Who knew this would be such a hard Top Ten Tuesday!
Not me! I thought it’d be simple. Autumn covers, what’s so hard about that? Apparently everything, when you read the books I do! I could only find 8. 8 mediocre books that I was uninspired by.
So, I changed it. I’ve decided to talk about 8 books I think would make great books for a cool fall day, sitting by a fire, under a cozy blanket.
by TJ Klune
In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.
The people here know certain things as fact:
Amorea is the best little town there is.
The only good Commie is a dead Commie.
The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.
And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.
But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls, and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.
Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.
I swear, I’m not always trying to push TJ Klune on everyone. Murmuration just fits my criteria for a fall read. This is a love story, but it’s more haunting than a typical romance. There’s something that’s almost subtly creepy about the Amorea. Even the romance itself, while you love Mike and Sean, feels eerie. Definitely a quiet fall evening read.
2. The Dogs
by Allan Stratton
‘Out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving by the barn.
When I look, it disappears. Wait. There it is again, at the cornfield.
Some movement, some thing.’
Mom and I have been on the run for years. Every time he catches up with us, we move to a new place and start over.
But this place is different.
This place is full of secrets. And they won’t leave me alone.
The Dogs is another spooky read for the fall season. There’s something about the barn, and the setting, that feels like a haunted house. This is a ghost story, a mystery, with all the realistic drama. It’s a slower moving novel, but for some reason I think those work better for the Fall.
3. Somebody Killed His Editor
by Josh Lanyon
Thanks to an elderly spinster sleuth and her ingenious cat, Christopher Holmes has enjoyed a celebrated career as a bestselling mystery writer. Until now. Sales are down and his new editor is allergic to geriatric gumshoes.
On the advice of his agent, he reinvents his fortyish, frumpy, recently dumped self into the sleek, sexy image of a literary lion, and heads for a Northern California writers conference to try and resurrect his career. A career nearly as dead as the body he stumbles over in the woods.
In a weirdly déjà vu replay of one of his own novels, he finds himself stranded in an isolated lodge full of frightened women—and not a lawman in sight. Except for J.X. Moriarity, former cop and bestselling novelist. The man with whom he shared a one-night stand—okay, maybe three—long ago. The man who wants to arrest him for murder.
A ruthless, stalking killer, or a hot, handsome ex-lover. Which poses the greater danger? It’s elementary, my dear Holmes!
Cozy Mysteries are perfect fall reads. They’re quick, interesting, and have a fun case to crack. Someone Killed His Editor is even more perfect because it’s humorous and pokes fun at Sherlock Holmes. Not only do you meet Kit and JX, but it’s about an author at an author convention… and murder!
4. Whiskey & Charlie
by Anabel Smith
Whiskey & Charlie is a captivating debut novel of brothers who have drifted apart and the accident that will determine their future, by an unforgettable new voice exploring the struggles and strengths of the sibling bond.
Some twins communicate in a secret language all their own. For Whiskey and Charlie Ferns, the two-way alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) whispered back and forth over their crackly walkie-talkies is the best they can do. But as the brothers grow up, they grow apart. Whiskey is everything Charlie is not-bold, daring, carefree-and Charlie blames his brother for always stealing the limelight, always striving ahead while seeming to push Charlie back. By the time the twins reach adulthood, they are barely even speaking to each other.
When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident and has slipped into a coma, he is shocked…although perhaps not devastated. But as days and weeks slip by and the chances of Whiskey recovering grow ever more slim, Charlie is forced to look back on their lives and examine whether or not Whiskey’s actions were truly as unforgivable as Charlie believed them to be.
Whiskey & Charlie is a story of family. Twin brothers, estranged, and now one is in a coma. I can’t put my finger on exactly why this book screams fall to me. It just does. Maybe it’s the softer story, of family, and memories. Perhaps it’s the upcoming holidays, reminding me of family.
by Stephen King
College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.
A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old—and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time—Joyland is Stephen King at the peak of his storytelling powers. With all of the emotional impact of King masterpieces such as The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, Joyland is at once a mystery, a horror story, and a bittersweet coming-of-age novel, one that will leave even the most hard-boiled reader profoundly moved.
Stephen King is a Halloween/Autumn author. Joyland, in particular, is a ghost story and a mystery. There’s something about the cover that makes me feel it’s a later season read. I’m not sure I need to validate this selection. There’s not a better time to read Stephen King.
6. Winter Wonderland
by Heidi Cullinan
Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex.
No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.
Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he’s nothing but the boss in bed. He’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.
But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan’s rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.
Yes, I know there’s snow on this book, which should make it more of a winter read. Yes, I know it says ‘winter’ in the title. I think of it more as a late fall book. It’s a great read when you’re anticipating Christmas, and snow, and snow angels. And anyway, there’s snow in the Fall sometimes. At least there is in Michigan.
7. There Will Be Lies
by Nick Lake
In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.
Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.
All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.
Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.
As you can tell from the previous books I’ve selected, there’s something about Fall that makes me want to read books with spooky undertones. I don’t necessarily want to read Horror novels. I like books like There Will Be Lies. There’s something still about the story, with a dash of magical realism. Another great read for Fall.
8. Last Days of Summer
by Steve Kluger
A contemporary American classic—a poignant and hilarious tale of baseball, hero worship, eccentric behavior, and unlikely friendship.
Last Days of Summer is the story of Joey Margolis, neighborhood punching bag, growing up goofy and mostly fatherless in Brooklyn in the early 1940s. A boy looking for a hero, Joey decides to latch on to Charlie Banks, the all-star third basemen for the New York Giants. But Joey’s chosen champion doesn’t exactly welcome the extreme attention of a persistent young fan with an overactive imagination. Then again, this strange, needy kid might be exactly what Banks needs.
If Winter Wonderland is for late fall, then Last Days of Summer is for early fall. It’s for the beginning transition. The end of summer sports, and going back to school. It’s a story about a boy befriending a baseball legend. It’s an epistolary novel that takes place in the 40s, and I bet most of you would love it.
9. Too Stupid to Live
by Anne Tenino
Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
There’s nothing spooky about Too Stupid to Live. This one is all romance and laughter. It’s for the fall evening you’re looking for something light and sweet. Something that will make you laugh, with a main character that’s just completely adorable. It’s a follow up after reading something heavier, like Whiskey & Charlie.
by Karina Halle
There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts.
Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance.
Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
Unfortunately this series finished poorly, but the early books are loads of fun. This is probably the only book on my list that actually qualifies as ‘horror’. It’s about medium Perry that gets pulled into a web show called Experiment in Terror. There’s definitely some scary installments. Have any of you read EiT?
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!