Season of mists & mellow bookishness

7 books I’ll be hibernating with this autumn

Whilst all my friends are mourning the end of summer, for me September 1st is the start of the best time of the year: Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Or, as I like to think of it – mellow bookishness.

Whilst I adore a bracing autumnal walk in wellington boots, kicking up leaves and wading through muddy puddles, there’s something about this time of year that grants us permission to be a bit more sedentary. To cosy up indoors and hibernate in chunky jumpers and even chunkier socks. And whilst the weather blows a hooley outside, I love nothing more than cracking the spine of a new book and floating away to worlds of the author’s making.

I can’t put my finger on why I feel this, but for me autumn/winter is the season for hardback books. I pondered this peccadillo of mine until I drifted off to sleep last night … and failed to come up with a sensible explanation. All I got was 1) because they’re heavier books and in the summer I’m lying out in the sun so I want a lighter book, and in the winter I’m sitting in our cosy little library so it’s easier to hold a heavy book; and 2) because hardback books tend to fare better when read in a piping hot bubble bath; they don’t go as curly, but they do sink faster if the worst happens. That’s as far as my thinking progressed. I’ve made no further startling discoveries this morning either.

But enough of that navel gazing. I want to introduce you to the seven beauties who have been residing on a special “ready for autumn” shelf for a loooong time now. And today being the meteorological start of autumn is their day to be paraded on my blog. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the hardback books I’ll be hibernating with this autumn …

Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor

What the blurb says …
1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another.

The Chief: Henry Irving, volcanic leading man and impresario.
The Leading Lady: Ellen Terry, most lauded actress of her generation
Theatre manager: Bram Stoker, following along begins them in the shadows.

Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager’s devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen. 

This exceptional novel explores the complexities of love that stands dangerously outside social convention, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

What the blurb says …
When Zachary Rawlins stumbles across a strange book hidden in his university library it leads him on a quest unlike any other. Its pages entrance him with their tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities and nameless acolytes, but they also contain something impossible: a recollection from his own childhood.

Determined to solve the puzzle of the book, Zachary follows the clues he finds on the cover – a bee, a key and a sword. They guide him to a masquerade ball, to a dangerous secret club, and finally through a magical doorway created by the fierce and mysterious Mirabel. This door leads to a subterranean labyrinth filled with stories, hidden far beneath the surface of the earth.

When the labyrinth is threatened, Zachary must race with Mirabel, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, through its twisting tunnels and crowded ballrooms, searching for the end of his story.

You are invited to join Zachary on the starless sea: the home of storytellers, story-lovers and those who will protect our stories at all costs.

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

What the blurb says …
1949: the celebrated Russian author Boris Pasternak is writing a novel that will become Doctor Zhivago.

The Soviets, afraid of its subversive power, ban it. But in the rest of the world it’s fast becoming a sensation.

In Washington DC, The CIA is planning to use the book to tip the Cold War in its favour. Their agents are not the usual spies, however. Two typists are charged with the mission of a lifetime: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago back into Russia by any means necessary. It will not be easy. There are people willing to die for this book, and agents willing to kill for it.

Passions, power, secrets and a banned masterpiece with the power to change history lie at the heart of this irresistible novel.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

What the blurb says …
Imagine … Leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.
Imagine … Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you.
Imagine … Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened.
Imagine … Something that will change everything … and having to save everyone you love.

Ninth House by Leigh Berdugo

What the blurb says …
Alex Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. A dropout and the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved crime – the last thing she wants is to cause trouble. Not when Yale was supposed to be her fresh start. But a free ride to one of the world’s most prestigious universities was bound to come with a catch.

Alex has been tasked with monitoring the mysterious activities of Yale’s secret societies – societies that have yielded some of the most famous and influential people in the world. Now there’s a dead girl on campus and Alex seems to be the only person who won’t accept the neat answer the police and campus administration have come up with for her murder.

Because Alex knows the secret societies are far more sinister and extraordinary than anyone ever imagined.

They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living …

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

What the blurb says …
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr Locke, she feels little different from the artefacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

All The Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig & Karen White

What the blurb says …
France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz— the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country—and the man—she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz—and to unexpected places of the heart. 

11 thoughts on “Season of mists & mellow bookishness

  1. I’m a seasonal reader, my reading always dips in the summer, possibly because longer, lighter evenings means I spent more time outside being active but I love curling up with a book, blanket and cup of something warm in the colder months. My husband read 10,000 Doors of January and The Starless Sea is on my list too. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard really good things about The Starless Sea, and I absolutely adored Night Circus. Starless Sea demands the most luxurious reading environment – a glass of the nicest wine or a mug of hot chocolate, a cosy blanket, autumn sun through the window *sighs*


  2. Thanks for sharing the books you’re gonna read this fall! They seem fabulous🤩 and I’m definitely adding it to my Autumn TBR!! Plus you just gave me the inspiration to write my blog posts with the theme of fall! I fell in love with your pretty book blog at first sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!! Thank you so much for your lovely feedback 🥰 Autumn is absolutely the loveliest time of year isn’t it?! Perfect hibernation and reading weather. I’m looking forward to seeing your fall-themed posts x


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