Depending on what you consider to be the start of fall, this post is either quite late or pretty close to right on time. I tend to start my ‘fall reading’ at the beginning of September because, regardless of the weather, that always seems like the unofficial start of fall to me. The kids go back to school and cooling temperatures and changing leaves are on the horizon. So, from my point of view, this post is very late… but c’est la vie. We are here now.
I don’t stick too closely to seasonal themes in my reading, but I do like to try to read at least some books that fit within the seasonal theme or feel. For me, in recent years anyways, that means cozy, slightly spooky, more “atmospheric” (whatever that means) books for the fall. In practice this generally means a lot of mystery, some thrillers, some that are loosely horror or supernatural, and then fantasy.
These seasonal aspects, along with the knowledge that we are entering the final stretch of this year and I have not made nearly as much progress on the reading goals I set out earlier this year, are the things that shaped my reading goals for this fall.
Goal #1: Fantasy
What you will soon discover, if you have not already, is that I read fantasy year round. The amount can vary depending on the mood I’m in, but fantasy is a staple in my reading diet. At this time of year, I tend to gravitate towards some of those darker, atmospheric (there’s that word again) fantasies that just seem so well suited to fall. Since my summer reading was light on fantasy this year, I want to focus on reading more fantasy overall along with focusing on the fall vibes.Here are some of the books I’ve picked for this category.
I) Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
As you’ll see in my September wrap up next week, I read the second book in this series, Godsgrave, at the end of August. This dark, gritty series is perfect for fall and I hope to finish the series off this year.
II) Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
This was on last year’s fall list and it didn’t happen, therefore it needs to happen this year. If ever there a year to read about an unlikely duo trying to stop the apocalypse, it feels like this is it.
III) Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
Cassidy Blake can see ghosts and in this instalment on particularly unpleasant poltergeist is loose in Paris. I really enjoyed the first book in this middle grade series when it came out. With it’s ghostly vibes and setting, I think book 2 will be the perfect fall read.
IV) Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
I have not read nearly enough Pratchett this year, and that needs to change. This instalment, focusing on the Grim Reaper, seems to be a seasonally appropriate choice. If ever there was a year that needed a few laughs…
V) House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
I don’t think this one really fits with the atmospheric vibes, but it’s been on my list since it came out earlier this year, and I am crossing my fingers it will be my turn at the library soon.
Goal # 2: Fright
This category includes more than just your typical scary books; it also includes some mysteries and thrillers and some fantasy. I don’t gravitate towards intense horrors (even though sometimes I think I might like to) because I like to sleep and my imagination mixed with horror doesn’t always allow that. But I really enjoy a certain level of scary, so I am always on the hunt for the perfect level of scary.
I) Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
This book features a haunted house and dangerous ghosts. What more really needs to be said? (Seriously though, if you want a wee bit more than that, come back next week for the blurb in my wrap up)
II) We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
If you haven’t heard of this one before, Jackson is the same author that wrote The Haunting of Hill House, and I have heard that this one is even better than that one.
III) The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Every year the small town in this book is revisited by the ghosts of three young woman that were drowned as witches 200 years prior. The women inhabit the bodies of living young women and proceed to drown young men to enact their revenge on the town. The synopsis as I have given it sounds terrible, but I have heard excellent things about this one.
IV) The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
You may have figured out by now that I love stories that include an aspect of a “retelling.” I don’t know much about this one, and I’ve actually heard very mixed reviews for it, but as it fits into this category of retelling, I am looking forward to giving it a shot.
V) Assorted Thrillers, Horror and Mystery
I have more specific titles on my personal list, but I am largely at the mercy of the library hold list as well as the “reading whims.” The “reading whims” have strong feelings about which books in this category I am drawn to pick up. Also – I am always looking for recommendations of books that are spooky, creepy, and scary, but that aren’t too scary or gory. If you have any, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
Goal #3: Cozy and Chick
Here there be cozy mysteries as well as anything that I might classify as “chick lit.” Okay, okay, I hear you. This is a bit of a 180 from the previous two categories, but hear me out. There are a lot of cozy mysteries and contemporary/romance books that are either clearly set in fall, or give off intense fall vibes, and that is largely what I want from this category. I also just really love this category of books and know that if I don’t put any on the list I’m likely to go off the rails and abandon all other categories…
I) Read at least 2 Leslie Meier books
I have not read many Leslie Meier cozies, and the ones I have read have left me very indecisive as to whether I enjoy them… but she writes so many seasonally themed mysteries that I want to give her another shot.
II) At least 1 Agatha Christie
I’m not sure if I want to read the other Christie that is on my “Twenties” reading list, or if I want to read something completely different, but after reading the Mysterious Affair at Styles earlier in the summer, I am feeling drawn to pick up another one of her books.
III) A Murder She Wrote novel
Yes. I am that girl. I am 100% unsure of how good this series of books based on the show will be, but I am also quite addicted to Murder She Wrote these days, so I figure, why not?
IV) Start a new series by Samantha Chase
This one doesn’t fit with my “fall vibes” theme. I enjoy Chases’ romance novels and haven’t picked on up since I finished the series I was reading earlier this year. I want to start a new series so I have it on the back burner going into winter.
Goal #4: Miscellaneous
I have a few more general reading goals for the fall and a few books that didn’t fit into the other categories that I wanted to share as well. Full disclosure – if these goals were being ranked in a high school year book, they’d probably receive “most likely to not be completed”… just saying.
I) Make some progress on my “Book Lists”
Along with some of my themed reading lists that I’ve shared here over the past year, I also wrote a “Must Reads” list for 2020 at the beginning of the year. There are 20 books (plus optional sub ins) on this list, and up to this point, I have read 9 of them. And don’t even ask me how I’m progressing on my themed lists…
II) One or Two Non-fiction books
I am trying to get back into reading non-fiction at least occasionally, and there are a few books in this category that I have really wanted to read for some time. Let’s see if I can finally convince myself to dive in. If it’s on a list, it has to happen… right?
III) Graphic Novels
On my personal goals list, this was specifically to pick the LumberJanes series up again. I am still planning on that, but I also feel drawn to graphic novels in general right now. I have only dipped my toe into this category, so if you have any that you could recommend, I am always open to suggestions.
IV) Something Mermaid
I know, I know, this is both oddly specific and extremely vague. Basically, I know there are some more spooky mermaid fantasies that I want to read, but it will all depend on library availability (and my ability to remember what they are…)
V) Start a ‘Walking Book’
Yes. This is another strange one. This goal is tied into a goal I have to go for walks more consistently. I have the idea that if I start an audiobook that can only be read while walking, I’ll walk more… so far I have succeeded in increasing the number of walks I’ve gone on, and listened to zero audiobooks on the way. So this might be a doomed goal, but we shall see.
There you have it, all of my reading goals for Fall 2020. I know that it might seem like a lot of goals, but I make my reading goals the same way that I make my themed reading lists. Think of it like a reading goal buffet – you want to have plenty of options to pick from to be prepared for whatever mood that strikes. Sometimes you want salad and mains, and sometimes you want 3 helpings of dessert…
…now that I’ve made myself completely hungry, I think that it’s a good time to wrap up this post. What about you? Do you find that you tend to read seasonally? What are some of your favourite fall reads?
Until Next Time,