Fall is the time for candle-lit afternoons and gentle reminiscence. While you curl up in your fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of coffee, a perfect book is what you need to give you company. Let us look back at some of the classics that evoke the bitter-sweet emotions of the fall. If you pick any of these books up, you will get lost in the lanes of nostalgia and might just as well rediscover your love for reading.
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Bath, England
This is a perfect book to set the tone for your upcoming Halloween plans. Catherine Morland, the protagonist of the novel, has fashioned herself as the perfect heroine for a gothic novel but sadly her life lacks any kind of supernatural events. This book is a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek satire of the trending gothic novels of eighteenth-century English literature. Northanger Abbey is also a coming-of-age novel as we follow our heroine, Catherine from her childhood to adulthood. While this book is often overshadowed by Austen’s other famous works, this will remind you of your childhood gothic fantasies.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde- London, England
While young and impeccably beautiful Dorian Gray loses himself in all kinds of vices and debauchery that downtown Victorian London has to offer, his identical portrait carries the marks of his cruelty and tarnished soul. Wilde’s witty prose and thrilling plot, this story is sure to keep you hooked from the very first chapter itself. This book talks about the transient nature of all things beautiful and subtly puts forward a lesson in virtue and morality. If you want to immerse yourself in a gripping story, you must pick this book up.
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Salem, Massachusetts
This is a fictionalized and dramatized adaptation of the infamous Salem Witch Hunt. It is a short read but a read that will haunt you with its historical nearness and accuracy. It shows very closely how a whole town fell prey to superstition and religious fanaticism. It holds up a mirror to the ugly side of society and makes us realize how easily the fabric of a community can come undone if it is built on fear and religious coercion.
- Orlando by Virginia Woolf, throughout centuries in London and Constantinople
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is someone who lives through centuries; first as a sixteenth-century nobleman and then they are reborn as a woman. Orlando goes from being a naïve and ignorant person to someone who has seen all and experienced all. Woolf, very cleverly, puts forward all the injustices and frailty of our heavily gendered society in such a non-disputable form. This novel was dedicated to Woolf’s friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West and the protagonist is said to be a loose portrait of both Vita and Virginia themselves. It is fun, retrospective, and is a perfect fall read to lose yourself into.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Concord, USA
One can never have enough of the warm and heartfelt stories of Meg, Joe, Beth and Amy. It is a story of love and friendship. The coming of age story of these women will make you laugh, cry, and will bring you emotions that are nostalgic to your own childhood. Little Women continues to transcend generations with its passionate story-telling and breaks boundaries with the revolutionary voices of each of the characters. This fall, if you must revisit one of your favorite childhood stories, make sure it is Little Women. In this time of healing and going back to post-pandemic life, allow these little women to help you find your passion for living and loving.