Autumn books

IMG_2253The nights are drawing in, the clocks go back this weekend, it’s Halloween next week, the cat has just about found a comfy space as close to the fire as she can get… all of which can only mean one thing: what books to read during autumn?

Autumn always seems a very reading sort of a season, particularly for old favourites and new things-I’m-fairly-sure-I’ll-love.



At the minute, I’ve just finished Philip Pullman’s new book, La Belle Sauvage, the “equel” (his term) to His Dark Materials trilogy and the first in the new trilogy: The Book of Dust. Pullman is a fabulous author to spend time with, and the new book was as enjoyable as the two later books in the previous series, even if for me it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the original Northern Lights.

On the day of the dead, when the year too dies, the youngest shall open the oldest hills.

Autumn is also a great time to read the last two book of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence: The Grey King and Silver on the Tree. If you’re re-reading, remember to stop just before the end of Silver on the Tree to avoid the massively irritating final ending. Kate Macdonald has a great post about The Dark is Rising over on her blog.

The Lord of the Rings is great at any time of year, but its elegaic quality fits particularly well with autumn.

Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the harp on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

Dean Street Press continue to republish excellent vintage crime, if what you want on a dark evening is a juicy detective mystery. (‘A murder you can really hum,’ to quote Terry Pratchett.) I’d particularly recommend Arrest the Bishopby Winifred Peck.

And finally, here at Erewash Press we have a few great reads for Autumn: Tales from the Unexpected, our anthology of spooky stories from unlikely authors; George Macdonald’s Princess books; and of course Witchcraft, Charles Williams strange and compelling history of Christianity and Witchcraft.

What do you find yourself reading in autumn?


Shakespeare and the Psalms Mystery: Did Shakespeare Help Write the King James Bible?

Shakes46th cover (kindle)

The answer, of course, is ‘no’. The author, Jem Bloomfield, explains over on his blog, Quite Irregular why he decided to write a book whose title is a QTWAIN, but it boils down to ‘because it’s really interesting‘.

If you’re also fascinated by the King James Bible, literary conspiracy theories, Hebrew poetry, translation, Trollope or even Kipling, this might be the book for you.

The story involves the story of Laurence Chaderton, a clergyman who played the role of Queen Hippolyta in a play as a teenager, but who later wrote polemics about how the theatre corrupted society and encouraged unnatural lust.  It involves examining the poetic metres into which the Psalms were translated, and which eventually produced the hymn “All People That On Earth Do Dwell”.  And it involves seeing how Mary Sidney and Edmund Spenser wove the same psalm into their own poetry, and the bravado, piety, and smut they made of it.

Available from Amazon in kindle or paperback.