Life's Sweet Journey: Best Fall Books to Read in October

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Best Fall Books to Read in October

It's my favorite season and I love breaking out of all the spooky, fall feel books to read in October!

I absolutely LOVE Halloween and fall and all things October! It also happens to be one of my favorite reading seasons. A few years ago I shared a post about Spooktacular books to read in October. I thought I would do a bit of a refresh with some of the books I am reading this fall. Here are some of my favorite fall books to read in October!

Fall Books to Read in October

The video shares a bit more in-depth thoughts (and a few small side tangents- lol) about the books I would recommend for October, but it includes: 

Mary Downing Hahn for Spooky Ghost Stories

Mary Downing Hahn writes middle grade fiction and her ghost stories are so spooky they even slightly scare me as an adult. I have loved scary things since I was a kid and her book Wait Till Helen Comes was the only book that actually kept me from falling asleep because it scared me so much I had to finish it before I could sleep. I love rereading these as an adult if I am looking for something I can read in one or two sittings. There's an awesome boxed set that just happens to include my three favorites of hers! 

Fall Books to Read in October

NOT Here on Earth from Alice Hoffman for Fall Book Vibes

Here on Earth is from Practical Magic author Alice Hoffman. This one started off strong for me, but I am finding myself having to take it in small chunks. I'm pretty sure it's going to end up being more of a tragic romance and I can already see characters making huge mistakes, but I love the New England setting, cozy fall vibes, and bits of magic. If you have never read any of the Practical Magic books I would recommend those before this, but this is a great option if you have already read those.

**I am amending this original recommendation. READ WITH CAUTION! I finally finished it (in the small increments I had worked myself into) and was mostly appalled at myself for actually continuing knowing the ending was probably going to be horrible and ultimately not liking most of the rest of the book after the beginning. It's all kinds of toxic love and I found myself not really liking most characters, except maybe the brother who I didn't like at all in the beginning and who is a sad, lonely alcoholic the remainder of the book. I do still recommend Alice Hoffman for fall feel vibes, but stick with the Practical Magic stories.

Premise: After nineteen years in California, March Murray returns to the small Massachusetts town where she grew up. For all this time, March has been avoiding her own troubled history, but when she encounters Hollis—the boy she loved so desperately, the man who has never forgotten her—the past collides with the present as their reckless love is reignited. This dark romantic tale asks whether it is possible to survive a love that consumes you completely. The answers March Murray discovers are both heartbreaking and wise, as complex as they are devastating—for in heaven and in our dreams, love is simple and glorious. But it is something altogether different here on earth...

Spooky Books to Read in October

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I love Ruth Ware as an author and my favorite read of hers is In a Dark, Dark Wood. With a spooky house, set deep in the woods it offers the perfect setting for a fall book to read in October. The three I would specifically recommend for fall season reads are this one, followed by The Turn of the Key, and then The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

Premise: What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware's suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller. Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her nest of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn't seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not "what happened?" but "what have I done?", Nora (Lee) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

The Children on the Hill - Monster Vibes from Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon's books often intertwine monsters or local folklore of some kind. I listened to two different books of hers back to back and really enjoyed The Children on the Hill. With mentions to Frankenstein, a strange asylum, and monster hunting this is the perfect read leading up to Halloween.

Premise via Amazon: From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drowning Kind comes a genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, that brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us. 

The year 1978: At her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist Dr. Helen Hildreth is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when’s she home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.

Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl.

Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.

The year 2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister.

A haunting, vividly suspenseful thriller from the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson” (Chris Bohjalian, author of The Flight Attendant), The Children on the Hill takes us on a breathless journey to face the primal fears that lurk within us all.

Fall Books to Read in October

Sarah Addison Allen for Cute, Fall Reads with Magical Realism

Since most of the books I shared edge on the spooky or thriller side, I figured I would share one more find for those that prefer cozy, sweet, fall reads! Sarah Addison Allen books offer just the perfect bit of those New England vibes that leave you feeling like you are in a fall postcard. While there is no actual, "witchy" magic in her stories there are bits of magical realism woven throughout. From treats that somehow seem to work little charms in Garden Spells to books that appear to the main character in The Sugar Queen when they are most needed these fall, feel-good books are the perfect addition to an October reading list!

These are just some of my favorite books to read in October!
What are you favorite reads for fall?!


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