10 Awesome Autumnal Books
Updated: Oct 27
We’ve all been there. You’ve got your thick, warm boots on (the ones that you only bring out once summer is over), your woolly scarf (the one that always smells like Grandma’s shepherd’s pie, no matter how many times you wash it), and those gloves that stop you from using your phone. You’ve got a pumpkin-spiced latte in your hand and the sun is shining. You skip down the street, kicking all the red and auburn leaves as you go. Your nose is cold, but you don’t care. You stop. Take a breath.
You don’t feel one ounce of autumnal magic, do you?
It’s like your autumnal power-meter is running on low. You need a top-up of autumnal goodness, and you need it fast. I’m afraid the pumpkin-spiced lattes are just not cutting it, this year.
You need something more wholesome. Something that’ll last.
Something, like an autumnal story, perhaps?
Don’t fret, The Book Nook has you covered. We know how reading a good, autumnal book can take you from a sad, little pumpkin to an autumnal apple pie in seconds. You just need to find the right book.
Here are our top 10 books that'll help you feel autumnal.
1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
If you haven’t read this yet, you need to. It can only be described properly by using my new favourite phrase: Dark Academia. Isn’t that amazing? Doesn’t it just conjure up dark, damp, stone corridors with that smell of new books and murder? That’s what Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is, a truly dark academia. When a group of highly intellectual students decide to step outside the norms of their contemporary society, their own morality comes into question, and their lives are changed forever.
2. Autumn by Ali Smith
How could a book called Autumn not be on this autumnal book list? Ali Smith takes a different approach to Autumn in her book; it’s a meditation on age and time, of hope and growth and loss. It’s unlike any other book, and definitely one that needs to be on your TBR.
3. Melmoth by Sarah Perry
A silent figure, bleeding feet. A secret script of human tragedies and loss. All overseen by a woman. A silent figure. The gothic darkness of Perry's Melmoth is perfect for those long, cold, autumnal nights, and a great gift for those who love unconventional psychological horrors.
4. The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
This has been all over my Instagram feed this month, and it’s no wonder why. This dark, guttural, dystopia channels the likes of The Handmaid’s Tale, into the age-old story of women being persecuted for being witches.
Immanuelle tries her best to obey the rules of Bethel, but it’s hard being a woman in her village. When a chance encounter leads her into the woods (haunted by the spirits of witches long dead), she’s gifted the diary of her mother. Immanuelle knows things must change. The perfect book to cosy-up with on an autumn evening.
5. Walks in the Wild by Peter Wohlleben
If you fancy yourself Bear Grylls, then this is the book for you. Let Peter Wohlleben share all his knowledge of the forest with you. The perfect book for getting right down and dirty in the autumnal, muddy forests. He’ll tell you what mushrooms are good to eat, and what berries to avoid. You’ll have no trouble exploring your local woodland with this book in your pocket.
6. The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The perfect epic tale that every child, adult, and hobbit, needs to read. You’ve seen the films, now it’s time to read the books. Help Frodo, Sam, and the rest of the Fellowship on their journey to rid evil from their world, whilst you stay warm and cosy inside your very own hobbit hole.
7. A Poem for Every Autumn Day
We’ve spoken about this book before and we’ll speak about it again. It’s the sort of book that’ll stay in your family for generations, from new and pristine on the shelf to old and rugged, but still very much loved. Full of poems that’ll brighten even the darkest of autumn days, this book is perfect for bedtime reading.
8. The Harpy by Megan Hunter
Voted Indie Book of the Month, The Harpy by Megan Hunter is a book like no other. It’s dark, gritty, lyrical, beautifully written, but about things that we’d probably rather were left unspoken. Well, that’s probably how Lucy feels, the protagonist. She has her whole routine planned out: working from home, caring for the kids, looking after the house. It’s not until a man arrived on her doorstep saying that his wife has been sleeping with Jake, Lucy’s husband, does her world, her personality, begin to crumble, to change, to metamorphose. Would you do the same as Lucy?
9. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
This has to be one of the best books out there if you’re just dipping your toes into non-fiction, memoir-esque, nature books. Hailed as reinvigorating the nature writing genre, H is for Hawk is ultimately about one woman’s love for hawks, and how when she is weighed-down by the grief of her father’s death, how her own hawk saved her. It’s an honest account of grief, perseverance, and the human ability to keep moving forward, even if all seems lost.
10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Is this one of those books that you’ve heard everyone rave about but not actually read? Change that this autumn by stepping into this magnificent world of fantasy, where as soon as the sun disappears, the sign appears. Are you ready to visit The Circus of Dreams?
What do you think of our list? Can you hear that autumnal magic calling your name? Let us know over on our Facebook page, we’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s your favourite autumnal book?