Heidi’s Fall Picks: Moody Novels for a Blustery Season

Ah Fall. How I love you. No longer do I feel guilty for staying indoors to read on a sunny day. Instead, your downpours and blustery winds are the perfect backdrop for curling up with a good fall book.

And you know why else I love you, Fall? Because your sweaters and raincoats are the perfect foil for all the extra snacks and wine I consume during your long dark evenings with my nose in a book. Therefore, in celebration of your book bounty, here are a few moody, dark tales I’m looking forward to pairing with some delicious fall snacks.

GoldfinchThe Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt: From the author of The Secret History, whose cultishly devoted fans have been waiting 10 years for her next novel. The Goldfinch is a beautifully wrought tale that follows Theo Decker, who is the unfortunate victim of a museum bombing  at age 13, and the resulting fallout. Tartt’s new novel mixes lush language with an undercurrent of sinister foreboding, a page-turning pace and the international intrigue of art theft. Theo is one of the greatest characters I’ve read in a long time.

Pair with: A glass of sparkling Lambrusco wine and a plate of honey covered figs.


Cartwheel.Cartwheel, by Jennifer Dubois: Loosely based on the sensational real-life Amanda Knox story, this debut nails the literary thriller genre with a story of a young study abroad student caught up in a grizzly murder trial.

Pair with: A bucket of Halloween candy and a spiced apple cider.



LuminariesThe Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Luminaries is a mystery set in 1866 New Zealand, and weaves together the stories of a gold prospector, a suicidal prostitute, and a luckless drunk.

Pair with: A pint of New Zealand ale, a hunk of cheddar cheese and an apple tart.

Night Film

Night Film, by Marisha Pessl: This murder mystery breaks the mold with a multimedia format. The book contains replications of websites, newspaper articles and other ephemera, and there is also a smartphone app you can use to scan pages in the book and get enhanced content.

Pair with: A dark chocolate bar and a glass of single malt Scotch.






  1. I’ve heard a lot of good things about “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. To be honest I haven’t heard of the other books! Thanks for posting “pair with” advice, such a cute idea! 🙂 My contribution to the list would be the mainstream literary fiction masterpiece by author A.R. Taylor, “Sex, Rain, and Cold Fusion.” (http://www.lonecamel.com/the_book/). The link gives a good description of the book and some pages from the first chapter. This is one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read, and not only did it have me laughing throughout it had me hooked at page one. The main character, David Oster, is a genius with a complicated life full of sex, physics, and the endless search for some sort of meaning in his day to day routine. He moves from California to Washington leaving the sunshine and women behind for a new job that promises more money and more time researching the thing he loves most, underwater physics. Unfortunately, the new job brings nothing but chaos to David Oster’s already confusing life and he is thrown into a murder mystery thanks to his employer and his employer’s newly murdered wife. He also enters into a very demanding relationship himself and is pushed to his limits when he finds that his ocean studies must be put on hold so he can spend time figuring out the physics of horses performing on a basketball court. There are so many funny twists and turns.

    Pair with: a large bottle of Riesling and chocolate covered almonds 🙂

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