Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my very first F/F recommendations post where I mentioned some great contemporary reads! This time round, I’ve decided that, since we’re finally moving into Autumn, that I would recommend some books that I feel give off some great Autumn vibes! I really hope that you decide to pick up at least one of these to get into the Autumn mood!
Starting off with probably one of my favourites on the list – Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker! I was so excited to read an ARC of this last year and I’m sure that the final coloured copy is even more gorgeous than the black-and-white version! This is an adorable graphic novel following Nova, a young witch who works at her grandmas’ book shop, who one day finds her childhood crush, Tam, a werewolf, battling a horse demon in the woods. Under the threat of Tam losing their wolf magic, the two have to work together to rid their hometown of this impending danger. This is one of the cutest, fluffiest graphic novels I’ve read and perfect if you want something a little spooky, but not too scary! Even writing this I’m tempted to buy myself a finished copy and re-read it in time for Halloween!
Next up, another not so spooky but extremely atmospheric read – A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone. I read this one earlier in the year and, oh boy, it turns out I do actually like erotica! This follows librarian, Poe, who takes a job at Thornchapel manor whilst trying to avoid the manor’s owner, Auden, and also trying to figure out why Thornchapel was the place that her mother was last seen alive. As she uncovers stranger and darker secrets, Poe and Auden, alongside their childhood friends, Rebecca, Delphine, St Sebastian and Becket, find their lives all strangely linked together. The atmosphere and world building in this book is unmatched – it’s the perfect gloomy, gothic backdrop for Autumn. I don’t want to spoil anything in here but all of the main characters are bi and it is very sapphic. This has some of the best sex scenes I’ve read and involves a lot of BDSM. I highly recommend this one but check out the trigger warnings first!
Breaking up the more ‘traditionally’ Autumn-themed books is a newly-released thriller – Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos! I recently wrote a review on this one, and to me thrillers are always Autumn books! This follows Caroline, a top of her class private school student who is dealing with homophobic parents and a recent break up with her girlfriend. One day, her best friend Madison disappears, but Caroline doesn’t trust the police to carry out a proper investigation. So, Caroline sets out herself to find Madison and finds a trail of other missing girls along the way. The world building in this is honestly so good, and is what I think makes it perfect for Autumn. Among other places, which I won’t spoil, this takes place in a gorgeous, prestigious private school and a dark and dingy bar, both of which feel like you’re right there with Caroline. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and is a truly atmospheric book for Autumn! (Check out the trigger warnings).
Back to what I’d say is an Autumn classic – These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling! This is part of one of my favourite duologies and, even better, the sequel This Coven Won’t Break is also out so you can marathon them both!! This follows Hannah, an elemental witch who has to keep her magic hidden so that Regs (non-magic people) don’t find out, or she could lose it for good. Hannah is dealing with breaking up with her fellow Elemental witch Veronica, while at the same time a dark blood ritual interrupts an end-of-school-year bonfire. Hannah and Veronica investigate, trying to find the blood witch responsible and, while doing so, Hannah meets new girl in town, Morgan, and falls head over heels with her! This book is so much fun! There’s so much action and so many amazing characters (plus a very sapphic love triangle!)! The setting of modern day Salem is perfect for Autumn, complete with a cheesy tourist-trap witchcraft supplies shop! I can’t recommend this one enough!
This next one, although I definitely recommend, I do suggest that you look up some reviews on, as there are some trigger warnings and some lesbophobic content to look out for. Ceremonials by Katharine Coldiron is a gorgeous, twelve-part lyric novella, inspired by the Florence + the Machine album of the same name, that follows Amelia and Corisande who fall in love at boarding school. The night before graduation, Corisande dies and Amelia is left haunted by her ghost. The writing in this book is so beautiful and lyrical but also haunting and rich. It’s simply unlike anything I’ve read before! I really recommend listening to the album track by track alongside each corresponding chapter to really get the full effect! This one is definitely perfect for a misty October day, cozied up under several blankets with a black coffee (or pumpkin spiced latte!) in hand!
For the last two recs we’re going into the horror territory, starting with Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant AKA Seanan McGuire! Seven years ago, the Atargatis travelled to Mariana’s Trench to film a mockumentary on the supposed existence of mermaids, previously considered just to be an old wives tale. The ship was soon lost at sea with all those aboard dead. Now, a new crew has come together, both for research purposes and to find out what really happened to the crew of the Atargatis. Young scientist, Victoria, is aboard to find out what happened to her sister who she lost after she went on the first voyage, but sometimes secrets are best kept hidden. This was one of the first horror novels I read, and wow did it scare me! Murderous mermaids, being trapped in the middle of the ocean – not what you’d usually picture when you think of Autumn, but perfect if you want a good scare in time for Halloween!
Finally, probably what I’d say is the perfect book for Halloween, is Things We Say In the Dark by Kirsty Logan. This is a collection of horror short stories that is perfect for anyone looking to get into the genre. As soon as I read the first short story I knew that this one was going to be a hit! Many of the stories deal with different fears faced throughout womanhood and several contain established sapphic relationships (including married couples!). Several stories in here feature folklore and fairytales as their inspiration and are super creepy, whereas others leave you with a lingering feeling of unease. For a quick run down of what each story is about check out this great Goodreads review, and for trigger warnings I really suggest checking out my Goodreads review, as I definitely would have liked them before going into this book.
I hope this inspired you to pick up some of these books over the next few months, whether you prefer something cute and fluffy, something action packed and spooky, some horror to give you the heeby-jeebies in the run up to Halloween, or simply just some atmospheric erotica! If you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment! I’m all for some new Autumnal recommendations! Happy reading!