Books for October

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I know, I know. October is halfway over. But I’ve been reading more than I have in months, and thus the blog post I’ve been planning for weeks took a backseat. But here it is!

Fall is one of my favorite times for reading. When I was younger, I liked coming home from field hockey practice, pumping out some homework, and then curling up in flannel pants with a good book.

The best part about fall, and especially October, is that every genre seems like the perfect genre. Horror, classic lit, dystopian…they all seem like the “perfect fall read.” So if you’re like me and don’t want to be anywhere near a haunted corn maze during Halloween month, here are some books to make you feel like you’re still celebrating the holiday you might begrudgingly love.

1. The first one is an obvious one, but it’s one of my favorite classics. I first read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in high school, but didn’t really gain full appreciation for it until college. You probably know this by now, but Frankenstein isn’t a monster, and it’s nothing like those black-and-white movies. But it’s eerie, it’s well written, and it’s perfect for fall. If you haven’t picked this one up, do it. I promise you won’t regret it.

2. I’ll admit — I’m not the most avid reader of horror, thriller, suspense, etc. and am therefore probably not the best recommender of such genres. I’m currently reading my first Stephen King novel and I had to take a hiatus because I had my house to myself for the weekend and wanted to be able to sleep. However, I recently chose Final Girls by Riley Sager as my Book of the Month pick and devoured it in a few days. It feels like a slasher, but modern. Refreshingly modern. It uses technology, like smartphones and social media, in a way that I feel like not enough contemporary books do. It was creepy, but not nightmare creepy…at least not for me. It’s central characters are young women who survived mass murders, and obviously, they find out they’re not in the clear just yet. That’s all you need to know, because it’s a thriller, and what fun is a thriller if you already know half the story?

3. Is there anything scarier than a fictional novel that feels like it could just become reality? Of course I’m talking about The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian story about a future where a totalitarian regime takes away women’s rights and independence (hmm, sounds familiar) just screams spooky October reading. After you read the book, check out the Hulu series — I’ll even give you my password. (Just kidding.) But seriously, as creepy and chilling as this book is, it’s also an absolute masterpiece. I ordered, like, three more Margaret Atwood books on Amazon Prime right after I finished it.

4. The next one is another recent read of mine — The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. All I knew before going into this book was that it was about death row. That caught my attention enough to buy the book, but the first few pages really entranced me in a way I can’t describe. It’s mystical and enchanting (am I allowed to use the title to describe the book?) in a way that makes you question what’s real and what’s not. But at the other end of that is a raw, very realistic look into society, the prison system, mental health, and what makes people do the things they do. It follows a vast array of eclectic characters through a first person, but also strangely omniscient, narrator. It’s a quick read, but it says a lot.

5. I’m cheating on this last one, okay? But it needs to be said. Because if you’re not reading a Harry Potter book in the fall, are you even fall-ing? I’m making my way through the illustrated edition of Chamber of Secrets right now and seriously, it’s like I’m falling in love with these damned books all over again. Will they ever get old? Will ever an autumn pass during which I don’t devour one of these books for the millionth time? Stay tuned.

So what do you think? Have you read these? Do you have an October reading recommendation? Let me know, and happy spooky reading!

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