Autumn is upon us ALREADY (I know, this year has flown by for me too) and as the evenings get longer, I tend to find my taste in books changes to suit the time of year. In summer, I like to read short romances, light comedy and holiday related books. But at this time of year, my choice of books are all about gloomy gothic houses and cold, blustery moorlands. So, I’ve put together a list of five of my favourite autumn/winter reads. None of these books are new releases, which means that they’re available for you to go and buy right now if anything appeals to you!
Everyone who knows me knows this is my all time favourite book, but not one I can enjoy as much in the warmer summer months. Thornfield Hall, with it’s eerie corridors, rural location and gothic themes, is all about cold evenings, snuggling up by the fire with a hot chocolate as you work your way through Jane’s story. This is primarily a romance novel, but the mystery of Edward Rochester’s past gives it a wonderful balance that not many new author’s manage to achieve.
The dark, reclusive Mr. Rochester is my ultimate hero (or anti-hero) and he is perfect for the shy yet fiercely independent Jane. Don’t be put off if classic books aren’t really your thing, Brontë writes in a timeless manner that is as easily understood today as it was back in 1847.
(If you’re more inclined to watch a TV/film adaption, the 2006 version is, without a doubt, the best one to date.)
This is an unusually addictive book, and at 800+ pages, it’s not a quick read. Faber tells the tale of Sugar, a nineteen year old prostitute who tries to better herself and her position in society by become mistress to a bumbling factory owner, William Rackham.
I first came across this diamond after watching the BBC’s adaption a few years back, but only picked up the book earlier this year (and went on to write my dissertation on it). With themes of sex, madness, treachery and the dark side Victorian London, it quickly became one of my all time favourites. Michel Faber is an excellent writer, and I left the book believing that his characters could actually be waiting for me in the real world. The true star of this tale is Agnes Rackham, William’s apparently deranged wife. There is also a book of short stories available, which follows some of the characters after the events of ‘The Crimson Petal and the White’.
Another book which has a great film adaption, ‘Rebecca’ is one of du Maurier’s more well-known novels. Again, there are eerie characters, mysterious pasts and, of course, Manderley. Second Mrs. Maxim de Winter (we never learn her fist name) recounts the chilling events that she lived as a newly married woman. Forever living in the shadow of her husbands first wife, Rebecca, de Winter lives in the house that Rebecca made her own, before her death. She must uncover the true fate of her husbands first wife, and the events that led to her death. ‘Rebecca’ has plenty of gothic themes as well as a great story, this is perfect to immerse yourself in on a chilly autumn evening.
A book aimed at a younger audience, this is a wintery story that can also be enjoyed by adults. If you’ve seen the film and were put off, like me, then take this as a sign to give the book a chance. An adventure book, Lyra leaves Oxford to follow her destiny, which takes her on a long journey to the frozen North in search of her kidnapped friend. A great adventure book which reminds me of the Christmas season.
Book one in Harris’s Harper Connelly series, this is a fantastic urban fantasy series in which follows Harper as she learns to use and control her unusual ability. She can find dead people. With the help of her step-brother Tolliver, she travels around, re-living the last moments of the dead, and helping to solve their murders. This is a great read and is very well written. ‘Grave Sight’ definitely has a wintery feel to it, and will have you wishing for snow before long.