Atmospheric books to snuggle up with

I am currently in a state of being in denial that summer is over, and being happy that cooler temps and other aspects of fall are on their way.

Usually in September I am in the mood to read something atmospheric. Not scary, really – those I save for October – but something just slightly creepy or dark feeling. Something that feels like it should be read with a blanket on your lap and a cup of tea at hand while it’s raining outside.

Here are some of my favorite fall reads.

The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

“The Thirteenth Tale” has it all – a creepy old house, a reclusive writer, and a mystery that unravels slowly throughout the book as author Vida Winters reveals her story to the biographer she recruits to tell her story. It’s a great story, and it’s also an ode to books, how they make us feel, and the nostalgia we feel for them.

The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb

Minnesota author Wendy Webb’s books are great fun. If you like a book that’s a little bit spooky but not scary or gory, you will love this author. “The Tale of Halcyon Crane” is about a young woman who learns that the mother she thought was dead for the past 30 years was actually alive until very recently. She travels to the island where her mother lived to unravel the mystery.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

You are probably familiar with “Rebecca,” the classic tale of the second wife who is haunted by the memory of her predecessor. I’ve read other books by du Maurier, but can see why it’s “Rebecca” that is her best-loved. It’s got great atmosphere and a twist you don’t want to miss.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

Like “Rebecca,” you may already be familiar with the story of “Jane Eyre.” It’s the classic Gothic tale of the governess who goes to the house out in the middle of nowhere to care for a little girl. The little girl is the ward of the mysterious Mr. Rochester, whose past – and house – contain many secrets.

Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen

“Garden Spells” isn’t creepy, though it does have a witchy vibe. The main characters are sisters – one who has embraced the legacy left by their grandmother, and the other who has tried to run away from it. There is a magical apple tree in the backyard, along with other plants that have mystical properties.

What are your favorite fall reads?

Happy reading!

~Val