My Book Recommendations to Give You Major Autumn Vibes

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.

William Styron

Summer reading gets all the hype. Everyone wants a fantastic beach read only to find themselves snoozing through them or putting it down to play in the waves. I LOVE a good beach read, but I look forward to sweater weather reading season more. Curling up with a blanket, hot chocolate, and whichever pet wants to snuggle with me next to a fire? Yes freaking please.

I read almost anything at every time of the year, but thrillers have a special place in my heart and more people want to read and talk about them during autumn. In the fall, I want everything to give my those vibes. Each book needs to transport me to a spooky or cozy location that will leave me plastered to my chair because I’m both so riveted with the book and too comfortable that I don’t want to move.

Below you’ll find some, but of course not all, of my favorite fall reads. Some will have you thinking about the changing colors, cooking up a fantastic feast, and other wills have you pulling that blanket tighter around you wondering if you should turn all the lights on in your house because WHAT did you just read and WHAT was that noise?

The Night Circus

Cozy Factor: 10/10 Spooky Factor: 0/10

This book by Erin Morgenstern about a circus that arrives mysteriously and suddenly in the night with no warning is not only one-of-a-kind but one of my favorites. Each event spectators view is more breathtaking and amazing than the last, made even more magical because the circus is only open at night. Behind the scenes rivalries between two magicians are escalating and only one can be left standing. The results? A circus that is only limited by imagination.

Tart of Darkness

Cozy Factor: 8/10 Spooky Factor: 2/10

Denise Swanson is a master at making her readers hungry and turning the pages. Dani unexpectedly inherits a home in a small town and decides to start the business of her dreams as a chef. Her homemade lunches for nearby college students and her services as a professional chef land her a gig as a caterer at a well-to-do party. Unfortunately, she blamed for the death of one of the partygoers. You’ll join Dani on her mission to clear her name and enjoy the mouthwatering descriptions of food along the way.

The Final Girl Support Group

Cozy Factor: 0/10 Spooky Factor: 10/10

Grady Hendrix is known for his unique take on stories we’ve all read before and turning them into something completely fresh. This book centers around the members of a support group for women who survived 80’s thrasher murder attempts. Unfortunately, they’re about to be final girls again as they are being hunted one by one. If you live for 80s thrasher movies, this is going to be your favorite book. I am not a huge horror fan, but oh man this was a cool read.

The Ninth House

Cozy Factor: 2/10 Spooky Factor: 8/10

Leigh Bardugo knows how to tell a ghost story, that’s for sure. While the beginning is a slow burn, it’s necessary. In this ghostly tale, Yale is home to several houses/secret societies that all have different powers an abilities, all tied to the afterlife. The story follows Alex Stern and her investigations and involvements in the occult activity and that’s where the attacks on her begin.

Lore

Cozy Factor: 3/10 Spooky Factor: 7/10

The Hunger Games meets Greek mythology in this new imaging of the myths by Alexandra Bracken. Gods and goddesses hunt each other for powers every seven years. Lore searches for revenge for the death of her family. A pact is made with an original god and a deadly power struggle ensues. This reimagining is like nothing I’ve read before. Find somewhere comfortable because you won’t be able to stop reading until you know how it ends.

The Ex Hex

Cozy Factor: 9/10 Spooky Factor: 1/10

Erin Sterling’s debut novel isn’t out yet, but make sure you get it as soon as it is in late September. If you love the quirkier side of Halloween and spooky season, this romantic comedy should be on your radar. What happens when young witch curses her ex and he returns to town? Disaster after disaster. After a talking cat and wind up toys, among other hilarious things, are all against him, the former couple has to team up to save the town amidst their rekindling attraction.

A Discovery of Witches

Cozy Factor: 7/10 Spooky Factor: 3/10

A vampire, a witch, and a manuscript set off the plot in Deborah Harkness’s first installation of the All Souls trilogy. Diana, a witch, discovers a lost manuscript that sets an underworld of vampires, demons, and more stirring and all trying to capture the manuscript. The entire book is packed with adventure, history, and an unexpected love entanglement. All three books delve deeper into the rich world the author creates as well as the love story. It’s a great mix of fantasy and romance.

The Sun Down Motel

Cozy Factor: 0/10 Spooky Factor: 10/10

Simone St. James became a must-read author for me after this one. A woman, Viv, disappears under mysterious circumstances that are never solved. Years later, her niece, Carly, begins to investigate her disappearance by working at the same Motel. At first, logical explanations can be made for the odd occurrences at night. As Carly continues to discover the town’s secrets the motel begins to come alive just a little bit more each night. If you love creepy ghost stories, murder mysteries, and the X Files vibes, this is for you.

The Lost Apothecary

Cozy Factor: 9/10 Spooky Factor: 1/10

A female apothecary in the 18th century dispenses poisons to liberate women from the horrible men in their lives. A modern-day woman arrives in London without her husband to find herself after learning about his infidelities. She discovers an apothecary’s vial and starts to dig deeper in the historical background only to discover secrets that haven’t seen the light of day for two centuries. Sarah Penner does a masterful job of weaving history, two timelines, and so much interesting information into one story. It’s a creative journey through time with two strong female characters. Yes and more yes.

Children of Blood and Bone

Cozy Factor: 6/10 Spooky Factor: 4/10

Calling all fantasy lovers! Tomi Adeyemi’s books should be featured in a place of honor on your shelves. A ruthless leader ensures magic is eradicated, but something so powerful and ingrained in a people cannot be erased forever. Zélie has a chance to bring back magic once and for all. It won’t be easy, but it’s her peoples’ only chance. This was one of the most unique books about magic I’ve ever read. The powers were inventive, the storyline was entrancing, and it felt like you were dropped inside a fantastical story filled with fights, struggles, and overcoming perceptions about stereotypes.

The Ghost Variations

Cozy Factor: 5/10 Spooky Factor: 5/10

Looking for the most inventive ghost stories? Kevin Brockmeier delivers. Whether you want existential ghost stories or hilarious ones, each of these stories taps into what could happen after death. These aren’t your average oh you’re getting haunted stories. Nope. Each of the 100 super short tales explores a different aspect of ‘what if’ and ‘wouldn’t it be interesting if’. Read it in one sitting or sample a few stories each day leading up to Halloween.

A Phô Love Story

Cozy Factor: 10/10 Spooky Factor: 0/10

Loan Le knows not only how to tell a fantastic story with impact, but she also knows how to make you hungry AF. This is a romantic comedy, but it touches on important subjects like stopping Asian hate and standing up for what you believe in. The story follows two teenagers who work at rival phô restaurants across the street from each other. The two connect and try to juggle school, their career choices, and how to reconcile the families’ animosity towards each other. You’ll want to make a list of the dishes described in this book because all of them sound phenomenal and perfect for a snack or meal when reading!

Penne Dreadful

Cozy Factor: 8/10 Spooky Factor: 2/10

Catherine Burns weaves a tasty tale in the Italian chef mystery series. When her husband is killed it’s initially thought to be an accident. Tessa, his wife, is questioned by the police to fill in the gaps and potentially help find his killer. As a local chef, she begins cooking again and infiltrates the kitchen of the last place her husband was seen alive. Instead of answers, more questions arise and the mystery unwinds from there! Any Italian food lovers (who isn’t?) will find the food described mouth watering and the book a quick, fun read for cold autumn nights.

Published by Emma Browning

Hey everyone, my name is Emma Browning. Thanks for stopping by. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance woman since I basically do a little bit of everything. Here's a few of my jobs/hobbies in case you're curious: Group Fitness Instructor (Zumba, BodyStep and BodyPump), small business owner (string art& travel photography), archaeologist/anthropologist, actress, SCUBA dive master, reading addict, dog mom, cellist, and of course travel enthusiast. I've traveled to over 21 countries and speak French fluently and am learning Spanish. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do whether it be a day trip with my dog or a massive international adventure. I created this blog to help others see the world vicariously through my wanderings and also to give useful tips and essential information that will hopefully inspire more people to travel. Hopefully you have as much fun reading these posts and get a lot of useful information from them!

7 thoughts on “My Book Recommendations to Give You Major Autumn Vibes

  1. I love these recommendations! thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
    Has “The discovery of witches” been turned into a TV series (though i only know it from Amazon Prime, if this is the same thing)?

      1. I’ve watched the first series, but still haven’t seen the second. Quite enjoyed the 1 season, I must say, but I have not read the books so can’t comment if the adaptation is better or worse.

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