghost story.
The first book in this series, Small Spaces, caught me completely off guard! I had no idea that it would be as scary as it ended up being, especially considering that it is middle grade. Katherine Arden is also simply a fantastic author, and I will read anything she writes. I am so ready for a spooky ghost story!
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.
I have had The Starless Sea since is came out over a year ago- I even have the audiobook! I have no excuses for not having read it yet! Even though I didn’t love The Night Circus, I did enjoy Morgenstern’s writing and the premise intrigues me. It seems like there is a lot going on and that it will be full of amazing imagery and detail. Definitely a book I can see myself reading while cozied up on the couch on a cold evening!
Devolution by Max Brooks
As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now.
But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten.
In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.
Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.
Yet it is also far more than that.
Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.
Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.
I never thought I would read a book about Bigfoot, but I am so intrigued by Max Brooks’ newest release. I read World War Z this summer, and I loved the way the story was told. It sounds like Devolution is a mix of horror and SciFi, which is definitely the kind of book I am more inclined to read during the fall.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?
I cannot believe that I have yet to read Jane Eyre, especially since I know so many people call it their favourite classic! I am also a huge fan of Gothic literature, so I have no excuses. I will actually be reading Jane Eyre for a buddy read on Instagram, which is the push I needed to finally pick it up. I also have the audiobook, so I will switch between that and the physical copy.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…
I have heard so many amazing things about The Sun Down Motel, and I get the impression that there are paranormal elements to this mystery. I have been told that it is atmospheric and haunting- my ideal fall book!
Drowned Country by Emily Tesh
Drowned Country is the stunning sequel to Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh’s lush, folkloric debut. This second volume of the Greenhollow duology once again invites readers to lose themselves in the story of Henry and Tobias, and the magic of a myth they’ve always known.
Even the Wild Man of Greenhollow can’t ignore a summons from his mother, when that mother is the indomitable Adela Silver, practical folklorist. Henry Silver does not relish what he’ll find in the grimy seaside town of Rothport, where once the ancient wood extended before it was drowned beneath the sea—a missing girl, a monster on the loose, or, worst of all, Tobias Finch, who loves him.
I read the first book in this duology, Silver in the Woods, and it blew me away. It was atmospheric. intriguing, and surprisingly heartwarming. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Drowned Country and saving it for October because I know that it is the perfect book to read in one sitting on a cool night.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
I am currently reading Jackson’s latest release, Grown, so once I finish that (and I will be soon because it is incredible!) Monday’s Not Coming will be the last book of hers that I haven’t read. No one writes a YA thriller quite like she does, and even though I know next to nothing about the actually story, I know I am going to love it just because Jackson wrote it!
The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
I read The Fifth Season this summer and it blew my mind! I hope to finish the series before the end of the year, and as it is a complicated and immersive fantasy series, it is the ideal fall/winter read.
What books do you hope to read this fall?