What to read as the leaves fall this year

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | Graphic Artist

In my opinion, autumn is the best time of year for reading. Maybe it’s the smell in the air, drinking hot lattes or pulling your sweaters out of storage for the first time since last winter. 

Perhaps it’s even all three that create the ideal conditions to get cozy with a new read. My autumn book selections fall into a few categories — mystery, spooky and reads that give me a general autumnal feeling. 

“The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I consider the 2019 movie Knives Out to encompass all the feelings of autumn, so I look for books with similar vibes to read during this time. “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is exactly that. 

It’s a mystery filled with plot twists, a giant estate, money and betrayal. What’s better is that the final book in the trilogy was released in August, so this is a binge-worthy series. You won’t have to wait around a year dying to discover how a cliffhanger pans out as I unfortunately did. 

“Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling

I feel like little explanation is necessary as to why I included this book series. For many, this is the first book that comes to mind when thinking of autumnal reads. There are witches and wizards, magic, family and friendship. Need I say more? 

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins 

For me, the general feeling of “The Hunger Games” is very similar to “Harry Potter.” Perhaps they’re both large franchises with well-loved movies, or the only time I’ve read this series is during autumn. 

I have vivid memories of reading “The Hunger Games” for the first time on a family road trip to northern New Hampshire during peak foliage. This book will always be associated with autumn, colorful foliage and leaves gracefully falling in the wind.

“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

Set at an elite liberal arts college in Vermont, this book follows a group of students studying Greek literature under the instruction of an eccentric professor. This group becomes obsessed with the Greek texts they’re studying. They form their own secret society until things turn for the worst. The group accidentally murders someone, and then goes to great lengths to cover the murder. 

New information in this murder mystery is revealed to the reader, all while a picturesque ivy-covered New England college is the backdrop. This book has been dubbed a modern classic by many readers. Only by experiencing this novel for yourself, will you discover if this is truly the case.    

“The Ex Hex” by Erin Sterling 

Now we’re getting into the spooky Halloween-themed reads. The “Ex Hex” by Erin Sterling has witches, ghosts, celebrations and a rekindling of old romance. The witty protagonist, Vivienne Jones, accidentally placed a hex on her ex-boyfriend nine years ago. It’s not until he returns to town that she realizes what she did. 

They’re now forced to work together to break the curse and save the town. Though the ending does a nice job wrapping the story up, Sterling released another book last month set in the same world. “The Kiss Curse” follows Vivienne’s cousin, Gwyn, as she struggles with a new business competitor, a coven of witches. 

“Payback’s a Witch” by Lana Harper

There are quite a few parallels between this book and the “Ex Hex.” It’s set in a small town, where a contest occurs once every 50 years to determine the most powerful and supreme witch family in the community. 

The witch protagonist, Emmy Harlow, returns to town after years away to find out her ex-boyfriend, Gareth Blackmoore, is continuing to break hearts in town. Emmy teams up with these women to enact revenge upon Gareth and his powerful witch family, but becomes very drawn to one woman, Talia Avromov. 

Will Talia reciprocate these feelings and is a future possible between them? If you’re eager for more after this read, there are two additional books in “The Witches of Thistle Grove” trilogy that are sure to be as spooky and romance-filled.


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