Writing the Seasons with Books: Autumn

This year, instead of recommending books that some people may deem appropriate to read during a specific season, I’m writing the four seasons with books. I take a look at my shelves and select books with titles beginning with the letters of the name of the season that is just starting. And the time has come to welcome autumn! Temperatures have started to slowly drop. The leaves of the trees are getting ready to fall.

 

Autumn by Ali Smith

This was the first book that I read by Ali Smith. It’s not easy to describe what Autumn is about, as it mixes a couple of elements. Not only does it compile recollections about how 101-year-old Daniel Gluck, who lives in a care home, influenced Elisabeth Demand’s life, it also alludes to a variety of current events. Brexit, the plight of refugees and various economic issues connect this novel to the time of its writing.

 

Uma Casa na Escuridão by José Luís Peixoto

The Portuguese author José Luís Peixoto penned a hugely implausible story that doesn’t aim to be anything else. The plot of this novel, which hasn’t been translated into English yet as far as I know, is merely used as a way to convey feelings – love, jealousy, fear, suffering and solitude. Although I struggled to finish it, I truly cared for the characters and enjoyed the poetic prose.

 

Timbuktu by Paul Auster

The protagonist of this book is Mr Bones, a dog whose owner is a dying homeless man from Brooklyn. They are on a journey to Baltimore to find a new home for Mr Bones. Though readers are presented with his internal monologue, Mr Bones is not anthropomorphised.

 

(The) Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Ignore the ‘The’ and focus on ‘Underground’. This is the story of Cora, a slave who managed to escape a cotton plantation in 19th century America. It mixes historical fiction with magical realism elements. In real life, the Underground Railroad was a network of safehouses, secret routes and abolitionists who helped escaped slaves. In this book, it’s a steam locomotive moving on rails through a tunnel.

 

Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

The main character of this short book is a woman in her early forties, Sonja, who is struggling to learn to drive. This is a story about loneliness and lost family bonds. I wish it was slightly longer.

 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The heroine of this novel, Catherine Marland, adores gothic novels and has an active imagination. While in Bath, she becomes acquainted with Isabella, Mr Thorpe, Eleanor and Henry Tilney. She is then invited to Northanger Abbey, where her imagination is propelled, as she tries to solve possible hidden mysteries.

 

Have you read any of these books? Tell me in the comments!

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