Autumn Reading List 2021

Finally! Spooky season is almost here!

Oh, I adore autumn. In my humble opinion, it is the superior season. The lovely crisp air, the crunch of leaves underfoot and beautiful shades of brown, gold and orange everywhere. Plus, it gives me an excuse to binge read horror novels. Not that I need justification, but it does add to the experience.

Unfortunately, it is still way too warm at the moment. Here in Scotland, it is still around 20° to 23°. Way too hot. Summer is holding on for dear life and I, for one, am over it. In two weeks the weather should start to cool. I can’t wait! 

In the meantime, I’m trying to capture those autumn vibes with playlists, stocking up on seasonal favourites and updating all my lock screens/wallpapers. It doesn’t hit the same, but it helps. Although it is way too hot to burn my favourite autumnal candles, learned that the hard way.

I’m so excited for autumn that I had set aside a pile of books to read this season. Including a couple of newer releases that I am desperate to dive into, but held back until the time was right. Now that we are a few days into September, I can now start reading them!

Onto the books!

Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

I will admit, the main reason I picked up this novel was because of the name drop. On the front cover, there is a small bit of praise by Emma Straub. She claims that it “reads like a cross-breeding of The Secret History and Department of Speculation“. I have never heard of the latter, but I am still obsessed with the former, so I had to get it.

After the tragic accident resulting in the death of a woman in her lab, Nell Barber and the rest of her team are kicked out of Columbia University. Little do they know that Nell snuck out the last project that the late Rachel was working on. Determined to finish it herself. The project? The detoxification of poisonous plants. 

Hex is the novel I am currently reading. So far, I’m rather enjoying it. I am still pretty early on, but from what I have read, it is dramatic as hell with a protagonist who has an intriguing outlook on the world around her. As the old saying goes, so far, so good.  

Where Decay Sleeps by Anna Cheung

Where Decay Sleeps is a debut poetry collection written by a local writer.

I just so happened to meet Anna Cheung. She told me all about her upcoming book, you best believe the second I got home, I backed that Kickstarter to preorder my copy!

I mean, come on, a collection of 36 gothic poems about death and mental health, with the running motif of the stages of decay. How the hell am I supposed to say no to that? As a lover of all things gothic, my dark little heart sang when she told me all about her book. That, and of course, support local writers! 

If Where Decay Sleeps sounds interesting to you, please consider pre-ordering a copy for yourself

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I bought this book during my birthday book bonanza, and I have resisted the sirens call to crack open the pages. I am surprised I managed to hold out as long as I have. 

Lynnette Tarkington survived a brutal massacre twenty two years ago. Even now, she still lives with the scars left by that horrid time. Thankfully, she isn’t alone. A support group was formed by and for ‘final girls’ like her. The group has helped heal and support one another for the past decade, forming a tight bond. 

One day, one of the women misses their session. The past is threatening to repeat itself. However, these women aren’t the scared girls they used to be, they are not alone anymore, nor are they willing to give up without one hell of a fight.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is my favourite horror novel, so I have pretty high expectations for his newest book.

In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey

Charles Hayden has not had it easy. Moving from the US to Yorkshire, England he is hoping for a new start. 

Namely, to work on a biography of Victorian children’s author, Caedmon Hollow. Moving to the isolated hometown of the great writer, he realised how the land inspired his best-known work, In the Night Wood. 

However, things don’t remain peaceful for long, as an ancient evil lurks in the dark forest.

The Hollow Places by Ursula Vernon

Kara returns to the family home after divorcing her husband. One day she finds cryptic notes in a mysterious bunker attached to her uncle’s house.

Pray they are hungry.

Those four little words ignite a dark obsession in Kara. She starts searching the bunker, stumbling over its hidden secret. Portals. Portals to a myriad of alternate realities. Each one is haunted by sinister entities who seem to be able to hear your thoughts. Worse still, the more you feel them, the stronger they get.

What are you reading this spooky season? Please, let me know any autumnal recommendations you have!

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