We are at the start of my favorite season. I love the golden light, the crisp evenings and mornings, the bright blue sky, the sounds of birds flying south, and the smells of bonfires and falling leaves.
My reading in the fall tends to be focused on reflective novels and books that warm my heart and soul. I’m always seeking new titles to read, but in autumn, I do a lot more rereading. Here are some of my favorite books to read this time of year.
Persuasion by Jane Austen – My favorite Austen novel, Persuasion is perfect for reading in the autumn as it talks about second chances later in life. I like to reread this one every few years and always in October.
September by Rosamund Pilcher – The title speaks for itself as it is set in September, but I love that most of the characters are in middle life, thinking about their lives, their choices, and where to go from here.
Possession by A.S. Byatt – An intellectual mystery, this novel follows a set of scholars as they seek the truth of the relationship between two Victorian poets – for those who enjoy an academic puzzle and unraveling historical mysteries
Anne of the Island or Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery – School stories always seem appropriate to read at the start of a school year and either of these work for that although Anne of Windy Poplars seems a bit more “fallish”.
Autumn Story by Jill Barklem – If you have not yet read any of Jill Barklem’s stories about the mice in the hedgerow over the various seasons, go immediately to your library and pick one up. The drawings are enchanting and the stories sweet without being cloying. The tale reads quickly but you will want to pour over the illustrations to look at all of the details of country English life.
Vittoria Cottage by D.E. Stevenson – This title by Stevenson is another book about second chances, this time for a woman in middle life with grown children.
Fresh From the Country by Miss Read – Another school story, this one describes the life of a brand new teacher. Miss Read’s Fairacre Series is also great for school-story lovers.
Pilgrim’s Inn by Elizabeth Goudge – Many of Elizabeth Goudge’s books are thoughtful and reflective, but this one is a favorite of mine with many descriptions of cozy home scenes.
Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struthers – Always good for a reread but especially great in fall and winter, each essay covers a small portion of Mrs. Miniver’s life in a way that can lead you to think more closely about the ordinary things in yours.
Books I’ve read that would make perfect fall reads:
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – This gothic tale about an old woman who wants to tell the truth of her life after many years of hiding it away is perfect for fall reading.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Austen pokes fun at gothic tales while telling one of her own. Delightful.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving – The classic story of Ichabod Crane and his night ride is spooky without being horror.
Early Days by Miss Read – Miss Read recounts her early childhood in this lovely memoir.
Books that are on my to-read list that would fit into fall reading:
Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope – I’m slowly reading through Trollope’s Barchestershire series, and anything by him has one thinking about the human condition and the choices we make.
September Moon by John Moore – I found a copy of this after reading about it at a bookish Instagram account I follow. It’s set in hops-picking time in England, a time I’ve always been intrigued by after reading about it other books. I’m looking forward to picking this up soon.
The Headmistress by Angela Thirkell – Anything by Angela Thirkell is good cozy reading and being about a school is an added bonus.
The Last Bookshop in London by Madeleine Martin – This book about a bookshop in World War II may not appear cozy at first glance, but I find any book set in London involving books takes me away to another world so it qualifies for me.
Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee – Memoirs about childhood memories are always good for fall, and this one has long been on my to-read list so I’m hoping to finally get to it this year.
The Cottage Kitchen: Cozy Cooking in the English Countryside by Marte Marie Forsberg – Cool nights and earlier evenings call out for spending time in the kitchen. I love to read cookbooks and this one just seems perfect for this time of year. I have certain things I always make in autumn and am hoping to find another favorite.
Autumn from the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch – I loved her memoir about her trip to England and hope to find an affordable copy of this book for the drawings and recipes.
Do you have a favorite book to read this time of year? Please share it in the comments. I love to add books to my autumn reading list.