Top Ten Tuesday: autumnal moods

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’re considering books that have an autumn vibe.

While I considered making this week thematic (read Europe in Autumn, it’s fab), I was never going to pass up the chance at a post full of the glorious colours of autumn leaves. I’m here today to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Let’s start with a riot of red and orange that makes my heart sing.

I know, I know, those are burning books on Fahrenheit 451, but they look enough like falling leaves to earn a place this week. This is one of my favourite classic SF novels (I realise that’s a low bar, given my general disdain of classic prejudices) and one that seems to get more relevant every year.

Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam does have autumn leaves on the cover. A tale of faith and murder, I found this a difficult but rewarding read.

I’ve picked Hal Duncan’s mythic debut Vellum and Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Last Light of the Sun purely for their autumnal hues – although the mood of the latter at least also seems appropriate to autumn as it focuses on change and endings and loss.

As the weeks pass, the last summer greens fade to gold and the leaves begin to fall. The lovely Masterworks cover of Robert Holdstock’s fantasy classic Mythago Wood (which I will read one of these days, honestly) captures falling leaves as a final splash of red. Duncton Wood by William Horwood is all golden leafdrift, but there’s a thematic link here, too: Duncton Wood is the autumn ending of peace before the bitter winter war of Duncton Quest and the spring promise of Duncton Found.

Bradley Beaulieu’s epic debut Twelve Kings (in Sharakai) – another one I must get round to reading – grabs a place with its hint of exposed thorns and rich red-gold glow. Subsequent editions toned this back to gold and sepia, but I love the rich colours of my trade edition.

Once the leaves drop, autumn’s colours fade into shades of brown, etching bare branches against the sky. I’m deep in series with all my picks here: Dawnspell, the third Deverry book, features a golden wood of exposed bark and dead grass; you can feel the autumnal chill in the air. The Green Man’s Silence – third volume in Juliet McKenna’s entertaining modern fantasy – is set in winter, but the rich brown branches of the hob on its cover says late autumn to me. That combination of colour and shape leads me to The Labyrinth of Drakes – the fourth memoir of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan – because while dragons may not seem particularly seasonal, there’s just something about sepia tones and the shape of this one’s magnificent frill that fits for me. Plus it’s my favourite Lady Trent, and you should absolutely get in on that delightful series.

What books yell autumn at you?