I can never decide whether I love fall or spring more – but since it’s fall now, it’s my current favorite! ;)
Despite some obnoxious setbacks that have happened this month, autumn is probably my most productive season. The invigorating chill in the crisp air energizes me; the oppressive heat of summer has fled, but bone-chilling winter won’t make its unwanted appearance for a while. Fall (like spring) is a reprieve between extremes . . . and I, for one, am not fond of extremes in temperature or weather; they’re hard for my body to handle. It’s also the beginning of hygge season – and it doesn’t get much better than curling under a soft blanket in the evening with a hot drink, some chocolate, and a great book!
There are certain books I love to read in the fall: books that take place, or start, in autumn (like my book, Hunter’s Moon, does) and/or books that have a gothic feel to them.
Here’s my list of top favorite autumn books:
1. By These Ten Bones by Clare Dunkle
I’ve blogged about this book before, and did a recent Instagram post about it, so I’ll just say that this book is so good that I’ve been reading it almost every October for about a decade now. It has similarities to my book, though I started writing Hunter’s Moon before I knew BTTB existed.* But I finished HM after reading BTTB, so it may have had some influence on my book. Both have the not-fun kind of werewolf; and I recently discovered, when perusing Clare Dunkle’s website, that she (like I) was also inspired by Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series.
2. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
A friend recommended this book to me about a year ago, so I got it – and loved it! Such a shame I’d never heard of Diana Wynne Jones until recently; she is now one of my absolute favorite authors, and I quickly bought and read two of her other books** after this one. I need to get more!! I do like to “author-hop,” though. Heh.
I skipped BTTB to read FaH last fall, and it’s a lot longer than BTTB, so I finished it in early winter. (Oh, to have more time to read . . . I like to go slowly and savor books like they’re fine wine.) FaH takes place around Halloween – although it spans many years – and also has the most unusual love story I’ve ever read. No spoilers; I’ll leave it at that. And it’s basically a mashup of a couple of fairy tales, both involving a Tom. Jones is brilliant at layering the fantastical on top of the ordinary.
3. An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle
This book is the fifth in the Time Quintet, which starts with A Wrinkle in Time. I read that one in middle school (I think) but didn’t pick up the other four until a few years ago when I received the full set as a birthday gift. A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading AAT for the second time (hehe, it must have been an acceptable time to read it again!). I may reread it again later, but I don’t think I will as often as BTTB. For some reason, when the air turned crisp last month, this book called to me. Probably because I remembered that it takes place in autumn in New England, and L’Engle is a master at creating atmospheric descriptions. I just adore her often-gentle writing style. I’ll read anything by her. But not too quickly; I own two more books of hers that I haven’t read yet, and I’m waiting until . . . you guessed it: the right time! ;) Whenever that may be.
I’ll stop here since I have to get back to work! I hope you’re having a lovely autumn and staying safe!
*Same situation with Twilight; I don’t think I was aware of those books, and I definitely hadn’t read them, until I was well into writing Hunter’s Moon. And I never did finish the fourth book. ;P
**Howl’s Moving Castle (my favorite of hers so far) and Dogsbody (*sniffle, sniffle*).
P.S. – The word count of Hunter’s Moon’s sequel is now 57,700 – actually, more by the time you read this! I may only be able to write a couple hundred words per night, but at least it's a consistent habit; and we all know the tortoise won the race!
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.