Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Atmospheric Fall Books

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Happy autumn, bookworms! It's my favorite time of the year. (Yes, I'm a basic bish. Feel free to judge me harshly.) I love fall because my work season slows down, and it's not hotter than the surface of the sun outside. Fall is a brilliant time for reading! You can listen to an audiobook while strolling through a (hopefully not haunted) forest. Or, you can curl up by the fireplace with a thick classic. The reading possibilities are endless!

Here are 10 books I'll be reading in the next few weeks:




🍁  Fall Books To Read  👻





THE PRICE GUIDE TO THE OCCULT BY LESLYE WALTON

Young Adult Fantasy



When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them.

Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriarch’s curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author—Nor’s own mother—seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.

A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I had to read Leslye Walton’s debut novel The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender when I was in grad school. I loved it! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever been forced to read. It’s an odd, magical, memorable family saga. I’m excited to see what else the author can do. Goodreads calls The Price Guide To The Occult a “haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.” Bring it on.

 

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DEAD MOUNTAIN: THE UNTOLD TRUE STORY OF THE DYATLOV PASS INCIDENT BY DONNIE EICHAR

Adult History Nonfiction



In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened. This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.


Why I'm excited to read it: I'm pretty sure I've seen every TV show about the Dyatlov Pass incident. It's a weird and fascinating historical mystery that may never be solved. There are so many things in the wilderness that can kill a person. I'm interested to see if this book has any new insights.


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THIS SWEET SICKNESS BY PATRICIA HIGHSMITH

Adult Mystery / Crime / Thriller



David Kelsey, a young scientist, has an unyielding conviction that life will turn out all right for him; he just has to fix the Situation: he is in love with a married woman. Obsessed with Annabelle and the life he has imagined for them—including the fully furnished cabin he maintains for her—David prepares to win her over, whatever it takes.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: If you’ve been around this blog for a few years, then you might know about my obsession with Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ripley is an ultra-compelling character. He’s an awful human, but everything he does is fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him. I’ve only read Highsmith’s Ripley books. I need to branch out and see what else she’s written.

 

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THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES BY GRADY HENDRIX

Adult Horror



Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she—and her book club—are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.


Why I'm excited to read it: A few years ago, I read the author's other book, Horrorstör, and loved it. It's clever and funny. I'm hoping for more of the same. Also, vampires!


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A GAME OF FOX & SQUIRRELS BY JENN REESE

Middlegrade Fantasy

 


After an incident shatters their family, eleven-year old Samantha and her older sister Caitlin are sent to live in rural Oregon with an aunt they've never met. Sam wants nothing more than to go back to the way things were . . . before she spoke up about their father's anger.

When Aunt Vicky gives Sam a mysterious card game called "A Game of Fox & Squirrels," Sam falls in love with the animal characters, especially the charming trickster fox, Ashander. Then one day Ashander shows up in Sam’s room and offers her an adventure and a promise: find the Golden Acorn, and Sam can have anything she desires.

But the fox is hiding rules that Sam isn't prepared for, and her new home feels more tempting than she'd ever expected. As Sam is swept up in the dangerous quest, the line between magic and reality grows thin. If she makes the wrong move, she'll lose far more than just a game.

 

Why I’m excited to read it:  Goodreads says this book “explores the often thin line between magic and reality, light and darkness.” It sounds delightfully weird. I’m game. Let’s play.

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THE WARLOW EXPERIMENT BY ALIX NATHAN

Adult Historical Fiction



Herbert Powyss lives in an estate in the Welsh Marches, with enough time and income to pursue a gentleman's fashionable investigations and experiments in botany. But he longs to make his mark in the field of science—something consequential enough to present to the Royal Society in London. He hits on a radical experiment in isolation: For seven years a subject will inhabit three rooms in the basement of the manor house, fitted out with rugs, books, paintings, and even a chamber organ. Meals will arrive thrice daily via a dumbwaiter. The solitude will be totally unrelieved by any social contact whatsoever; the subject will keep a diary of his daily thoughts and actions. The pay: fifty pounds per annum, for life.

Only one man is desperate to apply for the job: John Warlow, a semi-literate laborer with a wife and six children to provide for. The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all included.


Why I'm excited to read it: Seven years of solitude? I don't know if that would be amazing or horrible. I'd probably go insane. This book sounds like it might have a lot to say about society, science, and how humans exploit one another. It should be interesting.


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THE LUCK UGLIES BY PAUL DURHAM

Middlegrade Fantasy



Strange things are happening in Village Drowning, and a terrifying encounter has Rye O'Chanter convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. Now Rye's only hope is an exiled secret society so notorious its name can't be spoken aloud: the Luck Uglies. As Rye dives into Village Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she'll discover the truth behind the village's legends of outlaws and beasts . . . and that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.


Why I'm excited to read it: Whenever I meet an English teacher or a reading teacher, I have to ask which books their students are passionate about. A teacher I met recently said her students were passing this series around. I picked up the first book to see what the middle schooler hype is about.


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RING SHOUT BY P. DJÈLÍ CLARK

Adult Horror / Fantasy



In 1915, The Birth of a Nation cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan's ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die.

Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan's demons straight to Hell. But something awful's brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up.

Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?


Why I'm excited to read it: I'm a horror lover, but it's been a while since I read a really good horror book. All scary books are starting to feel the same to me. I was searching the Internet for something unusual, and I kept seeing this book on "Best Horror" lists. It sounds like a cool blend of horror and history. I can't wait to give it a try.


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THE BLACK PROJECT BY GARETH BROOKES

Adult Horror Graphic Novel



Getting yourself a girlfriend is easy, according to Richard. All you need is papier mache, string, soft material, a balloon, some old fashioned bellows, and a good pair of scissors. The difficult bit is keeping her secret. Set in an English suburb in the early 1990s, this is the story of Richard's all-consuming passion for creating 'girls' from household objects. But as his hobby begins to flourish, his real life friendships and family relationships deteriorate.


Why I'm excited to read it: This graphic novel immediately got my attention because dolls are creepy, and a dude who ruins his life by building himself "girlfriends" is even creepier. I'm very interested in the premise and can't wait to see how the author handles it.


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THORNHILL BY PAM SMY

Young Adult Horror Graphic Novel



Parallel plotlines, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it's closing down for good. But when a bully goes too far, Mary's revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.

Years later, Ella moves to a new town where she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute. Determined to befriend the mysterious, evasive girl she sees there, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill's history and uncover its secrets.

Ella's story is told through striking, bold art; Mary's is told through diary entries. Each informs the other until the two eventually intersect to reveal the truth behind Thornhill's shadowy past, once and for all.


Why I'm excited to read it: This book was recommended to me by Goodreads. Do you ever look at the "Readers Also Enjoyed" part of the site? I loved Emily Carroll's Through The Woods, so I clicked "Readers Also Enjoyed" and discovered Thornhill. Let's find out if I like it as much as Goodreads thinks I will.


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Which books are you reading this autumn?










39 comments:

  1. I won't judge you because I'm also a basic fall bish! Love this TBR - Dead Mountain was fascinating, and I think you're going to love Southern Book Club!

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  2. Wow, Dead Mountain has me totally intrigued just from the synopsis. I've never even heard of the Dyatlov Pass incident.

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  3. I absolutely adore Fall. Best time of year. I still need to read Grady Hendrix. All his books sound fab.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. I will pick up Thornhill simply because we have a wooded area close to us called Thornhill...

    I hope you get to read all of these AJ! I am excited for spring to start as I don't like fall and winter.... But I'm glad if it means work will slow down for you a bit.

    Hope you are doing well!

    Elza Reads

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  5. The Price Guide to the Occult sounds good, thanks for sharing your list

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  6. Thornhill looks great, and Southern Bookclub is one I want to read as well.

    Happy autumn!!

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  7. Great list and I hope you get to all of these. A Game of Fox and Squirrels really caught my attention!

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  8. Great list and spin on this week's prompt. You picked very interesting books to read this Fall. I hope you enjoy them. Here is my TTT: https://herseriallife.com/top-10-books-on-my-fall-2022-to-read-list/
    Have a great week 🙂

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  9. Ring Shout is a great novella. I hope you enjoy all these!

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  10. Lots of fun books on your list! Dead Mountain is the one that intrigues me the most. I'll have to look for that one. :D

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  11. I am basic right there with you. Fall is glorious - sweater weather, pumpkin spice stuff, Thanksgiving, all the best stuff. I haven't read any of those books. I don't think I read too many atmospheric books, though maybe Moira Fowley Doyle's books qualify and The Wicked Deep I think would work too

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  12. I also read Horrorstor so am open to reading another Hendrix book. But the one that really caught my eye is The Warlow Experiment. Enjoy your fall reading - thanks for stopping by
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

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  13. Wow, this is an awesome list! I couldn't help but add The Price Guide to the Occult to my TBR. And I seriously hope you enjoy your reading this fall. PS - Fall is clearly the best season. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for recognizing that!

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  14. I really enjoy fall. All these books look so good. I hope you enjoy them all.

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  15. I adore Fall as well and I don't even live in a place that really gets the nice weather, colorful leaves, etc. If that makes me basic, so be it. I couldn't care less!

    DEAD MOUNTAIN sounds fascinating. I love books about Everest and extreme mountain climbing, so this one is right up my alley. I hope you enjoy it and all these others.

    Happy TTT!

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  16. Ooh! All of these books sound interesting! Great list!

    Here’s my TTT!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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  17. I need to add some of these to my wish list, especially Dead Mountain and A Game of Fox and Squirrels. Hope you get to read all of the books on your list. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

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  18. I liked the Southern blah blah Vampires book. I can't never get the title right, even if I've just read it, lol. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I hope you enjoy all of these!

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  19. I have a very hard time reading horror books because, um, I get scared. Ha! Enjoy all your fright this coming month.

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  20. I haven't read any of these but they all look interesting and definitely heavy on the atmosphere. I tend to read creepy books because temperature-wise we don't get below 90 usually until late October so it's hard to feel very fall-y!

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  21. Ring Shout sounds so interested, hopefully I can pick it up before the end of the year. Enjoy! :D

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  22. The Warlow Experiment has such a stunning cover!

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  23. The Luck Uglies sounds good. I hope you will read this one soon and see if it's as good as the kids think it is.

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  24. This is a perfect list to help kick off fall! I live in South Texas where the weather hasn't quite caught up to the season, but I can't wait to shift into some spooky reads.

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  26. The Luck Uglies got my interest. I'll add it to my TBR.

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  27. Wow, you did a great job with your picks getting the "feel" of the season. Although this isn't my main genre, that graphic novel Thornhill looks interesting. I love the concepts of part written word and part drawings to tell the story.

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  28. This seems to be a perfect list for fall season! I'm also intrigued by The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires. Hope you'll enjoy all of these!

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  29. This was just the post I needed as I fancy reading something autumnal. I'm reading Kiki's Delivery Service to my daughter at the moment. Witchy books are a must at this time of year.

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  30. I kind of loathe fall because school starts and winter is coming and it all depresses me, but I can understand why people like it! I want to read SO many of these books too, actually! Especially Ring Shout and Southern Book Club- I just finished a Grady Hendrix that I looooved. Dead Mountain also sounds like something I need in my life! Hope you enjoy these!

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  31. This looks like a great list of books to read in the fall. Ring Shout is one I've been wanting to read for a while now. I remember seeing some excellent reviews for it when it first came out.

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  32. I love fall as well. What an interesting array of books - will be checking out several. Happy fall reading!

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  33. Hope you enjoy all your fall reads! I don't read very seasonally, but I do end up reading lots of fall/Halloween books this time of year since that's what's being published... so I guess I do. :-)

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  34. I think you need to read the Dead Mountain book first .... and let us know what the take is on how these hikers died. I didn't know of this strange incident. What did their injuries appear like to kill them? Now you have me all in a puzzle. happy reading.

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  35. The Dyatlov Pass incident is interesting. There a lot of theories about what happen but most of them don't really add up.
    Hope you enjoy of of these books.

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  36. I hope you have been able to get in some good reading time for some of these.

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  37. I love Grady Hendrix! I have been slowly making my way through his books.

    Thornhill looks really good!

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  38. Oh no! I'm feeling a bit late to this post, but still gonna add a few of these to my tbr! I'm especially feeling "The Warlow Experiment" and "A Game of Fox and Squirrels". Woot!

    Luna @ Msyteries by Moonlight

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