This time of year always seems to me to be a special one brimming with possibilities. The days are crisp and clean and seem to imply adventure might pop out from behind any corner.
And here is a reading list to complement this special season!
These books run the gamut from being perfect for reading on a wild, windy fall evening, a clear and bright Sunday morning or on a quiet evening when you can just imagine something unexplained going bump in the night!
Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays by Robert Frost:
Justly celebrated at home and abroad, Robert Frost is perhaps America’s greatest twentieth-century poet and a towering figure in American letters. From the publication of his first collections, A Boy’s Will (1913) and North of Boston (1914), Frost was recognized as a poet of unique power and formal skill, and the enduring significance of his work has been acknowledged by each subsequent generation. His poetry ranges from deceptively simply pastoral lyrics and genial, vernacular genre pieces to darker meditations, complex and ironic.
Here, based on extensive research into his manuscripts and published work, is the first authoritative and truly comprehensive collection of his writings. Brought together for the first time in a Library of America single volume is all the major poetry, a generous selection of uncollected poems, all of Frost’s dramatic writing, and the most extensive gathering of his prose writings ever published, several of which are printed here for the first time.
The core of this collection is the 1949 Complete Poems of Robert Frost, the last collection supervised by Frost himself. This version of the poems is free of unauthorized editorial changes introduced into subsequent editions. Also included is In the Clearing (1962), Frost’s final volume of poetry. Verse drawn from letters, articles, pamphlets, and journals makes up the largest selection of uncollected poems ever assembled, including nearly two dozen beautiful early works printed for the first time. Also gathered here are all the dramatic works: three plays and two verse masques.
The unprecedented prose section includes more than three times as many items as any other collection available. It is rich and diverse, presenting many newly discovered or rediscovered pieces. Especially unusual items include Frost’s contribution to John F. Kennedy’s inauguration and two fascinating 1959 essays on “The Future of Man.” Several manuscript items are published here for the first time, including the essays “‘Caveat Poeta’” and “The Way There,” Frost’s remarks on being appointed poetry consultant to the Library of Congress in 1958, the preface to a proposed new edition of North of Boston, and many others. A selection of letters represents all of Frost’s important comments about prosody, poetics, style, and his theory of “sentence sounds.”
Fever Dream: A Novel by Samanta Schweblin:
“A taut, exquisite page-turner vibrating with existential distress and cumulative dread…. While the book resides in the realm of the uncanny, its concerns are all too real. Once the top blows off Schweblin’s chest of horrors, into which we’d been peeking through a masterfully manipulated crack, what remains is an unsettling and significant dissection of maternal love and fear, of the devastation we’ve left to the future, and of our inability to escape or control the unseen and unimagined threats all around us. In a literary thriller of the highest order, Schweblin teases out the underlying anxieties of being vulnerable and loving vulnerable creatures and of being an inhabitant of a planet with an increasingly uncertain future.” —Kirkus, STARRED review
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone written by J. K. Rowling & Illustrated by Jim Kay:
The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.
For the first time, J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books will be presented in lavishly illustrated full-color editions. Kate Greenaway-award-winning artist Jim Kay has created over 100 stunning illustrations, making this deluxe format a perfect gift as much for a child being introduced to the series, as for the dedicated fan.
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.
All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable.
The Hobbit, Or There And Back Again written by J. R. R. Tolkien & Illustrated by Alan Lee:
This lavish gift edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic features cover art, illustrations, and watercolor paintings by the artist Alan Lee.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.
The Hound of the Baskervilles written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Illustrated by Pam Smy:
The legend of the hound which has brought terror to the Baskerville family for generations brings Sherlock Holmes up against a formidable adversary and sends Dr Watson to a bleak and lonely moor where it is all too easy to believe that something not of this world is intent on driving his friend to a foul and hideous death…”As you value your life or your reason keep away from the moor” read the note Sir Henry Baskerville had received. But the baronet, disbelieving legendary tales of a hound from hell which had torn out the throat of his evil ancestor, was intent on taking up his inheritance. Sherlock Holmes, brought into the case because the death of Sir Henry’s uncle, insists that the trusty, level-headed Dr Watson go as guard to Baskerville Hall…
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco:
Umberto Eco’s first novel, an international sensation and winner of the Premio Strega and the Prix Médicis Étranger awards
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern:
Two starcrossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in The Night Circus,the spellbinding bestseller that has captured the world’s imagination.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny:
Loyally accompanying a mysterious knife-wielding gentleman named Jack on his midnight rounds through the murky streets of London, good dog Snuff is busy helping his master collect the grisly ingredients needed for an unearthly rite that will take place not long after the death of the moon. But Snuff and his master are not alone. All manner of participants, both human and not, are gathering with their ancient tools and their animal familiars in preparation for the dread night. It is brave, devoted Snuff who must calculate the patterns of the Game and keep track of the Players—the witch, the mad monk, the vengeful vicar, the Count who sleeps by day, the Good Doctor and the hulking Experiment Man he fashioned from human body parts, and a wild-card American named Larry Talbot—all the while keeping Things at bay and staying a leap ahead of the Great Detective, who knows quite a bit more than he lets on.
Boldly original and wildly entertaining, A Night in the Lonesome October is a darkly sparkling gem, an amalgam of horror, humor, mystery, and fantasy. First published in 1993, it was Zelazny’s last book prior to his untimely death. Many consider it the best of the fantasy master’s novels. It has inspired many fans to read it every year in October, a chapter a day, and served as inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s brilliant story “Only the End of the World Again.”
Persuasion by Jane Austen:
In her final novel, as in her earlier ones, Jane Austen uses a love story to explore and gently satirize social pretensions and emotional confusion. Persuasion follows the romance of Anne Elliot and naval officer Frederick Wentworth. They were happily engaged until Anne’s friend, Lady Russell, persuaded her that Frederick was “unworthy.” Now, eight years later, Frederick returns, a wealthy captain in the navy, while Anne’s family teeters on the edge of bankruptcy. They still love each other, but their past mistakes threaten to keep them apart.
Austen may seem to paint on a small canvas, but her characters contain the full range of human passion and moral complexity, and the author’s generous spirit renders them all with understanding, compassion, and humor.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt:
Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles:
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
Set at a boys’ boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray:
One of Ray Bradbury’s best-known and most popular novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, now featuring a new introduction and material about its longstanding influence on culture and genre.
For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares.
Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.
Washington Irving’s Tales of the Supernatural written by Washington Irving and illustrated by R. W. Alley:
In this book of Irving’s choicest stories of the supernatural, there are ghosts in large numbers, as well as goblins, apparitions, spectres, reincarnations, necromancers, and more than a few probable figments of the imagination. This book is filled with fun stories perfect for those crisp, clean days of autumn – including The Legend of Sleepy Hallow!
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls by Anton DiSclafani:
“This summer’s first romantic page turner.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Named a most anticipated book for Summer 2013 by The Wall Street Journaland Publishers Weekly and USA Today, NPR, and People summer reads pick
From the author of The After Party, a lush, sexy, evocative debut novel of family secrets and girls’-school rituals, set in the 1930s South.
It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls’ friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country.
Weaving provocatively between home and school, the narrative powerfully unfurls the true story behind Thea’s expulsion from her family, but it isn’t long before the mystery of her past is rivaled by the question of how it will shape her future. Part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is an immersive, transporting page-turner—a vivid, propulsive novel about sex, love, family, money, class, home, and horses, all set against the ominous threat of the Depression—and the major debut of an important new writer.
Wilson, Kristian. 15 Books To Read During The Fall Because They Prefectly Capture The Autumnal Spirit. September 5, 2017. Online. Accessed October 17, 2018. https://www.bustle.com/p/15-books-to-read-during-the-fall-because-they-perfectly-capture-the-autumnal-spirit-80312
Best Books To Read In Autumn: A list of books that are enhanced by the atmosphere of Autumn. goodreads. Online. Accessed October 17, 2018 https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/155.Best_Books_To_Read_In_Autumn