Let’s make Autumn Reading a thing.

Let’s make Autumn Reading a thing.

Summer reading lists abound, but one doesn’t encounter many reading lists for fall.

We’re changing that today.

I love summer reading, but I’m itching for a change of season. This fall reading list is the perfect antidote to the breezy reads of summer.

If summer is for fun and romance, fall is for coming-of-age and back-to-school. Summer is for optimism; fall is for melancholy and nostalgia. And if summer is for the hot new bestsellers, fall is for the classics with staying power.

Grab a cup of tea, a good book from this autumn reading list, and get ready to cozy up with a good book.

COMING OF AGE NOVELS

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Author:
An eccentric English family struggles to make ends meet in a tumbledown castle during the 1930s. We hear the story through 17-year-old Cassandra’s diary: she’s a remarkable narrator, open and witty and wise for her years. Replete with love, magic, writer’s block, and bear costumes. More info →
A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

A Prayer for Owen Meany: A Novel

Author:
Irving is a masterful storyteller, and has a knack for drawing compelling characters. This novel, which gently addresses heavy themes of fate and faith, is widely believed to be his finest. Read it and see why it’s on so many readers’ desert island lists. (My own copy is on my nightstand right now, poised for a re-reading.) More info →
The Age of Miracles: A Novel

The Age of Miracles: A Novel

This YA novel is a little bit science fiction, a little bit coming-of-age. After years of watching the earth for signs of distress, the danger comes in a form no one expects: the rotation of the earth begins to slow, wreaking havoc. 11-year-old Julia is forced to deal with the Slowing plus typical adolescent drama in this haunting novel. More info →
Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon

Author:
The Anne books feel like spring to me, but Montgomery’s 3-book series about young Emily Starr belongs to autumn. Montgomery wrote this series a bit later in while. While still sweet and whimsical, they are decidedly darker than the Anne novels. Read them in order. More info →

CAMPUS NOVELS

Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane

Gaudy Night: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery with Harriet Vane

This is Sayers’ tenth Lord Peter novel, her third featuring Harriet Vane, and undoubtedly one of her finest. (They needn’t be read in order.) When Ms. Vane returns to Oxford for her college’s reunion (the “gaudy” of the title), the festive mood on campus is threatened by an alarming outbreak of murderous threats. If you love this, go back and read all the Lord Peter mysteries, beginning with Whose Body? More info →
The Secret Place

The Secret Place

Author:
French’s 5th and latest installment in her Dublin Murder Squad series is set at a girls’ boarding school, where a boy had been found murdered, a year ago. The case had gone cold, but when a new clue emerges, two detectives are sent in to investigate. The Likeness, my favorite book in the series, also takes place on campus. Not for the faint of heart, for language and content. More info →
Crossing to Safety

Crossing to Safety

Author:
Stegner forges a compelling story out of the lives of 4 ordinary people, who first come together at the University of Wisconsin Madison. There’s no way to describe this gorgeous novel that doesn’t make it sound dead boring. Don’t read about it; just read it. Superb writing, gentle pacing, and an adroit examination of friendship, love, and marriage. This is one to read again and again. More info →
Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter Series

Author:
Orphaned Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is until he turns 11 and receives his invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which is exactly like any other British boarding school, but for the subject matter. The whole series is attuned to the rhythms of the school year. The audiobook versions, narrated by Jim Dale, are spectacular. More info →

CLASSICS

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Gothic romance, mystery, and psychological thriller all rolled into one. If you never read it in high school, fall is the perfect time to pick up this creepy classic. If you were forced to read it back then, give it another try: you’ll enjoy it much more the second time around. One of literature’s greatest heroines. More info →
Persuasion

Persuasion

Author:
Pride and Prejudice should be read in the spring; Emma in the summer. But Persuasion is for fall. This the last novel Austen completed before her death, and it’s darker and more serious in tone than her earlier works. With its themes of love, regret, and fidelity, this is my favorite Austen novel—at least some of the time. But always in autumn. More info →
Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Author:
This groundbreaking classic was downright scandalous in its day—and it hasn’t lost much of its shock value in the intervening 160+ years. Heathcliff is every bit as much the abominable scoundrel now as he was then, and the English moors are every bit as creepy. Read it once, and decide whether you love it or hate it. (And if you do both, you’re in good company.) More info →
Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited

Author:
This sweeping novel set in Britain between the world wars chronicles the Flyte family’s unraveling—along with the rest of Britain’s aristocracy—as viewed through the wistful eyes of lieutenant Charles Ryder. Drenched in themes of love, loss, and grace. Recommended reading for Downton Abbey fans. More info →

WISTFUL

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

Author:
“Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness.” Niequist’s poignant second essay collection has “autumn” written all over it. More info →
All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir

All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir

Author:
The heartbreaking and beautiful memoir from a recovering alcoholic, a Franciscan priest, and a beloved author of The Ragamuffin Gospel. Heartbreaking and beautiful. Honest, humble, and moving. Such a good read, but grab your tissues. More info →
The Cartographer of No Man’s Land: A Novel

The Cartographer of No Man’s Land: A Novel

Author:
When his wife’s beloved brother goes missing in World War I, a Nova Scotian artist seizes the opportunity to join the Canadian forces as a cartographer, serving safely behind the lines in London. But when he gets to Europe, he’s instead sent directly into battle—and that’s just the beginning of his dangerous and confusing circumstances. A thought-provoking debut. More info →
All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Author:
The characters Doerr focuses on in this war novel are fascinating and altogether unexpected. The book’s setting couldn’t be lovelier: much of the action takes place in Saint-Malo, France, a unique walled port city on the English Channel. Haunting story, beautiful prose, and destined for many best-of-the-year lists. More info →

What are YOU reading this autumn?

Your autumn reading list | Modern Mrs Darcy

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180 comments

  1. Keely says:

    It should definitely be a thing! I love this.
    My Autumn (fiction) reading includes Jane Eyre (first timer!), Longbourn, probably some Austen, and Rules of Civility. My non-fiction list is always growing these days! Maybe you’re on to something with this “back-to-school” feeling I’ve got.

  2. Erica M. says:

    I always feel like re-reading Lord of the Rings around this time of year. Probably part because that’s when I first read it, and partly because it properly begins in the fall. (Actually started it yesterday, on the day it actually begins!) I always classify it as bittersweet, especially the end.

  3. Sara K. says:

    This is a great list! Though my reading list is already monstrously long, I may have to rearrange a few priorities to make room for some of these. Jane Eyre holds a special place in my heart because it was the first “grown-up” classic I remember reading AND enjoying (thank you Mrs. Mullins12th grade English class!). And Persuasion is my favorite of the Austen books I’ve read so far 🙂

    I have seen I Capture the Castle on several reading lists. Is it suitable for a teen to read?

    • Kate says:

      I Capture the Castle was originally intended for teens. It’s written from the perspective of a teenaged girl about her odd-ball family living in a decrepit castle.

      • Sara K. says:

        Thanks! I’m always looking for books to recommend to my niece, but sometimes the content of the YA books can be a little questionable. I think I will read it first 🙂

    • SoCalLynn says:

      Yes! My daughter has read it three times, beginning when she was 13. She’s 15 now. It’s one of her favorites. FYI, I read it first to make sure it was ok. I’m pretty choosy about content when picking books for her.

      • Sara K. says:

        Thanks everyone! I’ve learned to be a little cautious with reading material for teens. My niece and I just finished reading If I Stay. I was a little concerned at some of the language and the implied intimacy between Mia and Adam. Maybe ok for an older teen, but not a 13 year old. Thankfully, my sister (the mom) doesn’t know about that content! My niece is very grounded so we’re ok, but it has made me a little more cautious about some YA books 🙂

        • Ginger says:

          I keep seeing I Capture the Castle recommended, but I (mistakenly) watched the movie version first and didn’t like it at all. Is it just not for me, or is the book SO much better?

          I’m willing to be convinced!

          (Also, in relation to the teen question, the movie was rated R, which if I remember correctly was for some sex/nudity?)

  4. Katia says:

    I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See right now. Definitely enjoying it! I actually read Persuasion for the first time this past summer, just last month. I suppose I started my Autumn reading a bit early. 😉 Great list, Anne.

    • liz n. says:

      I read Written in my Own Hearts’ Blood in a three-day, nonstop, readfest. Of course you have to put a hold on it! I warn you now that there is one moment of heartbreak that will make you put down the book, walk away, and swear never to read another Outlander book again. Of course, you won’t hold to that, but “…was the sound of the end of the world,” is how Gabaldon describes the incident, and it is.

      • liz n. says:

        Prepare yourself…throughout the series, Ms. Gabaldon is going to break off little, bitty pieces of your heart and say, “This is mine, now.” Then she will stomp on those little pieces. You will enjoy every moment of it….until page 691 of My Own Hearts’ Blood. (I just realized I know what page it’s on, and I don’t know if I should be embarrassed by that fact. Nope. Nope, I’m not!)

        • Anne says:

          I’m 2/3 of the way through book 2 and I’m enjoying it so far. But I want to know what happens next; can’t believe there are thousands of pages to go in the series! And I made the mistake of reading the summaries of books 3 and 4, so I vaguely know what’s coming next…

  5. Laura says:

    I think you should followup with Winter and Spring reading lists. On my list for this Fall: Start re-reading Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad novels, beginning with “If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O”, “Three Wishes” by Liane Moriarty, “I Capture the Castle” and “Brideshead Revisted” – two that you listed above. I will undoubtedly add to this list as I see other books/authors that you and your followers share.

    • SoCalLynn says:

      I LOVE Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad novels.I was in the library a few weeks ago hoping for a new one that I hadn’t read yet, but, no. I might have to re-read them.

        • LoriM says:

          Had to do a google search to see if McCrumb had ever come up in here. I love her books and with you, keep checking for new ones. I wonder what she’s up to. Might be time to check again.

  6. Ashley G. says:

    I definitely recommend Anne Michaels’ “Fugitive Pieces”. She is a spectacular Canadian authors and her books leave me breathless every time. Her other book “The Winter Vault” is another book I recommend. Her books manage to be melancholy and beautiful at the same time.

  7. Sarah says:

    I love reading Harry Potter in the fall! The series feels very autumnal to me, probably at least in part because I read them for the first time in the fall.

  8. Julia R. says:

    Love, love, love this! You have made my day! Once I finish reading “The Interestings”, “Eleanor & Park”, and “The Power of Habit”, I will definitely be checking out some of these books! Also, just finished “Five Quarters of the Orange” which I think fits nicely into an Autumn reading list category.

  9. Lori says:

    I was actually thinking of reading the Emily series for the first time. Good to know this is a good season to read it. Crossing to Safety sounds very interesting, I think I’ll check it out! Thanks for the recommendations.

  10. Sarah says:

    I Capture the Castle is my favorite book ever! I am working my way through The Dublin Murder Squad series and love it. I just started the third one, which is my third for the month!

    • Kate says:

      Me, too! I started Faithful Place a couple days ago, not sure if I would like it since I wasn’t a big fan of Frank in the last book, but it sucked me right in anyway.

      • Sarah says:

        That’s exactly what happened to me! I wasn’t going to keep reading, but my college roommate commented on my Goodreads account that Faithful Place was her favorite, so that changed my mind!

        • Anne says:

          Faithful Place is the only one I haven’t read! I read Broken Harbor before I got to Faithful Place, and I hated it so much I swore off Tana French for a year. But I’ve heard many people say Faithful Place is their favorite by her.

  11. Sara says:

    LOVE this idea!! Autumn is the best reading season to me—-cooler weather, a little more down time from summer’s frantic rush, some rainy days when inside with a book and candles lit (and the woodstove eventually) is my paradise on Earth. Every post of yours with books becomes my own reading list. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  12. I always feel like Harry Potter in the fall. And I’ve been thinking it’s time for an Emily Byrd Starr reread. We’re on the same page (ha). You know I love Gaudy Night (my favorite Sayers novel) and I need to pick up Crossing to Safety.

    I’m also planning to try a few new-to-me classics this fall: Silas Marner and The Song of the Lark, and maybe one or two more.

  13. Gina says:

    LOVE this idea! I was going to suggest Harry Potter if you didn’t have it. But of course there’s HP! Might try some Austen or Bronte one of these days…

  14. Betsy says:

    I agree with Sara above who says that Autumn is the best reading season. There’s nothing like snuggling in cooler weather with a book. I love your list and especially want to try I Capture the Castle.

    Right now I’m reading non-fiction: The Dyslexic Advantage.

  15. Amy says:

    What a fantastic idea! I’m reading heavier stuff now than I did in the summer, too, including several deep books about sacrificial faith and martyrdom. I just finished Kisses from Katie, am in the middle of Jesus Freaks and Live Dead, and am hoping to read a Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography soon.

  16. Ashley says:

    Love this so much!! September by Rosamund Pilcher is a yearly re-read for me. Set in Scotland, it starts in spring and culminates in September, a huge social season in that area. It’s a comfy read. Beautifully descriptive. The ending is beautiful and melancholy. Try it! I love all her books, including her short stories.

  17. ‘Tis the season of the re-read for me. Just finished the Emilys a few nights ago! Having re-read LMM’s journals last year, I was struck by how much from her everyday life — down to specific phrases — ended up in the books.

    I’ve signed up for a free online course about Laura Ingalls Wilder, so that means more re-reading plus Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, and the soon-to-be-released Laura autobiography (the instructor is the editor). Big thrill for me.

    As for more re-reading, I tackled Jane Eyre a few years ago and have been meaning to get back to Wuthering Heights. Perhaps soon?

    I have a few Rosamunde Pilchers to catch up on, recommended from the comments in a recent post of yours.

    • Anne says:

      I’m not sure what you’ll make of this: I haven’t read all the Lord Peter books, but The Nine Tailors is my least favorite of the ones I have read.

  18. Rach says:

    Yes!!! I love fall and fall reading and books that are wistful and warm and feel good in the fall! I will definitely be checking out some of these books – but also Stephen King. I love him. His books are full of nostalgia which are great for fall.

  19. Dawn says:

    Oh, the Emily Starr books are longstanding favorites of mine! I just finished All the Light… and it was spectacular. All is Grace is wonderful.

    I feel the same way about music – each season needs a new playlist. For some reason, The Beatles are better for fall than any other time.

    • Faith R says:

      Yes! In Georgia it is still hot!! Well, not today, today has been perfect, but for the most part it’s been high ninety’s. I am super-struggling to find time to read anything substantial. By the time the homework is finished and dinner is done and the kids are in bed I am totally fried. My library like is sitting there, almost completely untouched. I keep trying to start and keep getting interrupted. Hopefully once the weather cools down some that will change!

  20. Kristy says:

    I just finished Orphan Train actually I just finished listening to it as I was inspired by you to try an audiobook! Next will be Crossing to Safety but I’ll kindle that one. X

  21. Victoria says:

    You described my fall reading appetite perfectly!!! So far I have finished four books: “The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield” by Steven J. Lawson; “The House Girl” by Tara Conklin; “Deceived” by Irene Hannon; and “Wonder Working God” by Jared C. Wilson. The first two were EXCELLENT.

    I’ve got a bunch more to read between now and Thanksgiving and I’ve also decided to throw in some Zelda Fitzgerald stuff. I really don’t know much about her, but I’m excited to learn! Right now I’m reading “Dispatches from the Front” by Tim Keese and “Call Me Zelda” by Erika Robuck.

    I’ve got the tea and it won’t be long before I pull out the blankets too! 🙂

  22. Julie R says:

    Love this list!! I MUST re-read the Emily books (as well as Anne of Green Gables series) – they’ve been favorites but the last time I read them was when I was an early teen! Lately I’ve been enjoying the Call the Midwife series. I prefer to read the books THEN watch the series. 🙂

  23. Charlotte says:

    I just posted my fall reading list! I really love your selection. Some of mine included: A biography on Cleopatra, Wild, Lullaby, East of Eden, Pilgrim’s Progress, Pastrix, and Counterfeit Gods (the details are here: http://www.charlottekluftinger.com/2014/09/whats-on-my-fall-bedside-table.html). It’s a pretty diverse (random) mix of fiction, biographies, some classics, and books on faith and spirituality. Thank you for sharing your list, I may have to read through mine a little faster now!

  24. Virginia says:

    Ooh, I love the idea of an autumn reading list!

    I read Persuasion last year for the first time and it is my favorite of her books. I couldn’t put it down. I may have to reread it again now that you’ve reminded me how much I enjoyed it.

  25. Corby says:

    The Goldfinch, Les Miserable, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities and always a good biography in the fall. Heating up the kettle and pouring a cuppa Earl Grey

        • liz n. says:

          Richard Adams wrote Watership Down. It is one of my most favorite books. On the surface, it’s a story about wild rabbits traveling the English countryside. What it’s really about is community, being displaced from your home, family loyalty, being thrust into leadership, survival, civility vs. brutality, acceptance, tolerance, spirituality, racism, and how society relates to the natural world. I’ve always described Adams’ writing as being so beautiful that you can smell the leaves:

          “After some time, Hazel woke Buckthorn. Then he scratched a shallow nest in the earth and slept. One watch succeeded another through the day, though how the rabbits judged the passing of time is something that civilized human beings have lost the power to feel. Creatures that have neither clocks nor books are alive to all manner of knowledge about time and the weather; and about direction, too, as we know from their extraordinary migratory and homing journeys. The changes in the warmth and dampness of the soil, the falling of the sunlight patches, the altering movement of beans in the light wind, the direction and strength of the air currents along the ground–all these were perceived by the rabbit awake.”

          “In the burrow, Fiver slept and woke uneasily through the heat of the day, fidgeting and scratching as the last traces of moisture dried out of the earth above him. Once, when a trickle of powdery soil fell from the roof, he leaped out of sleep and was in the mouth of the run before he came to himself and returned to where he had been lying. Each time he woke, he remembered the loss of Hazel and suffered once more the knowledge that had pierced him as the shadowy, limping rabbit disappeared in the first light of morning on the down. Where was that rabbit now? Where had it gone? He began to follow it among the tangled paths of his own thoughts, over the cold, dew-wet ridge and down into the dawn mist of the fields below.”

  26. Kate Frishman says:

    I love seasonal reading lists, and this is a great one! I Capture the Castle is on my current stack, and I’m planning the Emilys for our next Family Book. Brideshead Revisited is moving slowly up my list as well, and I’m number 68 on the waiting list for All the Light We Cannot See. I’ve never read Persuasion, maybe I can add that to my list…

    On a side note, my 15-year old daughter’s class is reading Prayer for Owen Meany, and she was very frustrated to find herself the only one in the class enjoying it.

    • Anne says:

      #68?? Sigh….

      And your daughter is the only one in class to like Owen Meany? I’m surprised. When I was in high school we were all reading John Irving in our spare time—he wasn’t assigned reading. (Maybe that’s the problem? 😉 )

  27. Tim says:

    Gaudy Night and Persuasion are excellent recommendations for a Fall reading list, Anne. I just finished a re-read of Tom Sawyer a couple days ago, one of the finest books of summer out there, and now that the equinox is upon us I guess it’s time to switch gears.

  28. Missy G. says:

    Love, LOVE this idea. I’ve already pinned it, and will certainly be revisiting your (and other readers’) suggestions. I agree with one of the other commenters who suggested Rules of Civility. Just finished the audiobook, and I thought it was superb.

  29. Jacqueline says:

    I totally agree about the “Emily” books being autumn-ish! (Love them!) On my fall reading list: And Old Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott (an old, beloved favorite I’ve re-read several times) The Secret History, by Donna Tartt and Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. 🙂

    • Anne says:

      I thought The Secret History sounded like an excellent pick for “campus novel”—but I hadn’t read it yet, so it didn’t get included. Maybe next year? I loved Gilead and am looking forward to (eventually) reading Housekeeping.

      • Jess says:

        I cannot get into Donna Tartt’s books! I thought The Goldfinch had moments of brilliance, and while The Secret History was different and the people are quirky, overall I am just not that excited as the rest of the world appears to be about her. I find it interesting because so many of the other books that people like who lover her, I do too.

  30. kim s. says:

    I am currently in Book 5 of Harry Potter and I am ENTHRALLED! I cannot believe I didn’t read these books sooner, tho’ it’s been a true pleasure having my 11yo dd turn me on to them…seeing her smirk as I rant, rave, and predict is a source of joy for me lately 🙂

    For my Autumn Reading list I would recommend Miss Read, particularly the Fairacre series: school, England, tea, fires, social dilemmas…all good! I also love mysteries in autumn, so I’d go with a little Agatha Christie and Laurie King. For college football fans like me, The Junction Boys is great, tho’ perhaps more of a summer read. For nonfiction, if you haven’t read The Peabody Sisters, you must!

      • liz n. says:

        *Blink*
        *Blink*
        *Stunned silence*
        *Blink*
        Woman, get thee to wherever you buy your books and start with “Murder at the Vicarage”, stat! (I’m not trying to shame you, I promise! I’m just surprised that you haven’t read Dame Agatha!!)

      • Amy says:

        What?! I’m in shock! She’s fantastic. Last October I read And Then There Were None, and it was delightfully creepy and suspenseful, so I definitely second Agatha Christie for fall reading.

    • Victoria says:

      What are your top three (or however many you want to tell me about) Christie books, Kim? I’ve been working my way through my library’s collection for YEARS. I love a good mystery!

      And..Liz, you can answer too!!! 🙂

      • liz n. says:

        That question is difficult to answer….oy…

        “Murder at the Vicarage,” which is a Miss Marple book and is narrated by the vicar in whose home the murder takes place. “Death on the Nile,” which is a Poirot book, and probably Christie’s most famous mystery. “Curtain,” the last mystery that Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot worked together….but which must always be saved to be read last, after the rest of the Poirot mysteries, for reasons that become clear when you reach the end of the book.

  31. Arenda says:

    Reading this list was the strangest thing – I just started reading Emily of New Moon last night, and a number of others I’ve just read (Brideshead Revisited) or are on my Read Soon list (Crossing to Safety, Gaudy Night). Lovely autumn selection!

  32. Grace says:

    What a fantastic idea! I love the feel of these books for autumn. Many were already on my to-read list, so I think I’ll have to bump them up on the list to ensure I fit them into this season. Sometimes I feel the same way about TV shows. Gilmore Girls is definitely one I associate with fall.

    • Ginger says:

      I think I read somewhere that Amy Sherman Palladino said she felt that Stars Hollow was always in fall.

      Perhaps we all have October to look forward to — when Netflix puts GG online!

  33. Beth says:

    My nine-year-old just read The Secret Garden for school, and I decided it was due for a reread (it’s been since I was a child!). It feels perfect for this time if year!

    Thanks for all the great recommendations! I will never get to them all (especially now that I’ve read through the comments here, with even more wonderful suggestions), but there are worse problems! 😉

      • Beth says:

        I could definitely see it being a spring book! I’m still at the beginning with all the moody talk of the moors – but it would probably be even better for spring, with the dreariness of winter giving way to new life.

        Still, I’m not gonna wait six months to finish! 🙂

        • Amy says:

          Oh yeah, if you’ve already started it, I definitely wouldn’t wait until spring. I just remember it being so much fun to read about Mary finding little green shoots poking through the ground and then to go outside and see similar new life all over my yard.

      • Beth says:

        It was my son who read it, and he is really into reading and good at it, too – he reads twice as fast as me! He is in a gifted and talented class at school, a 4/5 grade combo, but I seem to remember reading it (or maybe having it read to me) in fourth grade, too. I think he liked it pretty well. It’s not something he would have chosen but I think he still enjoyed it. It’s hard to find a book he doesn’t like, though!

      • SoCalLynn says:

        I read it to my daughter when she was about 9 and she loved it. I’m not good at voices, and reading the character of Dickon out loud is so hard! The Secret Garden was one of my favorites as a child. I probably read it a dozen times. When I read it to my daughter, I bought the annotated version, which included illustrations from all the editions published over the years. It is beautiful.

  34. Darcy says:

    Jane Eyre is perfect ALWAYS, but autumn is definitely a great time for the mood. I have a friend who reads Edgar Allen Poe in the autumn. I start to head back toward slightly more creepy/moody fiction or straight up horror. Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson are wonderful, and anthologies of short stories are fun because you don’t have to commit to a full novel, but can be introduced to great new writers. I also love re-reading the Little House books at this time of year – I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about suffering a Long Winter up here in the PNW!.

  35. Cath in Ottawa says:

    Wow this is a great list – with some of my absolute favourites (Crossing to Safety, Emily, etc). I am in the mood for big sweaters, big cups of tea or coffee and big books to dive into — The Luminaries is high on my list, as is finishing Huntsford’s biography of Nansen. I’m also looking forward to Sweetland by Michael Crummey.

  36. SoCalLynn says:

    I am in a mystery mood, which is not normal for me. I am reading a new-to-me author, James Sallis’ Cypress Grove. I just ordered the first Maisie Dobbs book, and I might also get the next Flavia deLuce mystery. I’m also thinking of re-reading a historical-romance I’ve read a dozen times, Too Deep for Tears by Kathryn Lynn Davis. It’s totally not my usual read, but I LOVE it! It’s like Outlander (Scotland!) without the descriptive sex. I’m also going to add Crossing to Safety to my list.

  37. You don’t have to ask me twice to reread Owen Meany. It’s probably been 5 years since I have, and I’ve been thinking about it lately. Does everything set in New England feel fall-ish? Hehe.

    I’m listening to The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, but it is more of a summery tale. I Capture the Castle is the perfect recommendation for fall, I think. Maybe I’ll curl up on the counter like Cassandra. (Not really. I just wanted to say that.)

  38. Amy says:

    Oh, I am SO happy to see this! I hope this is the start of a new tradition . . . no pressure though!

    I’m reading Oliver Twist right now, and I would definitely add it to the Classics list. It feels perfect for autumn.

  39. Amy says:

    Oh, and I also really want to read Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting. It sounds Gothic and mysterious, which is one of the things I look for in an autumn read.

  40. Vanessa says:

    I love love love The Age of Miracles and A Prayer for Owen Meany. So happy to see them on the list. Some of the others, I’m embarrassed to admit, I haven’t read yet at all. I should definitely check out Persuasion and Jane Eyre.

  41. Liesl says:

    A Prayer for Owen Meany is such such such a good book! Wow. It touches your heart so much and is so good! I’m always shocked to hear how many people have *not* read it because I feel it should be on so many reading lists.

    Thank you for this list! I’m always trying to find new good things to read, especially for fall when I can start soaking in the bubble bath more with the crisp fall weather 🙂

  42. Liesl says:

    Also, how do you have so much time to read?! I’m single and work full time and feel like I have a lot of free time but could not possibly read this many good books!

  43. Mary B. says:

    Hooray! Love this! Added quite a few to my GoodReads. I’m so glad you mentioned L.M. Montgomery. I haven’t read her (or thought of her) since I was a teenager, and I’m looking forward to re-discovering her as an adult!

  44. Paula Nix says:

    Yay! I was just thinking today at the library, once school starts, all the books seem to be for my kids or our school curriculum : ) Now I will once again have a library hold list to rival my 9 year old daughter’s and will be nightly faced with the decision between sleeping and reading. Thanks!

  45. Jenn says:

    I love the Anne books and have never read the Emily ones. I think I’ll have to give it a shot. I love these seasonal themed reading lists! You should definitely keep them up!

  46. Wendy says:

    Bravo! Based on the books I’ve already read, your list of “autumn” books is spot-on! And thanks for the suggestions… Your list is prompting me to pull a few books off of my “to-read” pile and put them at the top!!! (I Capture the Castle, Bittersweet, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Persuasion, and Wuthering Heights. Wonder if I can read them all this fall!!!)

  47. Erin says:

    You are so right that certain books are best read — like many albums are best listened to — in autumn.

    A couple weeks ago, I was delighted to wake up and find The Secret Place had been quietly delivered to my Kindle (I forgot I’d pre-ordered it). So, I’m making my way through that, and it does have a delightfully autumnal feel, though a distinctly different tone from her prior novels.

    I’m also (still) picking my way through The Luminaries. I do think that, although I read it on the cusp of fall and winter last year, The Goldfinch has a lot of autumn in it, especially the parts that take place in New York.

  48. LOVE this Anne! (As usual, book list posts are THE.BEST!!) 🙂 Between this post and Tsh’s post about her reading while traveling this year, my book list is happily growing my leaps and bounds!
    I don’t know if in the myriad of comments someone said this same thing here, but I think you should do an AUTUMN LIST LINKUP for us to share our fellow lists! If you don’t, I’d love to host one! 🙂 (And credit you with this post idea FIRST.).
    Also really enjoyed your podcast with Kat at How They Blog. I’m working on starting a podcast myself, and I’d love to have you as a guest! (I just have to get the technical side of things into gear–I’m terrible at that!)
    Great list, thanks Anne!

    • Anne says:

      Ooooh, a TBR linkup sounds delightful. And hit me up any time for podcast guesting. I’m happy to let someone else tend to the technical side of things. 🙂

    • Ginger says:

      Oh! I’m super intrigued by the idea of reading while traveling. Could you provide the link to that post?

      I’ve spent my life following the rule that when I’m at home, I read new books; and when I’m traveling, I allow rereads (the loose premise being unfamiliar environment, familiar book and vice versa).

      But after I discovered Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust to Go, I’ve been jotting down a whole list of books that I want to read IN a place (like Kim by Kipling in India or the creepy In Cold Blood by Capote in Kansas).

  49. Lindsey says:

    What a great comment section! I would add My Side of the Mountain to a fall reading list. It was a childhood favorite of mine which cracks me up now, because what book could be more appealing to an INTJ? Adventure, living off the land, using your wits to survive, being alone (save for a falcon), and extreme independence?! Apparently my personality type was set a very young age. 🙂

    I think you should do a series matching books to Myers Briggs types. You have a bunch of readers who could definitely help you crowdsource ideas!

  50. Teresa Simmons says:

    I flagged this post for a revisit because I just knew the comments would be chock full of ideas, and they are! My book club chose Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None for October, so that’s at the top of my list. But I’ve now bumped the Emily of New Moon books, Brideshead Revisited (a reread), and something – anything – by Wendell Berry to top spots as well. I loved the two Wallace Stegner books that you mentioned and always mean to recommend those to people but somehow forget. Thanks for the reminder! And Outlander? I finished it the other day, after much persuasion by multiple friends who claim it as their favorite book EVER, but the brutality left me cold. A while back, someone here mentioned All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I’m not sure which season it would best complement – maybe all! – but it was a surprisingly funny read with delightful characterization. Love your great booklists, Anne!

    • Anne says:

      I still need to read Agatha Christie, so I’m jotting down that title. I’m so glad you’ll be reading Wendell Berry soon. (Jayber Crow is my personal favorite.) And I haven’t read All Creatures Great and Small, but it’s sitting on my nightstand right now.

      Happy reading! You have so many good books in your queue; I’m excited for you to get to them. 🙂

  51. Donna H. says:

    I did not read through all of the comments, so forgive me if I’m repeating…but for those of you looking for a great “classic” coming of age novel, Up A Road Slowly by Irene Hunt is one of my top 3 picks. So bittersweet and wonderfully written. Makes me think of fall, too.

  52. I feel like such a book fraud and a fake lover of Anne! I had no idea LM Montgomery had another series! Ugh, I am so ashamed. I just purchased the Emily series for my nook… super cheap at $2.99. That feels like disrespect to LM.

  53. Sandy says:

    I finished reading A Prayer for Owen Meany 10 minutes ago. Oh man. I am tempted to turn right back to page one and start over. A tremendously powerful novel. There were parts that had me laughing hysterically and parts that gripped my heart. Thank you for this recommendation.

  54. Rebecca Putna says:

    My birthday is in October and several of my authors have books coming out that month. Named of the Dragon by Susannah Kearsley, The Lake House by Kate Morton, Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella, a guilty pleasure. A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George. Happy Birthday to me! Now I am reading Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber and Rising Strong by Brene Brown,and for pure fun Falling for You by Jill Mansell and P.S. I Still Love you but Jenny Han.

  55. Debra G says:

    I’m never totally sure what I’m going to be reading, but I think I’ll try a couple of the books on this list. I just put on hold at the library I Capture the Castle and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Right now I’m reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, James and the Giant Peach (read aloud for my boys), A Charlotte Mason Education, Becoming a Contagious Christian, and Hudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of China. As you can see, I need some fiction in there. I’m usually never without a fiction book.

  56. Whitney Cant says:

    I’m planning on reading Emma by Jane Austen for the first time. I’m realizing as I go through my mid-20s that I’m in the perfect place mentally and emotionally to read Austen’s works and absorb them completely.

  57. Leslie says:

    I am reading Oprah’s bookclub pick and eagerly anticipating Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography! I’ve also been wanting to read “Night Circus” though that doesn’t scream fall to me.

  58. I read The Light Between Oceans this summer and uff-da. That’s a hard read! I need to read May B since my daughter did and loved it. Jane Eyre–an fantastic classic. Right now I am going to be starting ‘A. Lincoln’ It’s for the 2016 Reading Challenge!

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