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Fall Reading List

Updated on September 26, 2011

Looking for a good book to read? Fall is a great time to start in on a new reading list. After summer sunshine and backyard barbecues, the mind is rested and ready to get back to study. Try some of these books to get going!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

 

When we read, the book that we are reading absorbs something of the atmosphere around us. I read this book sitting on my grandmother’s front porch, surrounded by falling leaves and pecans and the crisp autumn breeze.

 

Feel free to hold great expectations when you pick up Great Expectations. Dickens, as always, never disappoints in his rich plot full of memorable characters. The story follows Pip, an orphan who has his unfair share of trials and tribulations. If possible, read a copy that includes the original unpublished ending.

Great Expectations
Great Expectations

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Having visited the actual House in Salem, Massachusetts in the autumn, I always picture it with fall colors and late flowers and cold, mysterious shadows. Reading the book somehow trapped me inside a musty decaying house full of mysterious happenings, never seeing the sunlight.


The House of the Seven Gables is a masterpiece of American literature. Hawthorrne creates an atmosphere that well fits with the decaying of autumn. The story is centered around the curse of the Pyncheon family and the power of love to expel it. Hawthorne exhibits the great influence his ancestors (his great-great-grandfather was a judge during the Salem Witch Trials) had on him.

The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables

The Bostonians by Henry James

 

Autumn means back-to-school days. After the summer, we feel refreshed and ready to go back to studies and No.2 pencils and smell-good books.

 

The Bostonians has a very academic setting in 1800s Boston. Verena Tarrant, a speaker in the feminist movement, is the central character, caught between her parents and her benefactress on the one hand, and the man who loves her, a Southern conservative, on the other. The plot is fascinating and provides many topics for discussion.

The Bostonians
The Bostonians

The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett

For some reason, I remember this book as if it were set in the fall, although the book begins in June. Perhaps this is because the narrator uses the abandoned schoolhouse for her solitary writing, lending a scholarly attitude to the reader.

The Country of the Pointed Firs is a beautiful book that doesn’t receive the attention that it deserves. The book is made up of sketches of ordinary life along the coast of Maine. Jewett’s skill at local color makes old fishermen and widows come alive as tangible characters. The book is like Anne of Green Gables or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, only for adult readers.

The Country of the Pointed Firs
The Country of the Pointed Firs

The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving

 

“Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” are both autumn favorites. I love to imagine the Adirondack Mountains in all the glory of fall colors and golden afternoons.

 

The Sketch Book is a must-read for any lover of American literature. Irving was among the first in America to be successfully published as a writer of fiction. He was a master story-teller, and although his writing style is old-fashioned, his stories make a lasting impression. Who hasn’t heard of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman or of Rip Van Winkle? As well as these well-known tales of Dutch Americans in the Adirondacks, the book also includes sketches set in England.

The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon
The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon

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    • Rose West profile image
      Author

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      It's always so hard to resist a good book! Wait ... I wouldn't know because I never resist them!

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl

      Stay addicted and biased-what a wonderful addiction.

    • Rose West profile image
      Author

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      I know, BookFlame, I'm addicted and biased. Someone help me!

    • profile image

      BookFlame 8 years ago

      Oh, Rose, you and I both love the classics!

    • Rose West profile image
      Author

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad you agree about the atmospheric pressure on books :) Whenever I think about a particular book, I often remember the place I read it and what I was going through at the time.

      You're welcome. I know what you mean about too many books!There always seems to be more books to read than time to read them!

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joilene Rasmussen 8 years ago from United States

      Rose, you said: "When we read, the book that we are reading absorbs something of the atmosphere around us." This is not something I've heard someone outside of my family voice, but we have always found this to be literally true, whether for good, or evil. The atmosphere which was "soaked up" into the book also tends to rub off on whomever reads it next, and waft about in whatever atmosphere they read in.

      Thanks for the reading suggestions. It's not that I ever need more of those (I have far too many books I haven't read already), but the ones of these which I haven't read are something to look forward to.

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