Seven books to read this fall

Everything from thrilling to political

The Canterville Ghost, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The Collected Works of Edgar Allen Poe, It, The Collected Letters of Sylvia Plath, Alias Grace, Never Let Me Go.
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The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down and its finally starting to feel like autumn. With the change in weather comes cozy sweaters, hot cups of tea and the perfect excuse to get lost in a good book in between your studies. Here’s a list of the best books to cozy up with this fall.

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

Halloween is approaching, and what better way to prepare yourself than to read a classic ghost story? Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost tells the tale of an American family who move into a British castle, haunted by the dead nobleman who previously lived there. This classic novel is funny, charming and everything you’d expect to find in an Oscar Wilde tale.

The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe writes mysterious and unearthly stories and poems, and it seems more than fitting to read his work this time of year. Some of his most notable works, The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and my personal favourite, The Cask of Amontillado, are filled with gruesome images of death and murder which will have you on the edge of your seat. This convenient collection of Poe’s gothic stories is creepy enough to fulfill the horror cravings that come with Halloween.

It by Stephen King

Even though It is currently taking the cinema scene by storm, there’s a lot more to get out of the novel. More than a terrorizing clown, King’s novel delves into the idea of fear itself, especially within children. It is a gripping and, at some points, terrifying story that’s well worth the read — all 1,000 pages of it.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

My favourite of Joan Didion’s essays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, illustrates the realities of the subculture hippie scene in San Francisco in the 1960s. What we look back on as a time of protest and free love, Didion sheds light on the sad and grim realities of drugs — specifically acid — and how they affected this group of people. Reading Didion’s essay can also get you ready for a documentary centered on her experiences, dropping on Netflix on Oct. 27.

The Collected Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume 1: 1940-1956 edited by Peter K Steinberg & Karen V Kukil

Sylvia Plath is best known in the literary world for her poetry, but has also become an important cultural figure, famous for her struggles with depression and her tragic suicide. With her death came an obsession with knowing the real Sylvia Plath, the girl behind her public façade. Many of her letters have been published before, but never like this. Released on Oct. 17, this book contains hundreds of letters that share insight into her academic career, her love life and being a writer in a time when it was still an unconventional profession for women.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is a historical fiction novel and crime story about a real murder that took place in 1843, when two servants were convicted of murdering their housekeeper and the owner of the house. Atwood furthers the plot by exploring how one of the servants, Grace Marks, could have committed this crime. The book has also been turned into a TV show airing on CBC and set to stream on Netflix in early November, leaving plenty of time to delve into the book before seeing the small-screen adaptation.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Without giving away any spoilers, I can describe Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go as a dystopian science fiction novel that explores the relationship between three friends who grow up together at a boarding school. While Ishiguro illustrates themes of love, friendship and growing into yourself, there’s also an undercurrent of eeriness that can be found throughout the novel. To quote the Swedish Academy who awarded Ishiguro's Nobel Prize, he's an author “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

With the October chill setting in and Halloween quickly approaching, it’s time to brew your favourite tea, grab your comfiest blankets and settle in to read some new favourites or old classics.

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