Culture Pick: Fall Must-Reads

Emma Margaret Thompson, Contributing Writer

In autumn, leaves fall, the air slowly gets colder and sweaters are pulled out from the depths of closets. 

This is when we begin to look for inside activities to bide our time and avoid the cold. We bake, we watch our favorite movies, we craft, we journal and we read. There are certain books to be read in the fall: books that encapsulate the aesthetic of the season and help welcome the change in the air. 

To help you figure out what to read this fall, The Crimson White culture desk is offering up its best recommendations for the perfect fall books for those chillier autumn afternoons.



Zara Morgan, a contributing writer, said her fall must-read book is “Sadie” by Courtney Summers. 

“I think this is a great fall book because when I think of fall, I think of mystery and suspense and this book definitely has both,” Morgan said. 

“Sadie” follows the story of an older sister on a chase to find her little sister’s murderer. With the help of a radio personality turned podcaster, Sadie hunts down clues that will hopefully lead her to find the killer.

If you aren’t the most avid reader, listening to “Sadie” by Courtney Summers via audiobook can still give your fall some suspense without the extra pages.

“The book contains different voice actors and sound effects,” Morgan said. “It’s definitely the way to go.” 



Another option for a spooky fall must-read is the “Stalking Jack the Ripper” series by Kerri Maniscalco, recommended by staff reporter Alyssa Schubert.

In this series, a teenage girl born into wealth and privilege leads a forbidden, secret life. Audrey Rose Wadsworth enjoys sneaking away from societal expectations to study forensic medicine in her uncle’s laboratory. Audrey soon encounters a string of brutally murdered corpses that will spark her search for the killer.

“They are based in Victorian London and have a very spooky, mysterious mood that fits perfectly with the season, especially around Halloween time,” Schubert said. 

Having started the series last fall, Schubert is excited to finish reading the series this upcoming spooky season.



And for those who are not fans of spooky books and prefer a different route, there is “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng, recommended by Anna Hill, another culture desk contributing writer. 

In the book’s present, a suburban utopia is uprooted with the mysterious burning down of a prominent family’s home. In a flashback, it is fall when Mia Warren and her daughter come to Shaker Heights to start anew. 

But Elena Richardson, a leader of moms in the neighborhood, won’t let Mia just fade into the background. Moving between past and present, the chaos and dramatics only increase with the fierce dislike the two women have for each other. 

Hill said she first read the book in the fall of 2020 and plans to reread it again this year.

It is fast-paced, easy to read and has a mysterious storyline that makes it hard to put down,” Hill said. 

And for when you’re done reading, there is a TV series based on the book for you to check out.

“There is also a great Hulu adaptation,” Hill said. “It has popular actors like Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.”



And last but not least we have “Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado, recommended by Jeffrey Kelly, the current managing editor and former culture desk editor. 

Kelly said while this can definitely be read in any season, as the book is a collection of essays, it provides an array of storylines that will engage the reader continuously.

“It’s a beautiful short fiction collection that skillfully blends the lines between science fiction, comedy and horror,” Kelly said. “It allows the reader to enjoy a different vibe at their leisure.”

In Machado’s debut, she flows through different topics of contemporary fiction and brings something to the table for every reader. If you’re currently in a reading slump or just need a good book to spark your fall reading, this short story collection is for you.

Whether you’re a year-round reader or here for some seasonal favorites, these books will get you in the fall mood. Happy fall and happy reading!