Autumn Reading Book Tag

It feels like autumn has arrived quickly in the UK, going from humid summer days to crisp dark autumn evenings in the blink of an eye 🍁

September was the deadline for my dissertation and marked the end of my Masters studies, so I’m excited to enjoy the autumn with some much deserved rest and relaxation. It also means that I have more time to invest into the things that bring my joy like this blog and reading. Autumn has always been a great time for reading. The dark and rainy nights make curling up with a book and hot chocolate almost compulsory πŸ“–β˜•οΈ

With the personal update over, let’s dive into the Autumn Reading Book Tag πŸ‚πŸ“š

This tag was originally developed by Amy Jane Smith on YouTube.

Are there any books you plan to read over the autumn season?

Gosh, there are so many! Some that have been on my TBR for a while and others that I’ve recently seen recommended. I don’t follow a monthly TBR because I generally pick up books based on what I’m in the mood for but I do plan to re-read Wuthering Heights. I also have my eye on Sleepy Hollow, Phantom of the Opera and Battle Royale.

September brings back school memories: what books did you most enjoy studying? And what were your most and least favourite subjects?

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

I read Frankenstein at college not school but have chose it as my favourite because I disliked all of the books I studied at school. Studying Frankenstein was the first time in my life I genuinely enjoyed studying literature and it incited my love for gothic fiction, a love which has only grown stronger with time.

The first time I read it it affected me so deeply because of Shelley’s incredible ability to play with mood and also the horrifying nature of the story itself. Even centuries later the themes of the book – the potential dangers of advancement, alienation, finding our place in the world, belonging – are relevant and hard-hitting.

My favourite school subjects were history and English Literature (which is the most basic and obvious response a reader could give to this question πŸ˜‚). Least favourites were maths and science. I’ve always been more drawn to the humanities because I find more meaning in the abstract.

October means Halloween: Do you enjoy scary books and films? If so, what are some of your favourites?

Films: As Above, So Below and Crimson Peak
Books: The Woman in Black (Susan Hill) and I Am Legend (Richard Matheson)

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I love horror, it’s one of my favourite genres of media. I tend to watch more scary films than I do read scary books but I restricted myself to two films and two books. I shared a post last year recommending spooky films and books that you can check out here to see some of my other favourites.

Found footage is one of my favourite sub-genres of horror and As Above, So Below highlights what really works about found-footage when it’s done well. The first time I saw this film it got under my skin and I’ve watched it twice more since and each time it still affects me. There’s something about this film that plays on themes that play with my emotions and I love it for that because it’s what horror is all about.

Crimson Peak is a film from another of my favourite genres – gothic horror. This is the film version of everything I love in gothic horror, the first time I watched it I actually thought it was based on a book because it has that vibe. The horror in this one is more subtle but it’s still chilling. It has a stunning setting, costuming, mood and a top notch cast. Whilst the plot itself is fairly predictable the journey is worth it.

I’ve already spoken about The Woman in Black (read the review here) and I Am Legend (see the Spooky Book and Films Recommendations post here) on the blog before so won’t go too in-depth. Suffice to say these two books are fairly short in length but very effective horror. I haven’t read too many horror books but of the ones I have read these two definitely stand out in my mind. I experienced genuine discomfort whilst reading them.

With November it’s time for bonfire night & firework displays. What’s the most exciting book you’ve read that kept you gripped?

Warbreaker – Brandon Sanderson

It’s not a spooky book but Warbreaker gripped me from the first chapter and didn’t let go. I was invested in the characters and plot almost immediately and the fast-paced action and mysteries surrounding certain characters kept me wanting to read more. I really flew through this book as a result and was as hooked by the end as I was by the beginning.

What book is your favourite cosy comfort read?

Wuthering HeightsEmily BrontΓ«

It’s an odd choice, I know, but you all know by now the burning passion I have for this book. Most people choose fluffy feel-good books as their comfort reads, but clearly not me πŸ˜‚ The familiarity I feel reading this book and the connection I have to it makes it a comfort read despite its depressing tone and story. I know I’m always guaranteed to be sucked completely into the story and to discover new details that I’ve missed before that elevates my understanding of and connection to the story and characters. It’s also the perfect autumnal read because of its tone.

Curled up with a good book, what is your hot drink of choice?

It all depends on the time of day and my mood. If it’s morning/early afternoon, it’s coffee but if it’s evening it’s a hot chocolate or herbal tea. My current favourite herbal tea is Twining’s spearmint, apple and rooibos with baobab β˜•οΈ

Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

No specific plans, I’m just going to enjoy spending time doing the things I love like reading, writing, going for walks, spending quality time with loved ones and generally investing the time back into what’s important to me now that I have finished studying.

Happy Autumn πŸπŸ‚

I’m not tagging anyone specific but feel welcome to do it if you haven’t already, I’d love to see people’s responses 😊

Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.


Spooky book & film recommendations

Where has this year gone?! I feel like I’ve been in a weird time warp since Covid hit. Who am I? Where am I? When am I? Who knows? πŸ˜‚ To mark the beginning of October, I decided to make a very unpredictable and unique post (/sarcasm) to share some spooky book and film recommendations for the autumn and Halloween season πŸŽƒπŸ‘» Since I am an avid horror fan and almost exclusively watch horror films, I couldn’t resist adding some films into the mix. So here are 8 recommendations for horror/thriller books and films, 4 for each.


I Am Legend

This novella makes for a fast read and is ideal for a dark, spooky evening. It’s a unique vampire story with an intelligent, quick-witted and resillient protagonist. The post-apocalyptic setting is haunting and emotionally impactful and gave me The Walking Dead vibes when I read it.

Pet Sematary

Stephen King is generally not an author for me, and of all the King novels I’ve read, Pet Sematary is the only one I would recommend. It’s haunting, disturbing and provides a gruelling insight into the meaning of death and grief. There are scenes in this book that are genuinely spine tingling. The honesty and emotion that is depicted combined with the horror elements makes this an unforgettable and terrifying read.

If We Were Villains

This dark academia is the ideal autumnual read. It’s set at a performance university that specialises in Shakespeare and, like all dark academia’s follows a group of students in the aftermath of the mysterious deaths of one of their friends. It’s fast paced mystery that’s both dramatic and hard-hitting with Shakespearian influences running throughout.


It’s a classic for a reason. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the epitome of vampire gothic fiction. With it’s slow building plot and atmospheric setting, it continues to pile on the suspense and mystery throughout. Admittedly, it loses some of its impact since the nature of Count Dracula is common knowledge and cemented in pop culture, but it’s a thrilling and enjoyable read if you’re looking for a slow paced and intense gothic horror.


Hell House LLC

Hell House LLC is a stellar example of the found-footage genre and why it works so well. It follows a group of friends that visit a haunted house to investigate a tragic accident that happened there years previously. The tension is slowly built and the atmosphere is effectively creepy. There’s an authenticity to the story that makes you feel invested and it doesn’t rely on cheap scares and tricks. It’s a must-watch for any fans of found-footage and haunted houses.


One of the most unique, mind-bending and thrilling horrors I’ve ever seen. The film begins with the main character Jess, heading off on a sailing trip with a guy she knows from work and a few of his friends, but things don’t quite go to plan. You might think you know what’s going to happen but I guarantee you won’t. Triangle continually takes twists and turns, keeping you guessing and forcing you to question what you think you know.


This one is for those of you that don’t like the more hardcore horrors and are looking for more of a thriller-mystery. Identity is the older film out of the four I’ve chosen, but a true gem. Ten strangers find themselves stranded at a motel in the middle of a storm and are killed by an unknown killer one by one. It’s an unpredictable and genuinely intruiging plot that will keep you guessing throughout.


Haunt has gained some recognition in horror circles recently and it’s well deserved. Although it may first appear to be another teen-scream horror maze film, it exceeds that. It’s entertaining and steeped in tension with strong performances. Of all the films on this list, it’s the perfect Halloween watch.

Happy October, my lovelies and keep reading.