Fun (and slightly creepy) audiobooks for fall

Now that school is back in session, I’ve got more time for listening to audiobooks. Since it’s fall, I’m in the mood for gothic classics. I started with “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James, which I wanted to re-read because of an upcoming TV series based on the book. Then I decided to re-read “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier, because there is a new film adaptation coming out.

Both of these audiobooks were wonderful. Next I decided to re-read “Northanger Abbey,” which I have not read since college. It’s fun to revisit it, especially since it mentions “The Mysteries of Udolpho” several times, and I read that last year. Next I’m thinking about another re-read – maybe a favorite such as “Wuthering Heights” or “Jane Eyre”? “Frankenstein”? Another book by Daphne du Maurier? Maybe all of the above?

If you’re looking for a good audiobook for fall, here are some favorites that I have listened to in years past. Warning: some of these are rather long.

“The Woman in White,” Wilkie Collins

“The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice,” Wilkie Collins

“The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,” Anne Bronte

“The Mysteries of Udolpho,” Ann Radcliffe

“The Haunting of Hill House,” Shirley Jackson

“We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” Shirley Jackson

Audiobooks are a great way to read classics, especially longer ones. I like audiobooks for re-reading as well, because my brain doesn’t have to do quite as much work when it’s a story I’m already familiar with.

Until next time, happy reading!

~Val

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