Autumn is the perfect season for curling up with a good book. Whether you want to mourn the end of Summer by diving into a rich autumnal read or you just want a change of pace from your beachy books, we have compiled a selection of reading recommendations to keep you happy.
Some of these have been out a while and are perfect reading material for embracing the darkness, others are new reads hitting the shelves this Autumn that we think you are going to love.
To get us in the mood, we also share here some of our favourite autumnal quotes:
“Autumn leaves don't fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.” Delia Owens in Where The Crawdads Sing
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” L.M. Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables.
If you like to cosy up to a book with an autumnal cover, (there's nothing wrong with being influenced by a beautiful book jacket), we can't help but press The Familiars, Circe or Foxfire Wolfskin and Other Stories or The Deathless Girls into your hands. We cannot forget the children's book October, October by Katya Balen that is a modern classic. A book for everyone, not just children, it's a timeless, lyrical treasure that sees a girl who’s at one with the wild struggle with the world beyond her woods. And of course Ali Smith's Autumn, which was shortlisted for the Booker in 2017.
We are unable to create this collection without mentioning Melissa Harrison who is a novelist and nature writer, podcaster and children’s author. Her most recent novel, All Among the Barley, was the UK winner of the European Union Prize for Literature. It was a Waterstones Paperback of the Year and a Book of the Year in the Observer, the New Statesman and the Irish Times. And we could include almost all of Melissa's books here. They are a joy to behold, and celebrate nature in all its forms, of particular relevance to this collection at this critical time of transformation is Autumn - an anthology for the changing seasons.
If we're talking about new books with an autumnal feel, do check out Daniel Mason's North Woods. It's the story of a single house deep in the woods of New England, and it's destined for big things. The grand master of gripping fiction is back as International No.1 bestseller Ken Follett returns to Kingsbridge with a sweeping tale of revolution set in 1792 and a cast of unforgettable characters. The Armour of Light is epic. The Book of Fire by Christy Lefteri is another absolute star. Blazing with a family’s impulse to survive and rise from the ashes of destruction, this remarkable Greece-set novel is intimate, epic, and exhilaratingly absorbing. And Yours from The Tower by Sally Nicholls is a brilliant read for teenagers onwards. It explores the hopes, struggles and first loves of three friends at the end of the 19th century, who have left boarding school for very different lives.
And, even though they're not particularly autumnal, we've included these brilliant reads that are hitting the stores near you this Autumn. All are from names we love and are sure to hit the bestseller lists.
The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman. The fourth outing for Osman's septuagenarians from Cooper's Chase promises another smart, witty, and joyous murder mystery to solve for the armchair sleuths amongst us.
The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith is the seventh Cormoran Strike novel featuring the magnetic detective duo of Strike and Robin.
The Glutton is a novel we'll all want to savour! AK Blakemore delivers her second novel following her brilliant 2021 debut The Manningtree Witches with a darkly exuberant novel about a man consumed by hunger in a country devoured by revolution.
Holly by Stephen King. Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Now the private detective has to discover the grisly truth behind multiple disappearances in a Midwestern town.
The Fraud by Zadie Smith might just be the most eagerly awaited novel of the autumn. Smith of White Teeth fame turns her hand to historical fiction and we couldn't be more excited. Truth and fiction. Jamaica and Britain. A Dickensian courtroom drama based on a true story that takes us from London’s docks to Jamaican plantations.
The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes. We have been waiting for this book with bated breath since we first read Hayes global hit I Am Pilgrim in 2013. A CIA agent exfiltrating a top asset from the badlands of the Afghan-Pakistan borders meets a truly dangerous, world-threatening adversary. Sold!
Good Material by Dolly Alderton. From the bestselling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love comes a sharply funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely relatable story of heartbreak and friendship, and how to survive both. Lena Durham got it absolutely spot on when she said: "Wise and relatable and pee-your-pants funny... Dolly Alderton is, quite simply, the bard of modern day love."
If like us, you've been binging The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix, you are going to want to get your hands on a copy of Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly. Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back, taking the long shot cases, where the chances of winning are one in a million. Bring it on.
In the dystopian stakes, Naomi Alderman has a follow up to The Power that we'll be grabbing with both hands. The Future, out in November promises to be as readable as her previous books. It's being described as a white-knuckle tour-de-force and dazzling exploration of the world we have made and where we are going. And we can't wait.
If Halloween is more your thing as the Autumn nears and closes in, check out our Halloween reading recommendations: 50 books to keep you up past the witching hour.