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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Fall-ing Into Autumn Reading

Culture Editor, autumn lover, and book fanatic Sofia Rodriguez recommends four books perfect for fall.
Sofia Rodriguez
Culture Editor Sofia Rodriguez’s best books to consume with cozy pj’s and hot tea (and a furry observer).

Fall is the season of comfort. As the weather slips from sweltering beach days to gray foggy skies, we yearn for oversized sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and a good book to curl up with. 

If you’re searching for a fresh read to fit into the autumnal aesthetics of work-free weekends, here are four genre-spanning books waiting to be read with a warm latte in hand.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

The setting — a small, warmly lit coffee bar in urban Tokyo — makes Before the Coffee Gets Cold a perfect comfort read for fall. The well-paced novel settles for simplicity in easy-to-read stories detailing a series of emotional visits to the past. Tosikazu Kawaguchi connects the characters through their shared experiences in a cafe that sells time travel-enabling coffee; the only catch is that they have to drink it before it gets cold, or risk getting lost in time.Through reconnections of ex-lovers and bittersweet confrontations with family members, Before the Coffee Gets Cold offers tender moments spanning a range of relationships. The sweet simplicity in these short stories creates a comforting atmosphere for fall reading.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Deception, obsession, and murder are best packaged within a harrowing plotline and enticing characters–two factors of M.L. Rio’s debut masterpiece. If We Were Villains is an intense and haunting story of seven East Coast Shakespeare students scrambling to cover up a crime. The gripping story of Oliver Marks and his fluctuating relationships with six other New England theater students builds the tense atmosphere of this psychological thriller. The book begins calmly as summer transitions to fall, but rising tensions between the theater group members result in one dead on Halloween, leaving the survivors to deal with the implications of their actions. The event sets the rest of the book up for internal turmoil and fractured relationships against a backdrop of a cold, gray autumn, making it just right to read in the October chill.

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

Well-written young adult (YA) stories often serve as the best relief from brain-intensive schoolwork, and Maile Meloy’s London-set novel delivers. As three kids race across England to uncover world-threatening secrets of alchemy — and stop enemy spies from exposing them first — the foggy London atmosphere permeates the story’s plot. Despite being written for younger audiences, the book flawlessly melds engaging character relationships between Janie, Benjamin, and Pip with atmospheric imagery like, “We ran, invisible, through the streets of London, dodging people in warm hats, scarves, and woolen greatcoats, who couldn’t see us and would have walked right into us. It’s a perfect rainy-day read because of the immersive imagery of England, plus an engaging plot involving high stakes and endearing banter that makes it hard to put down.

The Secret History by Donna Tart

If you want to look cool while reading in a coffee shop, this gorgeously written thriller will surely fit that aesthetic. Dark academia — a subculture characterized by “higher education, the arts, and literature” — is the foundation of this work. Vibrant imagery permeates this novel, making it easy to dive into its autumnal setting: “Radiant meadows, mountains vaporous in the trembling distance; leaves ankle-deep on a gusty autumn road; bonfires and fog in the valleys; cellos, dark window-panes, snow.”

The Secret History is the dark academia grail of BookTok and Bookstagram for good reason: intelligent writing. Its nuanced dialogue and philosophical insertions (“There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty – unless she is wed to something more meaningful – is always superficial.”) fully immerse the reader in the academic New England setting as five college students of the same Greek class grow closer, and as a result, drive themselves to criminal acts as they enable each other’s worst traits. In this thought-provoking modern classic, eccentric characters and rising tension span the atmospheric fall and winter with witty inserts and a tragic end.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Rodriguez, Culture Editor
Sofia Rodriguez, sophomore, is enthusiastic about her first year on staff as Culture Editor of the Wildcat. In addition to her involvement in journalism, Sofia plans to become an active student leader on campus by joining HOSA, Book Club, and NHS. Off campus, Sofia has dedicated her time to other philanthropic causes, including joining and serving in the National Charity League. When Sofia is not busy writing, she delves into fiction and poetry writing. An avid music lover, Sofia also collects vinyl and attends live concerts. 
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