If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that I’m not very good with sticking to TBR lists. I don’t make an “official” monthly TBR since I know I’m likely to veer away from it. I tend to treat my library stack as a TBR, since it gives me a bit of wiggle room to change the order based on my moods, or sometimes based on library due dates! If I’m going to have a TBR at all, it tends to be something a little more long-term, like my goals for the year. Even then, I sometimes struggle to make sure I fit in all the books I’d expected to read. I think a seasonal TBR is a good middle ground, since it gives me enough time to mood read while still having a bit of structure. I’ve never really been the type to read seasonally, except around Halloween! I always end up reading more dark or spooky books toward the fall, because it just seems like the best time. The books listed here are all books that I’m intending to read this fall, and hopefully I’ll be able to stick to this list!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider
This is probably one of the least spooky books on my list for the fall, but I thought it fit because it has a paranormal element to it. It is about a teenage girl named Rose whose best friend is her brother Logan, who also happens to be a ghost. When her old friend Jamie moves back into town, Rose is reminded of everything she’s been missing out on since her brother’s death, but soon starts to realize that Jamie is harbouring a secret of his own. She also begins to find it harder to choose between a friendship that makes her feel so alive, and the brother she is not yet ready to let go. I have not read any of Robyn Schneider’s books yet, although she has been on my TBR for years now. I was drawn to this one initially because of the beautiful cover art, and then was even more intrigued by the premise. I bought a copy of this one from Book Outlet as an extra motivator to read it soon, so I’m expecting to get to it within the next few weeks! I don’t often read books that involve ghosts, but this one seemed like such a unique and interesting story.
2) Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Speaking of books about ghosts, this was another one that I added to my TBR as soon as I saw it come up on Goodreads. I thought the cover art was just adorable, and it was a great addition for my goal of trying more graphic novels. It is about a 13-year-old girl named Marjorie who feels like a ghost, and a boy named Wendell who actually is one. When Wendell decides to turn the family laundromat into his new playground, Marjorie is forced to deal with the effects and try to maintain to life she’s struggled to keep together since her mother passed away. This book reminds me a bit of Anya’s Ghost, which was one of the first graphic novels that I really loved. It seems like a story that will have a good balance of humour (ie. the ghost’s antics) with some more serious topics, such as Marjorie’s grief for her mother. I’ve recently picked up a copy from the library, and I’m very excited to finally give it a chance. I also recently learned that there is a second volume due out sometime next year too!
3) Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner
This is a graphic novel that I’ve been meaning to try since I first heard of it last fall. It is about a boy named AJ who has a crush on a girl, Nia, who seems to only like vampires. When the two of them are paired up for a school project, AJ decides to dress up like a vampire to try and win Nia over, only to learn that she is really a vampire slayer! I think I was drawn to this one in part because I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so it was interesting to see the idea of slayers in a different context. I don’t often reach for vampire stories, but this one seemed too fun to pass up. I was also surprised to realize that the author was the same person who wrote You’re Welcome, Universe, a book that I’ve been very interested in trying for a long time (even though I haven’t gotten around to it yet). I also think this book will be another great choice for my goal of reading more graphic novels, since it seemed like a fun one.
4) Slayer by Kiersten White
There are many reasons that I want to read this one, the main one being my previously mentioned love of the Buffy series. This book is set in that world after Buffy’s time, and focuses on a girl named Nina, who grew up in the Watcher’s Academy, but rejects the violence of that lifestyle and wants to be a medic. When Nina is called as the newest, and last ever, Slayer, her life changes forever. I’m a little apprehensive to try this one because I don’t think it could live up to the Buffy series for me, but I’ve started to really love Kiersten White’s writing after reading one of her series earlier this year, so I’m hoping to love this one too! I’m glad she decided to take it in a new direction with brand new characters instead of trying to stick to the familiar ones from the TV show, but I’m also not sure how well the book can capture all the things that I loved about the series. I think this one would be perfect to read around Halloween, or at least in the fall, because it’s a vampire story which also seems like it might be quite dark.
5) Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by various authors
I’ve branched out a bit more this year to try and read a few more anthologies, although as expected, it’s been with mixed results. I generally don’t really care for short stories since I find most of them don’t leave enough room for characters or the story to develop, but this one seemed very interesting. I think this was one of the first anthologies that really caught my attention, and I intentionally saved it to read in the fall. It is an anthology compiling 16 short stories by YA authors that all have to do with women who are accused of witchcraft. The authors include several that I’ve already read and enjoyed, such as Emery Lord, Brandy Colbert, Robin Talley and Anna-Marie McLemore. I’ve always been interested in stories about witches, including real-life events such as the Salem Witch Trials. I’m very interested in trying this one and seeing how all of these authors tell their stories, and especially interested that it specifies “women accused of witchcraft” but not necessarily women who are witches. I’m really hoping to love this one!
6) The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
I generally try not to include two books by the same author on the same list, but I couldn’t resist in this case since this one seemed like another perfect fit for the fall. This book is about a girl named Elizabeth who escapes her miserable home life when she befriends Victor Frankenstein, and is soon taken in by his family. Her new life comes at a steep cost, with her survival depending on her ability to navigate Victor’s temper and disturbing whims. Frankenstein was a classic that I waited a very long time to finally try, and ended up absolutely loving! This book immediately caught my attention because it seemed like exactly the kind of retelling that I tend to love. It reminded me of Megan Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter trilogy, which also involved loose retellings of gothic-style classics. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book which definitely helped to spark my interest even further. It sounds like such a fascinating story and I can’t wait to read it!
7) The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson
I first heard of the Lizzie Borden case through an episode of the TV show Smart Guy, and I’ve always found it really creepy! Lizzie Borden was a young woman who was accused of murdering both of her parents with an axe in 1892. The case received a lot of attention at the time because she was a woman, and because of the violent nature of the crime. I don’t generally read a lot of nonfiction, but this one caught my attention because it was about a particularly interesting case that I know very little about. It’s especially intriguing because this book is supposed to have real transcripts from her trial, as well as newspaper accounts and letters written by Lizzie herself. If any nonfiction book is going to interest me, it’s likely to be this one. I also thought this book would be a perfect fall read because of the darker subject matter. Something about true crime just seems to be a good fit for the fall. As scary as thrillers can be sometimes, I find real cases that much more creepy.
8) The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti
I discovered this book last summer while randomly browsing Book Outlet, and quickly decided that it was something that I needed to try. I think mostly I was drawn in by the interesting cover art at first, but it also sounds like a very interesting story. It is about a town where a thousand dead birds have fallen onto a high school baseball field, starting off a horrible chain of events. One of the the reporters following the case catches a baseball coach hugging a female student outside a motel. The girl claims that they are having an affair, but soon disappears leaving the coach as the only suspect. The only person left on his side is a teacher, Bridget Harris, who sets out to find out what happened to the girl and the truth about her relationship with the coach. I didn’t even realize at the time that I’d added this to my list that I also had another book by the same author on my TBR for a few years. This one seems like a great fall read because it has the creepiness of the dead birds, and also the mystery of what happened to the missing girl. I’m looking forward to finally trying this one.
9) An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
I’ve only read one book by this author so far, and I really liked it but didn’t quite love it as much as I had expected. I’m especially intrigued by this one because I’ve seen it compared to Agatha Christie! This book is about a group of guests who are snowed in at a family-owned hotel during a winter storm. As the guests start to turn up dead one by one, everyone begins to panic and now have to survive not only the storm, but also the others trapped in the hotel with them. The premise of this one reminds me quite a bit of my favourite Agatha Christie mystery, And Then There Were None. While it might not necessarily be the most unique set-up for a mystery, it is one that always tends to grab my attention and generally makes a very intriguing story. I guess the blizzard element of this one makes it a good read for either fall or winter, but I’m hoping to get to it sooner rather than later. I’m hoping to enjoy this one even more than I liked The Couple Next Door, and this one actually seems more like something I would love.
10) If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio
I really need to make sure to prioritize this one! It was one of the first books that I picked for my reading challenges this year, but I think I (partially intentionally?) put it off until the fall. It is about a group of seven actors who share a love for Shakespeare as well as the dark task of convincing police that they are not to blame when one of the actors in the play is found dead. I have heard nothing but great things about this book, and I even bought a copy of it from Book Outlet quite a long time ago to give myself extra motivation to read it. This seems like such a character-driven book, and that tends to be right up my alley. I’m not sure how much familiarity with Shakespeare I actually need to really get into this one. I’m not too worried though since I’ve seen quite a few reviewers mention that they knew nothing about Shakespeare going into it, and it wasn’t a problem at all. I picked this one up mostly on a whim because I’d seen so many great things about it, so I think it’s about time I actually read it and see for myself!
We have such similar tastes. All of these books look great.
A great list. I’m interested in a couple of them.