As the leaves turn to gold and frost dusts the fields once again, nothing says autumn quite like snuggling up with a good book. Much as we love the great outdoors, some days are just meant for curling up on the sofa and we’ve put together a list of books that are perfect for just that. These books are filled with cosiness, a dash of suspense and pages of wonderful prose that will have you feeling ready for autumn.
Starting the list off in true autumn style, September is a family saga that follows the lives of two families, the Aird’s and the Balmerino’s. As the lives of the characters intertwine, Rosamunde Pilcher draws us into the beautiful world of Scotland. Coupling well-rounded characters and brilliant prose, reading this book is like pulling on warm socks and curling up in front of the fire.
A blend of poetry and memoir, The Grassling is a lyrical tribute to nature and the countryside. Spurred on by her father’s declining health and inspired by the history he once wrote of his small Devon village, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett delves through layers of memory, language and natural history to tell a powerful story of how the land shapes us and speaks to us. The Grassling is a book about roots and a subtle, moving celebration of place and connectedness.
Within the pages of Allie Esiri’s gorgeous collection, A Poem for Every Autumn Day, you will find verse that will transport you to endlessly vibrant autumnal scenes. Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with all the family, this book has an array of familiar favourites and new discoveries with each poem linked to a different day. What better way to dip your toes into autumn?
All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules. Grant McAllister, an author of crime fiction and professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked them all out. But that was thirty years ago, and now his editor, Julia, has turned up to revisit and republish his work. But as she reads the stories, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are parts that don’t make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder. One that’s remained unsolved for thirty years . . .
An autumn reading list wouldn’t be complete without something spooky. A classic murder mystery with a twist, Eight Detectives will have you on the edge of your seat. Both a celebration and a reinvention of mystery fiction, it has an Agatha Christie resonance, a gripping whodunit plot, and plenty of unexpected twists.
Gingerbread is a book that will surprise you. The atmosphere throughout is both familiar and fairylike and Helen Oyeyemi sprinkles nods to various fairytales throughout the pages. The book is centred around Harriet, whose family makes excellent gingerbread and through this sweet treat, relationships and friendships are shaped and picked apart. Gingerbread is one of those magical and captivating books that will sweep you off your feet (quite literally, it’s impossible to put down!).
No home should be without this book! Not only are its pages bursting with flavour but all the recipes are one dish (win) and take no more than 30 minutes (double win). A family cookbook if ever there was one, it has a recipe for every type of meal you could want, from crowd-pleasers to worknight dinners, make-ahead lunchboxes to date night feasts. Try the broccoli, gruyère and parma ham quiche, it’s like autumn mornings on a plate!
The title might make this one seem like an obvious choice but this book is anything but cliché. The first in Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet, Autumn is a story about time and the influence of events and encounters. As the season itself shifts from rain to sun, falling leaves and misty mornings, Autumn is a brilliant and ever-changing piece of prose that highlights the beauty of even the mundane.
Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved. When her father writes a children’s book starring her, it’s not long before treasure hunters turn up at their door, convinced that clues to a prize are hidden it its pages. But as Romilly pours over the book she realises realising that there’s a different kind of secret locked within the pages…
There’s only one word to describe this book and that is magical. From the magic of childhood adventures to its depiction of a whole palette of emotions, The Illustrated Child will draw you in until the very last page. Set in a lost corner of England, it’s the perfect atmospheric read for the autumn months.
We love a good comforting dish, especially in the colder months! Whether it’s inspiration for supper after a hard day’s work or a slow roast feast for a weekend gathering, One Pot Wonders has it all. From rich and warming tray bakes to light but satisfying salads, these triple-tested recipes deliver on flavour and cut out the fuss. The only question is, what will you make first?
So there we have it! Nine reads to get you in the mood for autumn, from something cosy to something creepy, something yummy to something moving, we hope a few have tickled your fancy.
What will you be reading this autumn?