The onset of back-to-school days, darker skies, and crisp, chilly weather is bound to inspire you to settle in and get cozy with a stack of books. Now that autumn’s here, it’s time to put away the sunny beach reads, and dig up novels that will get you thinking about fall and the upcoming holidays.
Here are 10 fun autumn reads to add to your fall reading list. Head to the nearest library, or sign up for iRazoo today and start earning points that can be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite literary retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Target, and more!
1. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
This 1972 fantasy is about eight boys who go trick-or-treating on Halloween and learn that one of their friends has been whisked away on a special journey that could end in his demise. The boys then go on a time-traveling adventure and learn more about the history of Halloween while searching for their friend.
2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Tartt’s 1992 debut takes place at a small elite college in Vermont, and explores the relationship between six closely knit students who study classics — one of whom is murdered. The novel is narrated by Richard Papen, one of the six students who reflects on the situation years after the murder takes place, and reveals how the student’s death affects the lives of everyone in the group.
3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
This 2005 debut is based on stories about Dracula, which were told to Kostova by her father when Kostova was just a child. The novel is a blend of the thriller, detective, gothic, and adventure genres, and blends the history of real-life Vlad Tepes with the fictional Count Dracula.
4. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Written in 1850, this classic tale is set in 17th-century Puritan Boston. The novel tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a child after having an affair and strives to build a new life for herself while overcoming the trials and tribulations accompanied by Puritan life.
5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
This spooky 1959 novel relates the story of four individuals who arrive at Hill House to explore its eeriness. An occult scholar arrives with his assistant intent on finding evidence of hauntings, along with the future heir of Hill House and a young woman who communicates with poltergeists. During their stay, the house becomes more powerful than ever.
6. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This 2009 fantasy follows the story of Quentin Coldwater, a young man who enrolls at an elite college of magic. At first, Quentin thinks his wildest dreams of living in a world of magic have come true, until he realizes the school and its magical land is darker than he ever imagined.
7. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
This 1979 horror novel tells the story of five aging lifelong friends who regularly convene to share ghost stories. When one of the men dies unexpectedly, his surviving friends find themselves being haunted by gut-wrenching nightmares. It’s soon revealed that the men are being haunted by a murder they committed during their childhoods.
8. California by Edan Lepucki
This creepy post-apocalyptic dystopian novel follows the story of two young lovers, Frida and Calvin, who flee the destroyed city of Los Angeles to live in the wilderness of Northern California among other survivors. After learning Frida is pregnant, the couple flee their home again, unsure of who to trust and of where they can safely go to raise a child.
9. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
Hoffman’s 2011 release captures 300 years of history in the haunting town of Blackwell, Massachusetts — home to a mysterious garden in which only red plants can grow. The novel features a cast of colorful characters, including a brave English woman who founds Blackwell, a wounded Civil War soldier, and a traveler who arrives during a year summer never comes.
10. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
This 1938 gothic classic is narrated by an unnamed young woman who moves to Manderley estate after marrying a wealthy widower named Max de Winter. There, she meets the jealous housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, who constantly compares the narrator to Rebecca, Mr. de Winter’s perfect, beautiful wife who died in an accident years earlier. The narrator soon learns that Rebecca might have been murdered by someone at Manderley.
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