The crisp fall weather inspires us to put on our warmest pajamas, curl up on the couch, and snuggle up with a soft blanket and a good book. Here we have listed our favorite fall reads across all genres. But what exactly constitutes a ‘fall read’?
When autumn sets in, the days get shorter and colder, making many people miss the carefree sun-filled days of summer. ‘Wistful’ is a word that is often used to describe books that give us a feeling of slight melancholy, usually brought on by nostalgia. Fall reminds us of childhood, school years, and signals that the holidays are just around the corner. Not all novels that remind us of fall take place in autumn. ‘Fall,’ in a feeling, is a mood that defines each of these moody classics.
Best Fall Novels to Read in Your Pajamas
1. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Cider House Rules is a classic coming-of-age novel set on an apple orchard in New England in the early 1900s through World War II. The story follows Homer Wells, an orphan who is trained as a medical assistant to orphanage director and obstetrician, Dr. Wilbur Larch. The novel follows Homer as he navigates his life as an adult outside the orphanage, where his idealist childhood views are put to the test. Between the coming-of-age storyline, lost loves, and the rustic setting in Maine, this classic will warm your soul.
2. Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum
Have you ever read a book based on a movie? Not something you see often, but the novel Dead Poets Society is actually based on the 1989 film and published the same year. The story, set in 1959 New England, follows Todd Anderson through his senior year at an elite all-boys prep school where he encounters a new English teacher, John Keating. Keating challenges the boys to “make their lives extraordinary” in this touching tale about being true to yourself and taking control of your destiny. Carpe diem.
3. The Shining by Stephen King
You can’t create a fall reading list without a ghost story and Stephen King, the king of horror, perfects the genre in his flawless telling of The Shining. This was his first hardback bestseller and the book’s success solidified King as the contemporary horror author. The Shining focuses on Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of a historic hotel in the remote Colorado Rockies. Jack’s son, Danny, possesses ‘the shining,’ psychic abilities that allow him to see the hotel’s horrific past. As fall passes and winter traps the family inside the hotel, the supernatural forces in the hotel cause Jack to slowly lose his mind, putting his family in incredible danger. Prepare to sleep with a light on after reading…
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s 1813 classic, Pride and Prejudice, follows the emotional development of young Elizabeth Bennet, who learns to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential in this humorous commentary on gender, education, marriage, and wealth. The cold, gray London fall sets the tone for the novel — sure to make you reach for your softest, warmest bathrobe while you settle in for a good long read.
5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Set in the 1950s, The Catcher in the Rye follows sixteen-year old Holden Caulfield as he abandons his prep school in Pennsylvania to go to New York City for three days. Written in the form a flashback, it’s clear that present-day Caulfield is narrating the story from a sanatorium. The book’s title says it all: the novel is about hanging on to your childhood for as long as you can. Set in autumn in New York, the plot alone will make readers nostalgic for the dreams of their youth.
6. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Moving away from the classics for a moment, The Devil Wears Prada makes this list because 1) what’s a reading list without a little ‘chic lit’ and 2) many fashion-forward individuals believe that the fall runway shows signal the true beginning of fall. This book follows protagonist Andrea “Andy” Sachs as she navigates a rocky year as the personal assistant for the editor of a popular fashion magazine in New York. The nightmarish job has a profound impact on her personal life and begs the question, how far are you willing to go to achieve your dreams? The Devil Wears Prada makes for excellent light reading before you and your pajamas get into bed for the night.
For more ideas for getting cozy in your PJs this fall, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.