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Literary Roundup – Best Books to Read for Autumn

A new season means a new reading list! This time, I’m sharing my best books to read this Fall.

I know I’ve waxed poetic about my love of reading on here before – multiple times, in fact – but there’s almost nothing better than curling up with a good book.

In the summer, I tend to gravitate towards light-hearted commercial fiction books – you know, beach-y reads (Elin Hilderbrand always gives me a good Nantucket novel) and rom-com’s. But when Autumn comes around? That’s when I turn to my absolute favorite genre: psychological thrillers.

Mysteries, domestic thrillers, gothic literature, crime fiction, and horror are all great genres to read when the weather starts to turn chillier, too. And then there are certain books that just feel like Autumn.

So, with that said, here are my suggestions for the best books to read this Fall:

Related Read: Best Books to Read This Summer

Books on top of Fall Leaves outside

Best Books to Read This Fall

1. The Rules of Magic • Alice Hoffman

Genre: Historical Fiction; Fantasy

Practical Magic was one of Alice Hoffman’s best selling book and later became a movie. It’s one that people talk about A LOT this time of year, too.

Now, full disclosure here – I haven’t read that book OR seen the movie (shocking, I know!) But The Rules of Magic is a prequel to that book. Which, actually, I didn’t even know when I first picked it up!

And that’s the great thing about this book – you don’t need to be familiar with the first one to enjoy it. It stands well on it’s own.

Plus it’s got a bunch of witchy, paranormal vibes making it one of the best books to read for Fall.

2. The Secret History • Donna Tartt

Genre: Psychological Fiction

This book is probably on every single list of Best Books to Read for Fall out there. And for good reason!

It’s the perfect novel for those cold, crisp, Autumn nights when you want to curl up in front of a roaring fire.

The Secret History is a thriller for the intellectual or literary fiend. At least, that’s how I describe it whenever I recommend it to friends and family (which I do quite often.)

It follows Richard as he starts a fictional literary arts college in New England. There, he meets a group of 5 students studying Ancient Greek. An eclectic mix of misfits led by a charming, brilliant professor.

From there, the book is part coming-of-age story and part murder mystery. It’s revealed in the opening pages that Richard himself took part in a murder, so it’s more of a why-dunnit than who-dunnit.

3. Gone Girl • Gillian Flynn

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

This might be another one on every Fall Reading List, and again, it’s well-deserved.

Gone Girl is the book that launched a thousand books – it became an instant best-seller and people went absolutely crazy over the use of the “unreliable narrator.” I know – I’m one of those people!

So many books have since tried to do what Gillian Flynn did and many have been successful. But Gone Girl is the original and I have to say, it lives up to the hype.

(Also, it’s one of the few movie adaptations that’s equally as good as the book.)

4. The Guest List • Lucy Foley

Genre: Psychological Thriller

This is another great thriller to read this Fall.

It’s what’s known as a “locked-room mystery” a fairly common trope in the crime thriller genre. Basically, it means there are a set number of characters all brought together in a remote location when the crime occurs.

Which, of course, is akin to being in a “locked room.” There’s no way for the killer to escape. It makes for a really good, edge of your seat type of mystery.

I think I read this one in about 3 days – I simply had to find out what happened and why. And honestly, the ending did not disappoint.

5. Dare Me • Megan Abbott

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

I read this book a few years ago and it was so enticing and hypnotic. Since then, I’ve read just about every one of Megan Abbott’s books. If you end up reading Dare Me this Fall, you probably will too.

It was the kind of book where after I read it, I simply had to read everything the author had ever written.

There’s murder (of course – what’s a good Autumn read without murder?)

But there’s also a cheerleading squad, a toxic friendship, and some social commentary thrown in for good measure. Simply put, it’s addicting.

Related Read: Monthly Books and Blogging Chat Sesh for September (2021)

Conclusion: Spooky Season Books

I’m not sure I’ll be able to read everything on my TBR list by Thanksgiving, but I’m definitely going to try!

Along with my suggested books to read, I have one final suggestion for you: get a KINDLE.

I know, I know, it’s not the same as a real book. But it’s so unbelievably convenient that I don’t know how I ever read before!

Since I read so much, I can’t necessarily afford to buy all the books I want. So, instead, I rent a lot of e-books from the library and I can download them straight to my kindle. If you haven’t hopped on board the e-reader train yet, I think it’s high time you do.

What are your suggestions for the best books to read this Fall? Let me know in the comments below.

And, as always, thanks for reading.


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  1. avatar

    Some good ones on here! I’ll have to check out the others.

    1. avatar

      Let me know if you do and what you think!!

  2. avatar

    I haven’t read or heard of many of these books! They sound like great autumnal reads x

    1. avatar

      They’re sooo good!! Especially if you like thrillers or mysteries

  3. avatar

    The Guest List sounds like a good read! I used to love Psychological Thrillers and Thrillers in general – I still do – but I’ve read so many of them that I struggle to be shocked or surprised by them anymore, which is really sad!

    1. avatar

      I can see that – once you read so many you start to predict the twists. I’m not quite there yet – some genuinely do take me by surprise still! And if they’re well-written, I usually can overlook it if I guess the ending.

  4. avatar
    cosmicTaryn says:

    I absolutely loved practical mahic. I really really really want to read The rules of Magic but its been a tough year and not spoiling myself at the moment. Hope things start looking up soon. Great list!

    1. avatar

      I really loved The Rules of Magic – you can always try and rent a copy from the library, too!

  5. avatar

    I am not the biggest fan of thrillers, but I love the sound of The secret history, adding it to my reading list now! x

    1. avatar

      It’s my all-time favorite book. I literally own 3 copies just so I can let people borrow it lol.

  6. avatar

    Such great reading finds. I loved hearing your suggestions. I need to get into reading a few fresh titles again.

    1. avatar

      I know! I’ve been slacking a bit on my reading lately

  7. avatar

    These are some really interesting books that can help you get into the autumn spirit and enjoy the season even more. Thank you for sharing this list of books.


    1. avatar

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!

  8. avatar

    Ooh the Guest List seems like it would be a good one! I’m so glad you say the ending didn’t disappoint. I’ll have to give that one a try!

    1. avatar

      I LOVED it!

  9. avatar
    Mind Beauty Simplicity says:

    i love psychological thrillers as well! the guest list was such a good read. thanks for sharing this list – i’ll be referencing this post the next time i make it to the bookstore.

    1. avatar

      Yes! I hope you find one you love!

  10. avatar

    great list!! i’ve only read Gone Girl — and loved it. I will check out the others on your list . I really do need to get into reading more. and by the way, I really do love this font in the comment box.

    1. avatar

      Gone Girl was soooo good! The movie was also great.

  11. avatar

    I love a good thriller, too. I never get chance to read anymore and it makes me sad!

    Corinne x

    1. avatar

      Ah, that is sad! But don’t worry – when kids get older you’ll start having time again.

      1. avatar

        My TBR is full of mostly fantasy books! Its ever growing, but I’m looking forward to starting Empire of the Vampire or Kingdom of the Wicked soon!

        1. avatar

          So interesting what genres people are drawn to!

  12. avatar

    I really enjoyed Gone Girl and The Guest List and they are the perfect Autumn reads! Thanks for recommending the others which I will check out!

    1. avatar

      Me too! I love psychological thrillers this time of year.

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30ish Lifestyle blogger, relationship "expert," and modern-day agony aunt.
Sometimes humorous, always honest.