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25 Books for a Spooky Season TBR

Happy September!!!

With September, Spooky Season, otherwise known as THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR, has officially begun. How am I defining Spooky Season, you ask? Well, I’m pretty flexible about it. For me, Spooky Season begins in September and ends when November does. It’s not just about Halloween for me; it’s more about autumnal vibes, which last past October.

If you couldn’t already tell, this is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year, when I am imbued with energy and am even more obnoxiously upbeat and joyous than usual. The chill in the air, the anticipation of Halloween, spooky vibes, hot chocolate, cider and pumpkin treats, cozy socks and sweaters, crunchy leaves…and creepy, Gothic books! A great time, I tell you!

So here’s 25 books I plan to read within the next three months to make this wonderful time of the year even better!

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πŸ‚Autumn TBRπŸ‚

pumpkin

My autumn TBR is pretty big. It’s actually kind of ridiculous. But I think it’s all right because I’m considering autumn not only as all of October but as most of November too, so when you look at it that way I don’t think this amount of books is too much? I can always carry them into December too; these are just books I want to prioritize.

A lot of them are books I own physical copies of; I have a really terrible tendency to buy books and then, assured that I have all the time in the world to read them, never actually pick them up. So, I’m making it a point to read as many of the books I own as possible. Happily, a lot of them are the Gothic/Victorian reads I tend to think are perfect for Autumn!

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here the books I intend to read in autumn!

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Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer: This book is the reason I was in such a rush to read the Picture of Dorian Gray, because it’s heavily inspired by it, only the main characters (Dorian and Lord Henry) are women (Dorina and Henrietta)! It’s set in Victorian England with a lady main character who fences and there’s demons. I’m in love with the cover and this plot so you can imagine how excited I am to read this.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell: I have heard so many good things about this book! I see it everywhere when people talk about historical/Gothic fiction, plus I hear this author’s second book is another Gothic thriller, so I’m excited to get into her work!

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin: I’m not even entirely sure what this book is about; all I know is it features two female main characters and takes place in Victorian London. And that cover is gorgeous. All I need to know, really. I’m doing a buddy read of this with Rachel sometime in October!

 

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng: Aside from this book having the most gorgeous cover I’ve ever seen (it’s purple!), it’s supposed to be a Gothic tale set in England, but with faeries. That’s really all I know, but that’s all I need to know.

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker: This is more on the historical fiction side than the Gothic side, and it’s Victorian London and…demons, I think? And there’s a “dashing” gentleman and “reclusive” gentleman and two sisters and supernatural stuff. Sounds good to me.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White: This was actually part of my September TBR, but the entirety of my September TBR has been a complete disaster. I didn’t read as much on my vacation as I thought, so this has been pushed to October, which is fine; it’s probably better read in that month anyway.

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis: This actually takes place in Boston (something not set in England!) and is about a young girl in an asylum and then she joins a detective to help solve murders? I think?

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd: This is one of the two books for which I read The Island of Doctor Moreau! This book is about his daughter, Juliet. I don’t really know much, plot wise, and I keep getting this one confused with the McGinnis book. (They both have “mad” in the title and their covers are so similar!)

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye: Literally this is the reason I made it a point to read Jane Eyre this year. I think this is about a young murderess who has read the novel Jane Eyre, not actually an AU Jane Eyre. I love the cover and the tagline and the writing seems really elegant.

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier: I haven’t read any du Maurier books since Rebecca, but I recently purchased this one! Unlike Rebecca, which is very summery, this is definitely very winter/autumn, as it takes place during winter on the Cornish coast, if I’m not mistaken. I enjoy du Maurier’s writing and atmosphere very much so I’m excited to get to this (and her other works, hopefully)!

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry: I’ve been meaning to read this for ages, but in my Fulbright campus interview, one of the faculty recommended it as a Victorian novel that subverts Victorian norms, so it’s been moved up on my TBR. I’m not even clear on what it’s about; I think maybe it features a lady scientist? And I’ve heard good things about Sarah Perry’s writing.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro: This book is a bit of an outlier. It’s a YA mystery based on Sherlock Holmes. I could technically read it at any time since I don’t think it’s particularly autumn-related, but something about murder-mystery-at-boarding-school screams autumn to me, so.

Dracula by Bram Stoker: This is where things start to get a little…shall we say…ambitious. I mean, would I like to read Dracula? Of course. Will I actually read Dracula? Who knows. I’d certainly like to, and I do want to read another classic before the year is out. And it’s not autumn without at least one vampire story. So I have three…

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black: I’ve read the summary of this book three times and I still have no idea what it’s about. Perhaps it’s for the best. I’ve heard it’s a really creepy vampire story, so that’s all I need. And I like Holly Black’s writing.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Most of you know I loved Moreno-Garcia’s book The Beautiful Ones. This is an entirely different animal, of course, but I’m certain I will love this one too. It takes place in Mexico City and features a descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, narco-vampire gangs, lady cops, and a garbage collector. It sounds fucking incredible.

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco: This is the sequel to a book I didn’t like very much, but I’ve heard this is much better than the first! It takes place in Romania and is all about Dracula, so, you know, it’s a perfect October read.

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland: I believe this also takes place in Victorian England and features a girl locked in an asylum and a lesbian relationship? At least I hope it features a lesbian relationship; I’m pretty sure the lesbian rep is the main reason I added this to my TBR in the first place.

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber: Do I actually think I will manage to read an 800+ page historical fiction tome by the end of this year? Who knows. I watched the miniseries with Romola Garai a few years back and loved it, so I’d wanted to read the book for a while. Recently I found out it was Jen Campbell’s favorite book, so that moved it up my TBR – plus it takes place in Victorian England and it’s about prostitutes. It has my name written all over it.

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What do you guys think? Impossible? Improbable? Have you read any of these books or do you plan to soon? Let me know!