• Stephanie Koetsier

Let's get cosy, with my autumnal reading list

If you're anything like me, you've been counting down to this moment. The moment when there's a definite chill in the air, when rain is hammering down and against your window, and when you can hear blustery winds rushing through the trees.

I woke up really early this morning - 6am on the nose. I could hear and feel all these things I've just described, and it took me a moment to remind myself that it's only the 2nd of September.

In this year of staying home, we're all looking for ways to stay cosy and sane whilst remaining in place. We can't travel (well we can but, you know, what's the point?) physically, but we can mentally with a good old book! Plus, I know it's not just me who has been counting down to this season of the 'ber months' as I have witnessed them recently being referred to as. The idea of a cosy Christmas and a crunchy leaves autumn has kept me pretty positive during what has been, let's face it, a pretty rubbish year. So the fact that this season is here - of cosy vibes, of positivity, of fun - well I can't really believe it.

Officially *eye roll* autumn here in the UK starts on Tuesday the 22nd of September. So that Monday, the 21st, will be the real beginning of my autumn content. Or, when I drivel on about all the books I'm about to outline to you today. Up until then, it'll still be book discussions on what I have read over summer during lockdown. But I figured I should compile a list of what books I'm planning to read to give me those autumnal (and dare I say it, Halloween) vibes to get all cosy with as the weather drives us even more into our houses, so not only do you know what to expect on the blog in the upcoming months but so you too can take inspiration from it and hopefully find some books to make you feel all cosy too!

So without any more sidenotes and gushing etc etc, let's get into the list of books I plan to read this autumn/Halloween (you're not even ready for Christmas but let's keep ourselves calm for the moment):

  1. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I had actually already started reading this book a few weeks ago, but put it down due to the delivery of the exciting and long-awaited Midnight Sun (discussion on that next week). This is a cosy and calm book. The best word to describe it is sweet. You follow a random wee team of creatures from all parts of the galaxy as they explore through space. It's very light-hearted and makes even the most clunky, metallic, damaged space ship seem like a cosy blanket fortress. It's labelled as a space opera which basically means you can expect some sort of drama or conflict, but I haven't yet read the book as I have said already. However, that does seem paradoxical to the fact that everyone says it's a super light-hearted, calming, cosy book to curl up with, so I'm excited to see how that pans out when I read it.

2. The Binding by B.R. Collins

This book feels super autumnal to me and I can't even tell you why. I LOVE the idea behind the book - that if something bad or traumatic happens in your life, you can basically visit a book binder who takes your memory and binds it in a book. That way you don't remember it, but it is stored away in a book somewhere. That obviously could be a dangerous and complicated affair also, and I'm excited to read it this autumn with a big cup of tea.

3. Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

If you've been keeping up to date with my blog then you will know that during lockdown I've slowly been making my way through Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. Broken Homes is the fourth in the series. Plus, a wizard police officer in London solving supernatural mysteries? Defo a vibe for autumn/Halloween.

4. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

There is something entirely autumnal about the Sherlock Holmes stories and the entire mystery genre. Probably the whole pathetic fallacy thing - they never really take place in the height of summer, do they, usually? You need those spooky, dull rainy days and grey sky vibes for a good old mystery. I have highlighted many times before that I needed to read way more Sherlocks Holmes stories as I've only read a select view - 2020 offers me the perfect opportunity.

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Most of you will know I studied English Literature & Creative Writing at university. This meant I had to read a lot of the classics - but I've never read Little Women! I ordered it two days ago and it's due to arrive tomorrow so exciting times, and I imagine this will be the first book I read this autumn. You can NEVER go wrong with a classic in my eyes and typically, they are harder to read - so when's better to read a classic than when you're stuck inside due to bad weather and dropping temperatures?

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

A book that catches my eye every - single - time I enter Waterstones. I still need to actually pick it up, but I think it will definitely be one of my reads this spooky season. Initially drawn by both the cover and the title, the premise of the book also has intrigued me for ages. What it says is this - that a circus appears at night, with no warning, no announcement. Not going to lie to you, I think a part of me is attracted to this book because of my love for The Greatest Showman. It kind of feels like a The Greatest Showman/Halloween crossover and I am HERE for it. So if that's something you're into too then definitely add it to your autumn TBR pile.

7. The Familiars by Stacey Halls

As the weeks progress, I'm slowly going to transition into more 'Halloween-y' books. The Familiars was always going to come home with me one day. Again, spotted in Waterstones with the intriguing cover and title, anything even remotely related to witches piques my interest. On the book blurb, the first sentence we are greeted with is 'In a time of suspicion and accusation, to be a woman is the greatest risk of all...' MY TYPE OF BOOK! It's written in the 1600s at the height of the witch-burning era. It follows Fleetwood Shuttleworth, anxious to give her husband an heir. She meets midwife Alice Gray who promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby. Alice is accused of being a witch, and the story follows this and its affects on the two women's lives. Again, of course, I have not read the book yet but it sounds incredible!

8. The Witcher short stories by Andrzej Sapkowski

This actually comes as a suggestion from my boyfriend. A collection of short stories and a game, The Witcher last year was adapted for a Netflix show, which I watched about four episodes of with him before lockdown came into affect. He recommended these short stories for their autumnal/Halloween vibes, so I'm adding it to this list in case it interests any of you! We've listened to a few in the car on a rainy drive, and can confirm, it's a vibe. But again, I've not paid enough attention yet to discuss them. Summarised, the Witcher hunts and is paid to kill 'monsters'. That's a very, very basic summary and it's actually a LOT more interesting. Even just what Witchers themselves are is more interesting. But I'll let you find out from reading - I feel that you really have to read these ones to get it.

9. Dracula by Bram Stoker

As we approach Halloween time, I'm going to be delving into the classic Halloween type stories. Bram Stoker's Dracula is one. I read it in uni for one of my modules but I actually don't remember it as much as I'd like to - so here's to jogging the memory.

10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Another classic that's obviously going to appear around Halloween time. Again, I read this in uni and have more memory of it than Dracula. I really have nothing to say on this other than that I quite fancied reading it again this year. So Frankenstein is on the list.


I'm going to end it here because, well, that's ten books for two months and I do not have the time for even that but here we are. I hope this list can give you some inspiration if you're stuck as to what to read this autumn/Halloween - who knows, maybe you find your new favourite! Thoroughly looking forward to getting stuck in myself. Like I said earlier, today I've woken up to wind, rain and a chill, so it really is time to dig out the big wooly jumpers and scarves! Hope you're all staying positive and reading lots, and drinking all the cups of tea! Thanks for reading as always, and please feel free to let me know if you have any other suggestions for a good autumn read - I'd love to know your go-tos. (Oh also an aside and later addition, I didn't mention Harry Potter but let's be serious - this time of year, you already KNOW Harry Potter is on, being read, being LIVED. So yeah, can't forget a good bit of Harry Potter this autumn/Halloween!)

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