By Serena Kerrigan-Noble, Hannah Moore, Lucy Shardlow and Melissa Tran
The leaves are turning brown and the pumpkin spice lattes are flowing…spooky season is truly upon us! If you’re looking for an autumn read, then look no further as we round up the perfect reads for all those cosy autumnal evenings:
Corresponding with the recent release of the third instalment in his crime series, Osman’s second publication The Man Who Died Twice appears seventh in WHSmith’s Fiction Book Chart. The novel picks up where the first book left off and features a new tantalising mystery, replete with stolen diamonds, violent mobs and an ever-growing pile of bodies. The book follows a group of septuagenarians as they embark on a manhunt for a ruthless killer. Osman’s sharp wit and mordant humour makes for a read which is as funny as it is gripping; the perfect cosy mystery to get your spooky season reading off to a frightfully good start!
Karen McManus’ young adult thriller Nothing More To Tell enters the WHSmith Pre-Order Book Chart in second place. In this compelling follow-up to McManus’ hit mystery One of Us is Lying, a shocking event embroils true crime aficionado Brynn into a deadly mystery, as more secrets than she had anticipated begin to resurface from the grave.
Topping the Waterstones Bestselling Book chart, and appearing as the bookshop’s Thriller of the Month, is The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont. The Christie Affair is a fictional retelling of the eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie.
Placing sixth in the Bestselling chart and standing as Waterstones’ Fiction Book of the Month is Bewilderment by Richard Powers. Known for writing The Overstory, Powers’ latest publication tells the story of Theo Byrne, a widower left to raise his son alone, as he struggles to explain experience, purpose and all of life’s big problems to the boy. The book is a heart-warming read about family, space and the environment, suitable for all readers. At number eighteen on the bookshop’s Bestselling Book chart is The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak. The novel explores identity, belonging and trauma through the story of two star-crossed lovers living on the divided island of Cyprus.
In its second week on Amazon’s Most Sold Chart, Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister places seventh. The novel presents the reader with a mother’s perspective of her son’s murder of a complete stranger. The book details the woman’s chance to go back in time and prevent it. McAllister’s novel is definitely proving to be a hit, becoming an instant Sunday Times Bestseller, a Radio 2 book of the month, Thriller of the Month in The Observer and placing in the top fifty hottest new books in The Guardian.
A new addition on Amazon’s Most Sold chart this month is the audio publication of Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety, which enters the chart at number eleven. Atkinson creates bold characters and scenes, transporting the reader to 1920s London with a skill that has been likened to the ability of Charles Dickens. Reviews of the novel have been flooding in, with one critic calling it a “heady brew of crime, romance and satire […that] sees Atkinson [in] her finest form” (Observer). Clearly, the book is not one to be overlooked, especially by those interested in the glitz and glamour of 1920s London!
A great deal of BookTok content this month has focused on spooky reads. One creator recommended the classics Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and Dracula by Bram Stoker. The Penguin Clothbound Classic publications of these titles are particularly popular amongst Booktokers! Another creator suggested their followers read Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Other Stories. Not only is the book a cult classic during spooky season, the film adaptation also regularly resurfaces on social media in October.
Another genre that is proving popular on BookTok this month is dark romance. One creator highly recommended Corrupt by Penelope Douglas, which is the first book in her Devil’s Night series. The book explores the somewhat toxic romance between Erika and her boyfriend’s older brother who she pines for. It is worth noting that Corrupt has some very dark imagery and is rated eighteen+ so it is not suitable for younger audiences.
Finally, it’s all just a bunch of hocus pocus with this month’s spotlight author: introducing Kate Johnson and her bewitching new romcom Hex Appeal! Set in the quaint village of Good Winter, the novel’s quirky female lead, Essie, lives in a home like no other; she’s surrounded by a coven of witches whose magic and mystery cannot be stopped! All Essie has ever wanted is a normal life but, in the end, she continues to find herself drawn back to the “witchiness” of Beldam House. Johnson’s novel is “full of magic and cosy comfort…gripping and entertaining” (Waterstones), presenting readers with magical mishaps, raunchy romance and enough witchy vibes to last a lifetime. If you’re a fan of Erin Sterling’s The Ex Hex or Lana Harper’s Payback’s A Witch then this is a must-read for you!