Over Summer, Ready for Fall (and Winter) :: 15 Recommended Reads

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Over Summer, Ready for Fall (and Winter) :: 15 Recommended Reads

I’m a bookworm and I love fall and winter most, so here’s a list of books to get you sippin’ apple cider and wishing it were cold out:

  1. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett: if you like fantasy, magic, romance, world-building and a strong female lead, this one’s for you. I absolutely adored this book and cannot wait to read the sequel! A Faerie king, a brilliant scholar, a small, wintery village plagued with mysterious hexes and death … what more could a cold-weather loving bookworm ask for?! {link to purchase}
  2. The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh: supernatural, adventure, life beyond death, myths & legends, romance, family ties and traditions, ancestry and cultural importance, friendship–this book has it all, and is written beautifully. You’ll seamlessly travel through and in between the spirt realm and the land of the living with the bold female lead, Mina. This pick was outside of my typical genre, and I am so happy I read it. The characters are lovable, relatable, and so darn hard to let go of at the end! {link to purchase}
  3. Verity by Colleen Hoover: I am not a CoHort by any means (I’ve only read two of her books), but this book left a major impression on me. Suspense, mystery, romance, surprisingly terrifying – I had nightmares after this one – and yet, I recommend it to everyone I know who wants an easy-to-digest thriller. I am not the biggest fan of her writing style, but the plot is absolutely ~killer~. Not everything is as it seems with these characters! {link to purchase}
  4. Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro: my sister gifted me this book for my birthday last year and I devoured it. It reminded me of Ms. Peregrine’s Home of Peculiar Children, but with much more detail and more world-building. I was fascinated by each character’s skills/powers and how that tied into their individual fates. Magic, suspense, mystery, murder, other-worldly–a book meant for October. {link to purchase}
  5. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness: this series is full of adventure, forbidden romance, magic, alchemy, history, witches and vampires–all the good stuff. These books are page-turners and have also been turned into a series on Prime Video, so once you’re done reading, snuggle up and relive the romance and danger via your eyeballs, too. {link to purchase}
  6. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski: if you liked Hamlet, you’ll like this modern retelling. It’s beautifully written, full of mystery, murder, and ghosts, but be warned if you haven’t read Shakespeare before: there is no happy ending; only tragedy. But hey, we’re gearing up for spooky season here so it made the list! {link to purchase}
  7. Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy: *TW on this book/SA* if you’ve spoken to me in the last year about book recommendations then I know I’ve talked your ear off about this one! I needed a book before I boarded my plane one day, and my husband grabbed this one for me at the airport. I didn’t expect much out of it, to be honest, but I WAS SO, SO WRONG! This book is bloody, suspenseful, mysterious, supernatural, and has you questioning reality at moments. A tale of two sisters, forever bonded by blood and wolves, set in the deep, snowy woods of the Pacific Northwest–it all feels like December to me. {link to purchase}
  8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: A classic. I know there have been plenty of movies and series depicting this story, but if you haven’t read Jane Eyre yet, I beg you: read it! It is a psychological thriller full of mystery, ghosts, suspense, and romance, all brilliantly written by a woman in 1847 under a “male” pen name in an effort to have her work published. {link to purchase}
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: Another classic, and my favorite book. I reread this novel every single year, usually in November, as the beginning of the novel takes place on a snowy night. Forbidden romance, gothic vibes, ghosts of scorned lovers, grave-digging, moving corpses…maybe I should actually read this in October? But be warned, there are scenes of domestic violence and mental abuse in this novel, which is unheard for 1847. And, again, written by a woman under a “male” pen name just so her work would see the light of day! {link to purchase}
  10. We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet: I have never cried reading a book before, but this one broke my momma heart! If you love WWII historical fiction, this one’s for you. While WWII is the scene, it isn’t the plot; the plot involves motherhood, girlhood, and the unending, unconditional love between a mother and a child. Why do I recommend it during the fall/winter? I don’t really know; I think the topics of family, parenting, generational poverty, trauma and survival…just don’t fit into summer and spring. Anyways — I cried, it’s beautiful, add it to your TBR. {link to purchase}
  11. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling: This series needs zero introduction. If you’ve watched the movies, no, it is nowhere close to the same thing, I promise you. For example, the fifth movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) leaves out an entire plot line about Hermione Granger and house elves that is quite comical and moving. It continues throughout the entirety of the 896-page book, and yet, the film doesn’t even allude to it. So please, go escape into a seven-book-long world of magic, danger, adventure, and friendship–a perfect mix for fall + winter vibes! {link to purchase}
  12. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe: Not a fan of long books? This one is for you–it’s a short story. Full of suspense, drama, mysterious family vaults and tombs, an alarmingly strange relationship between two siblings, and death–this screams Halloween! Bonus: Netflix announced a The Fall of the House of Usher series is dropping this fall! {link to purchase}
  13. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier: This book is slow to start, but worth sticking with, I promise! A wealthy widower, a young, impressionable girl, a haunted mansion, a strange, terrible romance, supernatural elements and a mysterious wife…you see why it’s on this list, I’m sure. Bonus: Netflix released a movie based on Rebecca in 2020. {link to purchase}
  14. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: An absolute classic that must be read during the winter, as much of it takes place during Christmas time in snowy New England. Plenty of movies and shows have been made from this novel! Loosely based on the author’s life, it is a tale of four sisters growing up together during the mid-nineteenth century. Full of friendship, romance, and boldly calling into question the definition of femininity and what role a woman should have, this book is another I reread nearly every year. Fun fact: my daughter, Josephine, is named after the main character: Josephine March, due to her fiery nature and her refusal to abide by the societal expectations placed upon her. {link to purchase}
  15. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: This book also requires zero introduction; but again, if you’ve only watched movies/series based on this book, then you’re missing out on the magic. C.S Lewis’ writing is enrapturing, painting a beautiful picture of a magical world ruled by winter. It follows the lives of four siblings who evacuated their home during WWII and are placed in the care of a strange professor with a strange wardrobe … that happens to be a portal to a strange world. If you love fall in love with this book, fear not; it is only one of a seven-book-long series! {link to purchase}

So there you have it — a list of books to make your little cold heart (I’m only half-joking) happy and ready for summer to end. Let me know what you would add to this list and what you’ve added to your TBR!

Cailin Allain
Cailin was born in Metairie, but moved to Slidell at five years old and never left! She is now raising her three daughters, Genevieve (Evie, 5, highly intelligent, brutally honest, hysterical), Josephine (Jo, 4, intuitive, brilliant, fiery), and Bernadette (Bettye, 2, smarty pants, no sense of fear, doesn’t believe in rules), with her husband, Andy (her favorite human), in Olde Towne Slidell. Cailin received her bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Political Science from LSU, and her J.D./D.C.L from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU Law. She has her own practice, Law Office of Cailin K. Allain, LLC, and is currently navigating the ins and outs of expanding her business while working from home. When she’s not working, raising babies, or dancing in the kitchen with her husband, you can find her curled up in bed with a good book/comfort movie, some chocolate, and hot tea. On the weekends, Cailin enjoys going to concerts and comedy shows with her husband and any one (or all!) of her six siblings, and hanging out with her in-laws in Bay St. Louis.


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