Books
Aug 10, 2023

Our Top Picks For Your Autumn Must Reads

Autumn brings some of the richest fiction and coziest stories to the forefront of book releases.

Get ready to unapologetically grab your cup of tea or coffee and settle in for a long satisfying read. While summer delivers fun and breezy paperbacks that are perfect for your beach day, fall brings insightful and cozy stories to see you through the leaves falling.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Read it if you want: A Gothic and inventive re-imagining of Frankenstein.

It is not the monster you must fear, but the monster it makes of men. . .

Mary is the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein. She knows her great uncle disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the Arctic, but she doesn’t know why or how. . . .

The 1850s are a time of discovery, and London is ablaze with the latest scientific theories and debates, especially when a spectacular new exhibition of dinosaur sculptures opens at the Crystal Palace. Mary is keen to make her name in this world of science alongside her geologist husband, Henry—but despite her sharp mind and sharper tongue, without wealth and connections their options are limited.

When Mary discovers some old family papers that allude to the shocking truth behind her great-uncle’s past, she thinks she may have found the key to securing her and Henry’s professional and financial future. Their quest takes them to the wilds of Scotland; to Henry’s intriguing but reclusive sister, Maisie; and to a deadly chase with a rival who is out to steal their secret.

A queer, feminist masterpiece inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic, Our Hideous Progeny is a sumptuous tale of ambition and obsession, of forbidden love and sabotage and a twisty Gothic adventure that may forever change your view of human nature.

Read it if you want: An atmospheric Gothic-feeling read about witchy women and the natural world.

I am a Weyward, and wild inside.

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.

1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family’s grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.

Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart’s Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.

********* This does not release until March 2024 but the synopsis is too good not to have bookmarked for future Autumn book picks.

Read it if You Want: Something super atmospheric to really bring the fall vibes.

A great day is upon us. He is coming. The world will be washed away.”

On the wind-battered isle of Altnaharra, off the wildest coast of Scotland, a clan prepares to bring about the end of the world and its imminent rebirth.

The Adder is coming and one of their number will inherit its powers. They all want the honor, but young Eve is willing to do anything for the distinction.

A reckoning beyond Eve’s imagination begins when Chief Inspector Black arrives to investigate a brutal murder and their sacred ceremony goes terribly wrong.

And soon all the secrets of Altnaharra will be uncovered. Little Eve.

Read it if you want: Something more romance-y and light.

A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family—and a new love—changes the course of her life.

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos “pretending” to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
 
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
 
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when peril comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for…

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches.

Read it if you want: A reimagined retelling of The 12 Dancing Princess’

“Step inside a fairy tale.” —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval 

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last–the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge–and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who–or what–are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family–before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Be careful who you dance with… 

House of Salt and Sorrows

Read it if you want: Creepy horror that is a little bit campy.

When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
 
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market. 
 
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…
How to Sell a Haunted House

Read it if you want: A book that will make you leave the lights on when you sleep.

The Hull family has owned the Gallows Hill Winery for generations. Their wine wins awards. Their business prospers. Their family thrives. People whisper that the curse has awakened once more.

The sprawling old house has long been perched on top of a hill overlooking the nearby town, jealously guarding the estate’s secrets.

It’s been more than a decade since Margot Hull last saw her childhood home. She was young enough when she was sent away that she barely remembers its dark passageways and secret corners. But now she’s returned to bury her parents and reconnect with the winery that is her family’s legacy―and the bloody truth of exactly what lies buried beneath the crumbling estate. Alone in the sprawling, dilapidated building, Margot is forced to come face to face with the horrors of the past―and realize that she may be the next victim of a house that never rests…

Gallows Hill.

Read it if you want: Non-fiction that reads like fiction.

The 13th book in the Killing series takes on the Salem Witch Trials and the mass hysterical that gripped the town in the 1690s.

Killing the Witches revisits one of the most frightening and inexplicable episodes in American history: the events of 1692 and 1693 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. What began as a mysterious affliction of two young girls who suffered violent fits and exhibited strange behavior soon spread to other young women. Rumors of demonic possession and witchcraft consumed Salem. Soon three women were arrested under suspicion of being witches–but as the hysteria spread, more than 200 people were accused. Thirty were found guilty, twenty were executed, and others died in jail or their lives were ruined.

Killing the Witches tells the dramatic history of how the Puritan tradition and the power of early American ministers shaped the origins of the United States, influencing the founding fathers, the American Revolution, and even the Constitutional Convention. The repercussions of Salem continue to the present day, notably in the real-life story behind The Exorcist and in contemporary “witch hunts” driven by social media. The result is a compulsively readable book about good, evil, community panic, and how fear can overwhelm fact and reason.

Read it if you want: Magnetic storytelling set in contemporary fiction.

Jasmine Yang arrives in New York City from her rural Chinese village without money or family support, fleeing a controlling husband, on a desperate search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth—another female casualty of China’s controversial One Child Policy. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she’s forced to make increasingly risky decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her daughter.

Meanwhile, publishing executive Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a prestigious family name and the wealth that comes with it, a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband, and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. She’s even hired a nanny to help her balance the demands of being a working wife and mother. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardize not only Rebecca’s job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble and her role in her own family is called into question.

The Leftover Woman finds these two unforgettable women on a shocking collision course. Twisting and suspenseful and surprisingly poignant, it’s a profound exploration of identity and belonging, motherhood and family. It is a story of two women in a divided city—separated by severe economic and cultural differences yet bound by a deep emotional connection to a child.

Read it if you want: To induldge in Pride and Prejudice from a new pov with a magical twist.

In this exuberant retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet puts pen to paper to relate the real events and aftermath of the classic story. Some facts are well known: Mrs. Bennet suffers from her nerves, Mr. Bennet suffers from Mrs. Bennet, and all five daughters suffer from an estate that is entailed only to male heirs.

But Lydia also suffers from entirely different concerns: her best-loved sister Kitty is really a barn cat; Wickham is every bit as wicked as the world believes him to be, but what else would one expect from a demon? And if Mr. Darcy is uptight about etiquette, that’s nothing compared to his feelings about magic. Most of all, Lydia has yet to learn that for a witch, promises have power . . .

Full of enchantment, intrigue, and boundless magic, The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch, has all the irreverent wit, strength, and romance of Pride and Prejudice—while offering a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.