Curl up with the perfect autumn reads
While autumn brings with it falling leaves, beautiful colours, pumpkins and chunky knitwear, it also comes with shorter days and darker evenings.
For me, the darker evenings mean curling up under blankets with flickering scented candles (I currently have an apple pie and cinnamon candle) and a good book. There are a few books perfect for this season, that conjure up gorgeous autumn imagery whenever I read them, so I thought I’d share my favourite autumn reads and quotes…
“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)
I don’t think I need to write a review of this book… The Harry Potter world is one that I can return to time and time again. Whichever book you love most, I think you can read them over and over and never get tired. When I was younger, the Chamber of Secrets was my book of choice, but as I got older, the Half Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows became my favourites. I have the two on audiobook and listen to them almost every night.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
Anne of Green Gables was one of my favourite childhood books. Set in the late 19th century, it is the story of Anne Shirley, a young girl who gets sent to middle-aged siblings by mistake – they were planning to adopt a boy to help them on their farm. I would class it as a children’s book, but it’s such a lovely book for any age. I just got the new Wordsworth Collector’s Edition, the cover is so beautiful.
“The leaves were more gorgeous than ever; the first touch of frost would lay them all low to the ground. Already one or two kept constantly floating down, amber and golden in the low slanting sun rays.” North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell)
I read North and South when I was in college, and although it took me a while to get into, I ended up really enjoying it. Margaret Hale has to move from the rural south of the country to Milton, a fiction, industrial town in the north of England. She sees the suffering and poverty of the local factory workers and witnesses the strikes and the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution. It’s not the easiest read, but definitely worth it. I think the writing is excellent, and I love how descriptive Gaskell is.
“It was one of those golden autumn afternoons and there were blackberries and splashes of old man’s beard in the hedges, and the hawthorn berries were ripening scarlet for the birds when the cold winter came along. There were tall trees here and there on either side, oak and sycamore and ash and occasionally a sweet chestnut.” Matilda (Roald Dahl)
Matilda was published the day before I was born – which meant this year was also Matilda’s 30th birthday! New covers were released in celebration of this, I got the cover depicting Matilda as the Chief Executive of the British Library – it’s so beautiful! Matilda Wormwood, an incredibly clever child who loves reading, was a often treated badly by her family, and found ways to get her own back on them. She befriends her teacher, the lovely Miss Honey, who is hugely impressed by Matilda and her abilities. It’s such a wonderful book, it always inspires me to read more, and it’s a book I can’t wait to read to Dougie.
What are your favourite books to read in autumn?