11 Hauntingly Good Reads for Leafy Days & Eerie Nights: Your Ultimate Fall Booklist

These 11 fall reads are my booklist picks for the season. I’ll be enjoying them alongside you. Like last year’s 15 Books to Cozy Up to This Autumn, I curated a collection of books you can start now, ones that give a harvest mood and fantasy-world enchantment vibe, the type of feelings that come with the beginnings of fall. As the list progresses, so does the theme, making things more pulse-quickening with some Stephen King Halloween chills. Then, we cozy down to book recommendations for a more reflective November.

I recently partnered with Bookshop. A website alternative to Amazon, connecting readers with independent booksellers. When you make a purchase through my affiliation link I may earn a portion of the sales at no additional cost to you. Find full Fall 2023 book list – Here

An addictive fantasy with epic levels of spice and world-building

Barnes & Noble

I was searching for something as delicious as A Court series, and The Fourth Wings is currently fulfilling that spellbinding fantasy adventure I need. This novel is set in a world of dragons. We have emotionally charged characters and heart-pounding action from the first few pages.

In Whalefall, Jay Gardiner embarks on a seemingly impossible mission. He is searching for his father’s remains in the Pacific Ocean. After many unforeseen mishaps, Jay struggles for survival. The most treacherous of which comes after being swallowed whole by a sperm whale.

Whalefall promises a suspenseful and thrilling exploration of the resilience of the human spirit in the most unlikely and difficult circumstances.

“A crazy, and crazily enjoyable, beat-the-clock adventure story about fathers, sons, guilt and the mysteries of the sea . . . [Kraus] brings the rigor of a scientist and the sensibility of a poet to his descriptions of the undersea world.”

New York Times

Stardust is falling into a world of magic. This novel follows Tristran Thorn, a man on an extraordinary journey to win the heart of his beloved. To do so, he must venture beyond the wall separating his ordinary village from the remarkable world of Faerie and retrieve a fallen star.

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. His masterful storytelling weaves together elements of classic fairy tails and fantasy with his own personal touches of rich story. Stardust is one of four books Greg and I are reading “together” while he is deployed. When he’s home, we will have our own little book club discussion. It’s an excellent way for us to stay connected while we’re apart.

“A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really…”Do the stars gaze back?” Now, that’s a question.”

Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Ninth House is a dark fantasy novel following Alex Stern, a Yale freshman with a troubled past. Stern leaves one tumultuous life and begins another after entering the university. The prestigious university isn’t what it seems—Stern delves into the enigmatic world of secret societies, uncovering dark and extraordinary secrets.

Ninth House is another of the four books Greg and I are reading “together” while he is deployed. When he’s home, we will have our own little book club discussion. It’s an excellent way for us to stay connected while we’re apart.

Doctor Sleep is a sequel to Stephen King’s iconic novel, The Shining. I read The Shining and loved it. I’ve watched the Doctor Sleep film, and (possible) spoiler alert: it ends the same way The Shining novel ends, which interests me because if that’s the case, how does Doctor Sleep’s novel differ from the movie?

Heads up! Doctor Sleep is also A Movie Lover’s Book Club pick for October.

Doctor Sleep follows adult Danny Torrance, who struggles with the trauma of his haunted childhood at the Overlook Hotel. Despite trying to suppress his psychic abilities with alcohol, he is drawn into a supernatural battle.

Doctor Sleep is described as an eerie and psychologically gripping tale offering a fresh perspective on the legacy of The Shining.

“I changed it. I had to. Do you know why?” She studied him, her eyes grave. “Because that was then and this is now. Because the past is gone, even though it defines the present.”

Stephen King, Doctor Sleep

A grim and gothic new tale from author Alix E. Harrow about a small town haunted by secrets that can’t stay buried and the sinister house that sits at the crossroads of it all.


Startling House is the only novel on my list which hasn’t been published yet; Expected publication October 2, 2023

This novel has been on my reading list for a long time. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a mesmerizing tale revolving around Le Cirque des Rêves, a circus only open under the cover of night and one that is shrouded in mystery.

Morgenstern’s enchanting tale promises to weave romance, fantasy, and wonder into a spellbinding narrative that transports readers to a world where dreams and reality intertwine.

Part love story, part fable … defies both genres and expectations.

The Boston Globe

Weyward weaves the stories of three woman across time, 2019, 1942 and 1619. The best way to describe with novel is to share the circulating synopsis.

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.

1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family’s grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.

Weyward by Emilia Hart

The Alchemist is another long-standing novel on my TBR list. The story follows Santiago, a shepherd boy, on a quest to travel the world. Along his adventurous pilgrimage Santiago encounters a series of characters and moments of enlightenment promising to leave the reader inspired.

Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom, and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic…


Welcome to Charon’s Crossing.
The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through.

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.


Eight Bears is the only non-fiction book on my fall reading list. I came across this book when visiting Tattered Cover in Colorado and it feels like the perfect nonfiction fall read. Journalist Gloria Dickie, takes readers into the lives of the Earths eight remaining bear species.

Weaving together ecology, history, mythology, and a captivating account of her travels and observations, Dickie offers a closer look at our volatile relationship with these magnificent mammals. Engrossing and deeply reported, Eight Bears delivers a clear warning for what we risk losing if we don’t learn to live alongside the animals that have shaped our cultures, geographies, and stories.


If you enjoyed these 11 fall reads you may also like:

  1. 15 Books to Cozy Up To This Autumn
  2. 15 Novels for Your Fall Reading List
  3. Here’s What We’re Readin’ for Spooky Season
11 fall books
11 fall books

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