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What To Read and Watch This Fall

Cécile Jones
Fall is a cozy time to curl up with a good book.

It’s getting to be that time of the year when the temperature drops, the leaves start to change, and the days get shorter and shorter; and what better way to spend those cool, crisp days than to unwind with a great movie or curl up with a fantastic book? These simple pastimes can allow you to romanticize this autumn by escaping into a reality other than your own.  From gothic-horror classics to modern films, these recommendations are sure to bring you all of the joys of this wonderful season.


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Also called The Modern Prometheus, Frankenstein is a gothic science-fiction novel that tells the story of a student Victor Frankenstein, who was studying natural science in his home country of Switzerland. Hoping to become a renowned scientist and contributing to scientific advancement, Frankenstein creates artificial life from various parts of dead bodies. When he realizes that the creation of this being was a terrible mistake, he abandons it, leaving the “monster” to roam on its own. As the story progresses, the creature follows his creator across Europe, bringing great loss and pain to his life out of revenge for the suffering that Frankenstein had laid upon him. Throughout this novel, the danger and negative consequences of scientific and technological advancement becomes increasingly apparent through the somewhat disturbing descriptions of the characters’ misfortune, making it a thrilling read for the Halloween season. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered to be one of the most groundbreaking classic novels, due to its combination of a human experience with something that is of the supernatural world; the story follows Dorian Gray, a wealthy Englishman who values his good-looks and youthful appearance above all else. After having his portrait painted, he comes to the realization that one day his looks will fade, leaving him with “nothing”. In desperation, he wishes that his painting will take on all signs of aging, leaving him beautiful and young for all of eternity. Dorian quickly becomes more self-absorbed and less concerned with the well being of others, which begins to take a toll on those around him. His careless deeds begin to build up, until his life is in shambles. This novel is a haunting account of how superficiality and greed can ruin one’s life and the lives of those around them, making for the perfect fall read.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This psychological-thriller has become a staple autumn read for many, and for good reason; taking place on the campus of a New England college, The Secret History is about an arrogant, egotistical group of students who study Ancient Greek and Classics with the help of their professor who’s teaching methods are unconventional, to say the least. Observed by the newest member of their group, the students share the same odd behaviors: giving each other cryptic messages, always going places without telling anyone why or where, and constantly covering up injuries that seem to appear out of nowhere. Slowly, it becomes known that the clique partakes in certain odd gatherings, some of which proving to have serious consequences. The novel explores the effects that this incident has on the lives of the students, often using autumnal descriptions to aid the dramatic course of events that follows.


Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society is a classic coming-of-age movie about a group of students at a prestigious private school who, unlike many others their age, discover a deep love and appreciation for poetry. They are inspired to act on this passion and follow their dreams by their new English teacher, an alumnus of the school, whose eccentricity is looked down upon by the school faculty, but are absolutely adored by the students. The film is incredibly thought-provoking through its exploration of individuality, creativity, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. While it is amazing regardless of when you watch it, watching it during the fall can bring out a connection between the viewer and the film’s beautiful crisp and cozy setting!

Knives Out

If you’re looking for a clever and fascinating whodunnit, Knives Out is the perfect movie. The picturesque autumn backdrop paired with the exciting plot and charming (and not-so charming) characters makes for a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. When a renowned novelist is found dead, detective Benoit Blanc is called to investigate the members of his dysfunctional family, all of whom were present the night of the crime. With many unexpected twists throughout the movie, the suspense and intrigue builds until the very end of the movie; it is an absolute must-see!

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy Hollow follows the story of Ichabod Crane, a detective sent to investigate a series of gruesome and mysterious murders in the eerie town of Sleepy Hollow. As he delves deeper into the mystery, he unearths dark secrets about the townspeople, and encounters the legendary Headless Horseman. With stunning visuals and a captivating storyline, Sleepy Hollow is a must-watch for fans of horror and suspense!

These dark and captivating storylines along with their cozy settings are sure to help you settle into this glorious season. Happy viewing!

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About the Contributor
Cécile Jones
Cécile Jones, Arts and Entertainment Writer
Hi! I’m Cécile, and I’m a writer for the Arts & Entertainment section of The Gallery. I’m an avid reader, and in my free time, I love to watch movies, listen to music, and spend time with my friends and family. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of The Gallery this year; I can’t wait to share things I’m passionate about and collaborate with others to explore different thoughts and opinions!  
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  • M

    mannatttDec 4, 2023 at 8:30 am

    so informational!

  • M

    mannatttDec 4, 2023 at 8:29 am

    so informational!