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 📖☕️
With the personal update over, let’s dive into the Autumn Reading Book Tag 🍂📚
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 😂). 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 Heights – Emily Brontë
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 😂 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 ☕️
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 🍁🍂
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.