The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

6 books to put on your fall reading list

Anne Schmidt
Mukta Phatak, junior in college of FAA and LAS, reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. She is reading on the couches in the lower level of the Siebel Center for Design.

As leaves begin to fall and old flannels make their way out of closets, classic autumn activities are coming back into style: apple picking, football games and, of course, opening the next life-changing novel.

In the words of the acclaimed “King of Horror” Stephen King in his book “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” “books are a uniquely portable magic,” but picking a new book can be a challenge with the plethora of options available. 

Fret not: From vampires to World War II, family curses to patriarchy, the following recommendation list has something for everyone.

Readers should be aware some novels in this collection contain adult content.


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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

While many coined “The October Country” as the quintessential fall novel from Ray Bradbury, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is widely considered one of Bradbury’s most poignant works.

The novel follows two 13-year-old best friends as they battle a supernatural carnival that comes to their town on Halloween to wreak havoc.

The sci-fi thriller delves into topics of combating fear and self-acceptance, reminiscent of a childhood night of reading under the covers. 


Weyward by Emilia Hart

Emilia Hart’s 2023 novel “Weyward” carefully weaves together the stories of three different women of the same family over five centuries.

Each woman possesses a unique ability to connect and communicate with nature and must learn to harness this gift in spite of the victimization they each face in their own communities.

In her exploration of family trauma, Hart’s work of historical fiction is a harrowing installation of the female experience. 


How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair 

Jamaican poet Safiya Sinclair’s memoir “How to Say Babylon: A Memoir” details her journey to breaking free from her rigid household and strict father’s control. 

“(Sinclair’s) writing is beautiful, lyrical, but also extremely accessible,” said Nanette Donohue, collections and technical services manager at the Champaign Public Library. “It is a joy to read her story.”

This new memoir is a thorough dive into the power of literature and the importance of independence. 


The Serpent and The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent 

Another recommendation given by representatives at the Champaign Public Library highlighted “The Serpent and The Wings of Night.”

The novel is a fantasy romance that follows its female protagonist, Oraya, as she attempts to find her place within a vampire kingdom as a human. 

“It’s been very popular on Kindle Unlimited,” Donohue said. “It’s just sweeping, epic vampire fantasy romance.” 

The novel is expected to be rereleased in December and is the first in an upcoming series from Broadbent. 

“It’s kind of like ‘The Hunger Games’ but with vampires,” Donohue explained. “It’s fantastic.”


The Good House by Tananarive Due

For those looking for a horror novel this season, look no further than Tananarive Due’s novel “The Good House.”

The novel follows Angela, the protagonist, as she attempts to cope with her failing marriage and a recent tragedy by moving into her childhood home. She soon finds that hers is not the only tragedy to strike her family and must put together clues to solve why her family is cursed. 

Due’s slow-burn novel delves into heavy themes of family trauma, love and loss. 


Deaf Republic: Poems by Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky’s poetry collection, “Deaf Republic,” details the political unrest that follows after the killing of a young deaf boy in an occupied country. 

Following his death, the boy’s community practices resistance against the occupiers of their country through the use of sign language. Kaminsky’s lyric narrative is a profound exploration of the strength of community and deaf culture despite the devastation of war. 


To find the aforementioned recommendations, readers can check the Champaign Public Library, online sellers or any number of bookstores in the Champaign-Urbana area, including the Jane Addams Book Shop, The Literary, the Illini Union Bookstore and more.


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