Atmospheric Autumn Reads

It's the end of September which means my favourite time and season of the year (except for Christmas) has started, Autumn. The leaves are turning brown, rain has started falling and on some days we are lucky to get some sun. The cold has yet to settle in, but I'll take what I can get.
It's time for candles, scarves, long walks in the forest and the occassional hot chocolate.

I personally love to read seasonally. I can enjoy a book a lot more when the setting of the story is a bit similar to mine. In today's blogpost I have four autumnal reading recommendations. Books that are atmospheric, have autumnal settings, or are just a little bit more solitary.

'To the Bright Edge of the World' by Eowyn Ivey is Ivey's second novel after the highly acclaimed 'The Snow Child' (which I have yet to read). The story is set at the end of the nineteenth century in the backdrop of the Alaskan landscape. Colonel Allan Forrester is charged with the task to navigate the Wolverine River, which no man has been able to do before him. His only company is a small group of men. Their mission is to open up the gate to Alaska and its reserves of gold to the outside world. It is an incredibly dangerous mission and Allan is forced to leave his pregnant wife, Sophie, behind.
Sophie is worried about her pregnancy and is struggling to keep herself distracted from it. She discovers photography, which is a very new concept in the time period and is usually not associated with women practicing it. Sophie, however, finds a shop owner who provides her with the needed material and she is determined to discover the wildlife and nature around her.
This is a beautiful story of two people on two very different journeys. The backdrop of the Alaskan landscape is very atmospheric and perfect to read during Autumn or Winter.

'The Essex Serpent' by Sarah Perry was probably one of my favourite books I read this year.
The story is set in the Victorian time period and we follow Cora Seaborne, a high-society widow from London, as she decides to turn her back on city life and move for the time being to Aldwinter in Essex, a rural and religious village where there are rumours about a myhtical beast roaming around. Cora is very interested and fascinated by science, so this rumour is what brought her to this place at first. Then she meets Will Ransome, the local vicar. Despite their opposing opinions about the beast, they are both interested in science and quickly develop a close friendship that ties them together.
This book is beautifully written, the story is completely enchanting and I loved the whimsical descriptions of the Essex landscape and its nature. The theme of science vs. religion is very apparant in the story and that's why I loved the main characters' friendship so much. Despite their obvious differences, they develop a beautiful friendship, and I think we could all learn from that.

'Sandlands' by Rosy Thornton is the best short-story collection I have read so far. Played out in different time periods and written about different people, somehow all of these stories are connected through their connection to Suffolk's nature and its wildlife. Someone is feeding a fox rescued from the floods, an academic is taken back in time in a tower on the deserted shore, and an owl is guarding long-lost letters in the forest. This collection is quiet and beautiful, its characters are interesting and above all, its descriptions of nature and the landscape of Suffolk are simply enchanting.

'The Good People' by Hannah Kent is quite a bit darker than the books mentioned before. We follow three women in a rural village in nineteenth century Ireland, surrounded by myths and folklore. After the sudden loss of her husband, Nora finds herself alone and caring for her infant grandson Micheal. But Micheal isn't a normal child, he is a changeling, a fairy child who is the cause of all the bad things that have happened in the valley, including Nora's husband dying. At least, that is what Nora and the superstitious people around her start to believe.
Nora hires Mary, a servant girl from more rural parts, to come live with her and help her with Micheal. Determined to get rid of the evil that possesses Micheal, Nora and Mary ask Nance for help. An outsider of the village living on the deserted mountain slope, Nance was once revered by the villagers for her healing powers, but is now seen as a threat and danger by the new local priest. Rumours spread fast, and Nance, Mary and Nora are slowly becoming victim of accusations and gossip.
This is a book you must read during the colder months, preferably when there is a storm. The story will pull you in very quick, and it is a thrilling and brilliant one for sure.

I hope you have some more books to put on your (seasonal) tbr/wishlist, and happy reading!

Lots of bookish love,


  1. I feel like everyone is posting reading recommendations for this wonderful time of the year but I'm really happy, because, like you, I love when the setting in the story somehow matches the current season and the feelings associated with it. The Essex Serpent and the Eowyn Ivey book are on my list already, they sound really good for cozy autumn days. I'm also looking forwart to read The Snow Child in winter.

    1. Yes, it's so lovely! My tbr and wishlist are piling up and I don't know how I'm ever going to be able to read all of these books. I look forward to hear your thoughts on them! I really want to read The Snow Child in winter as well <3 xx

  2. Oh Wow! It's a great post. I liked your "Atmospheric Autumn Reads " post. Its a very informative and interesting blog. I am so happy that i visited your site. I love reading books. All these books are great to read for cozy autumn days. Thank you so much for sharing this! Looking forward for more excellent post like this.

  3. Anonymous3/10/2018

    I also love autumn and wish we could go back to the most beautiful time of year! Having said that, I enjoy taking note of the changing seasons and admiring what each season brings :-) Books with an autumnal/wintery feel are definitely my favourite kind of reads, though. I don't tend to go for summery books, do you? All of these books are on my tbr! I'm especially keen to read Sandlands :-) Your photographs are stunning, by the way! They're exactly the type of photographs I'd like to take. Books and nature are two of my biggest passions, and this is a great way to express that xo