Top 10 Autumn Reads

5 min read

When the night’s start drawing in, there’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. There is something truly magical about escaping to imaginary worlds when autumnal rain is spattering against the window.  

Autumn is the season of nostalgia and change. With Halloween just around the corner, ghost stories and chilling thrillers are the perfect reading choice. On crisper, brighter days however, books filled with warmth and friendship are perhaps a better choice. 

This blog shares a mixture of comforting and thrilling classic reads for you to enjoy this autumn.

 

1. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë (1847)

“There was no moon, and everything beneath lay in misty darkness…”

Set against the wild Yorkshire moors,Wuthering Heights is the perfect autumn read. Both gothic and romantic, the story vibrates with restless passion. Much of the tale revolves around Catherine Linton and the brooding Heathcliff. Their turbulent relationship, from childhood through to young adulthood, draws the reader into a dark web of passion and obsession. Despite the wild freedom of the moors, the novel is claustrophobic in its portrayal of jealousy, revenge and self-absorption. It draws the reader into an isolated world from which it is impossible to escape until the end.

 

2. Endless Night - Agatha Christie (1967)

“We dream of fantastic things that may never happen.”

Endless Nightis a mysterious and chilling tale. The story introduces Mike Rogers, a footloose young man in search of wealth. After falling in love with a wealthy heiress, his fate becomes bound to Gipsy’s Acre, an abandoned house rumoured to stand on cursed ground. Romance is soon overshadowed by death and murder, presented to the reader through many unexpected twists and turns. Riddled with darkness and suspicion, this spine-tingling novel is best read on a cold and blustery autumn night.

 

3. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (1960)

“Summer drifts into autumn, and autumn is sometimes never followed by winter.” 

Lee’s bildungsroman has become a classic of modern American literature. It is best known for its exploration of complex issues such as racial injustice, class and gender in the Deep South. Told through the eyes of a child narrator, the story blends childhood innocence and experience with Lee’s own adult perspective. While the story isn’t autobiographical, Lee deals with her complex subject matter truthfully. Even though the novel focuses on the darker side of human experience, it is also filled a with humour, warmth and a deep sense of compassion. 

 

4. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery (1908)

 “I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Eleven year old Anne Shirley has charmed readers for decades. Mistakenly adopted by siblings Marilla and Mathew Cuthbert, she begins life at Green Gables in Avonlea. Fiery spirited and warm hearted, Anne lives in a world split between reality and her vast imagination. This much loved classic explores the dreams and trials of childhood. Montgomery’s portrayal of family, friendships and love invites readers into a wonderfully nostalgic world. Anne’s adventures offer a sense of escapism in the autumn months when cold weather and dark nights set in.

 

5. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe (1982)

“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year...”


Poe’s short stories thread their way through a variety of genres. From detective tales, satires and fables to fantasies and dramas, he presents the darker side of his literary talent. His poems likewise encompass a number of themes but once again drift towards the macabre. Poe is a true master of the gothic, conjuring up madmen, murderers and mysterious events in his stories. His haunting genius made him an early pioneer of the short story and he has thrilled and enthralled readers for decades.

 

6. The Midnight Plumber - Maurice Proctor (1958)

The Midnight Plumber explores Chief Inspector Martineau’s encounter with a ruthless gang known as The Plumber’s who are terrorizing Granchester. The gang’s men work quickly, but the identity of the Plumber himself is unknown. Proctor harboured a desire to write throughout his career with the Yorkshire Police and quit his position with he force once his first book was published. His knowledge of crime shines through in the novel this, paired with his tight pace, makes for an enthralling read.

 

7. Tolkien Unfinished Tales, J. R. R. Tolkien (1980)

“Fear both the heat and the cold of your heart, and try to have patience…”

This collection of unfinished tales, put together by Christopher Tolkien, contains a selection of detailed narratives about Númenor and Middle-Earth. The tales present details on characters, events and places and move from the early Elder Days right to the end of the War of the Ring. Tolkein’s attention to detail is at times startling and his stories can only be described as an epic collection of mythical grandeur. Tolkien’s vast imagination and literary craft are second to none and his stories make wonderful reading at any time of year.

 

8. The Invisible Man, H. G. Wells (1940)

“And I beheld...a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man.”

The Invisible Man is narrated by Griffin, a scientist on a quest for invisibility. The story observes his creation of an invisibility potion that inevitably triggers his descent into madness. The often chilling plot is reminiscent of Jekyll and Hyde and Frankenstein, where science and evil, madness and power join forces. Wells wrote the novel to expose the societal and intellectual issues facing African Americans. Within this framework, he sought to demonstrate the human ability to overcome deception in their search for the truth.

 

9. The House of the Wolf, Stanley Weyman (1889)

'"He is the devil in person!"

Set in Paris during the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, Weyman’s historical romance follows the adventures of three young brothers. Their attempts to save their beautiful cousin from a spurned suitor draws them into a tangled web of danger and struggle. Weyman masterfully weaves his story into the bloody drama of the massacre, creating a thrilling tale of threat and vengeance. While the story itself is simple, the initial romance swiftly transforms into action and suspense. Weyman blends reality and imagination to create a spine-tingling adventure that leaves readers wanting more.

 

10. Mammoth Book of Thrillers, Ghosts and Mysteries, Various, edited by J. M. Parrish and John R. Crossland (1936)

Filled with stories from some of the great classical writers, this compendium of dark tales is riddled with supernatural and paranormal happenings. While many are mental rather than physical, this adds a thrilling psychological twist. Agatha Christie, R. L. Stevenson, Bram Stoker and many others come together to draw readers in with their suspenseful stories. In this volume, nothing is ever as it seems. With Halloween just around the corner, this chilling collection certainly won’t disappoint.


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