Written by Lauren Knauer
Fall has officially arrived! Several bibliophiles around campus have been excited for this time of year to approach, it means that all things fall and spooky reads will commence. A lot of readers switch up their reading genres come this time of year. Thrillers, mystery, gothic, and even horror books become a lot more popular, and we pull those out because of “spooky season!” Anything that lives up to the cozy yet spooky and obscure vibe can be on this list.
Recently, we have asked our faculty, staff, and students of the department for their recommendations for fall reads. There is no such thing as too many books, so we hope you find these recommendations intriguing, and add them to your list!
Here are the books that #bsuenglish has loved for fall:
1) The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
This poem is short, but a must-read for spooky season. Edgar Allen Poe is known for his obscurity and dark themes throughout his works. This poem explores the themes of death and grief, mourning a loss, and the overwhelming emotions that come with it. The poem explores how death is so final, hence the famous lines of “nevermore, nevermore…”
2) The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
This exciting, gothic, mystery/thriller book follows Evelyn Hardcastle, who is destined to die, and she does die every day until Aiden Bishop finds her killer. He is put through trials of his own because every day he wakes up in a different body, in a different life. He wants to save Evelyn, but can he? Will death find them both? This story is an adventure, full of twists and turns as the reader learns about the motives and events deciding the fates of both Evelyn and Aiden.
3) Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa
Set in a bookshop in Tokyo, this book sets the scene for a cozy read! Takoko works in her uncle Satoru’s bookshop, which she is not a big fan of. She’s never loved reading, and dreams of doing other things. But when Takoko’s boyfriend reveals he’s decided to be with someone else, her uncle offers to let her live above the bookshop, and he keeps her company while she mends her broken heart. Throughout that trying time in her life that fall, Takoko and her uncle bond over books, and he teaches her the different worlds she can travel to within them. Books can be healing, but she never gave them a chance. That fall, she grows into a different person as she learns to embrace change and the never-ending benefits of cozy books and reading.
4) The Once and Future Witches by Alex E. Harrow
Set in 1893 in New Salem, witches don’t exist. It’s been a long time since they were burned, and they never returned. The sisters James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna join with other women in their area to join the suffrage movement, but they’re not getting anywhere. Soon, they have the idea to turn it into the witch’s movement, which they know will give them the freedom and power they deserve. Being careful of the potential consequences, while also hunting and cursing the ones around them who hold them back, this enticing and feminist tale follows the sisters as they dabble in witchcraft and all that ensues because of it.
5) Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson
Following the past and the present, Ellingham Academy is a private school for the best and brightest artists, creatives, and young innovators. Its founder Albert Ellingham, describes his school as a place where “learning is a game.” Shortly after his school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped, and all that he is left with is a list of riddles and ways to solve the crime, but because of the tough riddles and games, it never happens. The list is signed by Truly Devious, an anonymous criminal.
Jumping to the present, Stevie Bell is a true crime junkie, and she starts her first year at Ellingham Academy with one goal: to solve the infamous Ellingham case. It becomes more difficult than she imagined, especially when classmates and friends start dying and disappearing too. Truly Devious is back, but Stevie is determined to solve both the Ellingham case and save her friends as well. Truly Devious won’t get away with murder again.
6) All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
When January Jacobs and Margot Davies were six years old, January Jacobs was found dead in a ditch. When her case was worked on, her killer wasn’t brought to justice. Jumping into twenty years in the future, Margot has moved on, even though the case still haunts her. But she’s moved to a big city, she’s a journalist, and life is good.
At one point, Margot has to return to her hometown to take care of her sick uncle, and when she returns, the memories of the tragedy hit her hard. It gets worse when another little girl, Natalie Clark, goes missing too. Margot decides that she is going to investigate and solve the cases of both January and Natalie. The more she digs, the less she finds because the people in her hometown are reluctant to help and seem to be hiding something. This chilling story grabs the reader from the beginning, and they want the answers just as much as Margot does, making the story immersive and gripping.