Arguably the best season of the year, Autumn is a time when all that’s green turns to shades of auburn amber, leaves fall in dazed semi-circles and warmth turns to mellowed cold. It falls as the interim between hot and cold, merging what’s best of both and is the time of year that houses Halloween. Everything about Autumn screams ease and comfort, that time when it’s finally acceptable to cosy up in a blanket and when arguments about when the heating should come on begins. Autumn just teams with character, and with it comes books that exemplify everything to do with the season. From romantic classics in September, spooky stories in October, and blanket-weather books in November; here’s a selection of four books that should be on everyone’s Autumn Reading List.
Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
Any Austen novel calls to be read during Autumn, but Mansfield Park especially for its timid and underrated heroine Fanny Price. With all of Austen’s colourful characters and the intrinsic link that exists between humans and nature, Mansfield Park stands out because it’s the most “domestic” of Austen’s novels. It’s a story that deals with jealousy and hidden feelings, all against the backdrop of a manner house situated (as usual) in the countryside. Yet, never does Austen give us as much time and thought spent on the rumination of nature and change that she does in Mansfield Park, offering us a novel that feels perfect when read on a cool Autumn evening while sitting in the garden or on a terrace.
Complete Poems – Mariane Moore
Moore and nature practically go hand in hand, even if she uses its destruction and change to illustrate all that’s wrong with human nature. Yet, while wrapped in a blanket, staring out on grassy fields or looking up at hazel trees, it’s hard not to see the world in the sense of awe and beauty that Moore would sometimes render it through. Her worldview is completely unique and introspective, and in a Season about the fading impermanency of nature around us, she reminds us that there’s no time like Autumn to reflect on the beauty of a dying world and the hope it will lay in the coming seasons.
Haunted – James Herbert
Halloween, after all, foes fall in Autumn and so you have to have at least one spooky book as part of your reading list. While Herbert was never the most consistent of authors in terms of quality, Haunted acted as the introduction to his character David Ash, a paranormal investigator who was sceptic about all things paranormal. Marking as one of the only books that truly made me quake (I was twelve when I first read – I know, questionable parenting), it’s the perfect book for all those who want a genuine chill in the spookiest month of the year.
Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett
A book about Death’s death, Reaper Man packs in wholesome laughs and a little thing called love into one of its unlikeliest of characters. With Autumn representing a time when things begin to fade around us, Reaper Man never halts as a book to make us aware that every moment is worth cherishing. It finds beauty in the dying world, as well as causing mayhem and laughter in that typical Pratchett style. It celebrates the beauty in change and has a heartwarming undercurrent of hope that captures those mellowed Autumn vibes that you can never quite get enough of.