Friday, October 16, 2020

Autumnal Anytime Reads

Hey'a, all! So, a few years ago, I did a Friday 5s post that I really enjoyed: Summer Anytime Reads, a collection of books (and some bonus recommendations) that I felt were really summertime books. I've been meaning to do a followup for . . . well, years, but never really got around to it (and never really had enough books to suit any one season). However, I have finally changed that fact! Some of these are selected because they actually relate to some aspect of autumn, some because they take place in the fall, and some just . . . y'know. They have the right vibe. So, without further ado, here are your Autumnal Anytime Reads!

Autumnal Anytime Reads

An Enchantment of Ravens cover

  1. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. I mean, the transition from summer to autumn is literally a plot point here, and Rook is the autumn prince, so . . . kind of an obvious choice? But I would also say that Enchantment effectively captures the feel of fall as well, from the descriptions and colors to the emphasis on making and creating (fall usually feels very crafty to me, though maybe that's just because of Halloween) to the juxtaposition of life and death and the idea of things dying to make way for new life.
    If you liked An Enchantment of Ravens, try: Fairest Son by H.S.J. Williams (for fae magic and fairy tale vibes) or The Dark King's Curse by Wyn Estelle Owens (for seaonal fae and fabulous autumnal rulers).

  2. Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag. I almost put this one as a readalike for An Enchantment of Ravens, but then I decided that it deserved its own spot. Though this book spans multiple seasons, it carries a very classic autumnal vibe all the way through, especially in the author's very rich language and descriptions. But where Enchantment is very early autumn, Plenilune is late autumn, when skies are grey more days than not and the encroaching greys and browns make the last bits of color stand out all the more brightly and fires in the fireplace are appreciated for more than just the aesthetic, if that makes sense. And, once again, it has that feel of death bringing about new growth and life. Plus, this book has a very classic, slower-moving, spiced-cider kind of feel that really seems very autumnal.
    If you liked Plenilune, try: Pendragon's Heir by Suzannah Rowntree (for kingdom intrigue and classic feel). I seriously cannot think of another readalike for this at the moment, but if you have any ideas, feel free to leave them in comments.

  3. The Dragons in Our Midst series by Bryan Davis. This series takes place primarily in fall (all except for book 2, which is midwinter and feels like it). In addition, Books 1 and 3 are very effective examples of two kinds of fall-related stories. School stories often seem very autumnal (mostly because of "back to school"), and a lot of the conflicts in Book 1 begin in or relate to that. And in Book 3, of course, the whole story takes place right around Halloween and takes advantage of the legends surrounding that holiday — specifically, that Halloween is the night on which the borders between realms and dimensions are the thinnest.   
    If you liked The Dragons in Our Midst, try:
    The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (for allegory and colorful characters) or The Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight (for strong Christian characters and dragons).

  4. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. Speaking of Halloween, we can't go through autumn reads without discussing some deliciously creepy or scary tales! The Screaming Staircase has just the right amount of spine-chilling creepiness without becoming horror for the sake of horror, and it leans heavily on traditional lore while adding its own twists. It also has an excellent mystery, and I'd say that fall and winter are an excellent time for mysteries. For the record, I'd actually say the whole series fits the vibe of fall read fairly well; the first book just happens to be the one I like best.
    If you liked The Screaming Staircase, try: The Crocket and Crane series by Kyle Robert Shultz (for spooky legends and, especially after Book 1, plenty of creepiness, plus snarky friendships) or Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (for lore-based fantasy mystery).

  5. The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs. We end this list with a series that I think effectively bridges fall and winter. The Book of Names starts in November, and it feels like a November/early December sort of book. Part of that is the atmosphere and the book's reliance on Welsh and Arthurian Legend (which I often associate with fall). The other part of it, though, is the aspect of the Nameless and the darkening of the world. Though I love fall and the change in seasons, I often find that late fall and winter are times of the year when I tend to feel much more tired and discouraged than usual, and I think The Book of Names and the rest of the Karac Tor series reflects that struggle in certain ways.
    If you liked The Book of Names, try: The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander (for shared basis in Welsh mythology) or the Beyonders series by Brandon Mull, especially books 2 and 3 (for unconventional portal fantasy and portal adventures that leave a mark).

What are your favorite autumnal reads? Are there any of my picks that you especially agree or disagree with? Please tell me in the comments! Also, many thanks to my sister for helping me come up with readalikes when I was stuck on some of these.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Someday, I hope to read Plenilune.
    For me, K.M. Weiland's Wayfarer is an autumn book. Not only does it take place during autumn, but the cover is a misty grey and gold, and it even features costumes.

    1. It's a good book. Dark, and for more mature readers, but very good.
      Oooh, cool. I'll have to check that one out!


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