Ten Books On My Autumn 2019 To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Ten Books On My Autumn 2019 To-Be-Read List.

Before I talk a little more about my latest seasonal to-be-read list, I have to ask: Does anyone else add a book to their to-be-read list that they’ve already started reading, so that you know with some certainty that you’ll finish at least one book on your TBR? I think it’s a little like adding an item to your to-do list that you’ve already completed, just so you can have the satisfaction of checking something off as ‘completed’ immediately, and it’s exactly what I’ve done this month with The Lady From The Black Lagoon, which I’m currently listening to (and loving) on audiobook. I have exactly zero shame.

To be honest, putting my autumn to-be-read list together was no easy task. For a number of reasons, I’ve been in the midst of a reading slump for the last few weeks, and no matter how excited I am to pick up a new book, I haven’t been able to finish a single one. I don’t even know what I’m in the mood for! That said, I tried my best to include a variety of different titles that I thought would help me get in the spirit for the spookiest season, including some non-fiction, which I’ve been particularly gravitating toward lately! Truthfully, it’s been nice to give myself permission to worry a little less about how much or how quickly I’m reading and simply read what most interests me.

Publication Date July 9th 2019 by Delacorte Press
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A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh, new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.




Publication Date June 25th 2019 by Algonquin Books
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Tikka Malloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the long, hot, Australian summer of 1992. The TV news in the background chattered with debate about the exoneration of Lindy (“dingo took my baby”) Chamberlain. That summer was when the Van Apfel sisters – Ruth, Hannah, and the beautiful Cordelia – mysteriously disappeared. Did they just run far away from their harsh, evangelical parents, or were they taken? While the search for the girls united the small community, the mystery of their disappearance was never solved, and Tikka and her older sister, Laura, have been haunted ever since by the loss of their friends and playmates.

Now, years later, Tikka has returned home to try to make sense of that strange moment in time.

Part mystery, part darkly comic coming-of-age story, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is a page-turning read with a dark, shimmering absence at its heart.




Publication Date March 5th 2019 by Hanover Square Press
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The Lady From The Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick — one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters

As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady From The Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.




Publication Date September 17th 2019 by Quirk Books
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Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Colter, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.




Publication Date April 9th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London — the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time — but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.




Publication Date June 12, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
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Hugely entertaining, a work of pop history that traces the use of poison as a political ― and cosmetic ― tool in the royal courts of Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the Kremlin today.

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family’s spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, we don’t see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe’s glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder.




Publication Date September 4th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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A middle schooler comes head-to-head with his vampire slayer crush in this laugh-out-loud funny graphic novel that’s a perfect coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt too young, too small, or too average.

It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?

When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.

Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.




Publication Date August 28th 2018 by Chronicle Books
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For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, they’ve only ever been able to leave the house together once a year, on Halloween. The rest of the year, Lee and his mother serve Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement.

But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she’ll help them break the Agreement. The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something’s gone terribly wrong in their town. Death is on the loose, and if history repeats itself, Essie’s might not be the last murder in Poplar Wood.

Simultaneously heartwarming and delightfully spooky, The House In Poplar Wood is the story about a boy’s desire to be free, a girl’s desire to make a difference, and a family’s desire to be together again.




Publication Date July 2nd 2019 by Dutton
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The next heart-pounding thriller from New York Times bestselling author Riley Sager follows a young woman whose new job apartment sitting in one of New York’s oldest and most glamorous buildings may cost more than it pays.

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story…until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.




Publication Date October 29th 2019 by HarperTeen
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Sadie meets Girl In Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller by acclaimed author Saundra Mitchell.

Something happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. Ava would rather keep that something hidden — buried deep in her heart and her soul.

But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery — and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building around her.

Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own — do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave and let it reopen old wounds — wounds that have finally begun to heal?




Now it’s YOUR turn! Which books are you looking forward to reading this autumn? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

17 responses to “Ten Books On My Autumn 2019 To-Be-Read List”

  1. Rissi JC says:

    I haven’t seen “The Five” around, but it sounds REALLY atmospheric (perfect autumn reading) and like something I may have to take a closer look at. Hope you enjoy all of these, Jen – happy reading!
    Rissi JC recently posted…The Exciting Hopefuls on my Fall 2019 TBR!My Profile

  2. I loved All THe Things We Do in the Dark but it was such a dark and heavy read. Very powerful though.

  3. _tirilu says:

    Woha, what a beautiful post. <3
    I have to admit though, that I don't know any of the books you want to read.
    "The House in Poplar Wood" and "Fake Blood" sounds great though, I gotta check those out.

  4. I’m currently reading Wilder Girls! It’s been a bit of a.. mixed one for me though. On the one hand, I’m intrugued, but on the other.. I don’t have this urge to pick up the book and read more? It’s weird!

    A book I’m really looking forward to reading is.. The Beautiful! I can’t wait to have more vampires in books once again. 😀
    Kathy @ Books & Munches recently posted…COURT DRAMA GALORE! ~ American Royals by Katharine McGeeMy Profile

  5. Lydia says:

    I liked The Five. Hope you do, too.
    Lydia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2019 TBRMy Profile

  6. Most of these are new to me! The Royal Art of Poison sounds interesting. I hope you like them! I have eight books pre-ordered this autumn. I think I’m looking forward to Rebel the most.
    Brooke Lorren recently posted…Fall 2019 TBRMy Profile

  7. I read Wilder Girls right after it was released. I don’t normally read horror, but I really enjoyed this one. It sucked me right in and I read it in one sitting.
    I’ve heard a lot about Lock Every Door and really want to read it.
    Candyce @ The Book Dutchesses recently posted…TTT #98| Books On My Fall 2019 TBRMy Profile

  8. I keep meaning to read The Five and man, Fake Blood looks like something I definitely need to pick up. And yes, I’ve added books to my TBR for exactly the same reason in the past!

  9. Great list! There are a few on here that I haven’t heard of, but I think I’ll be adding a few of them to my Goodreads TBR now

    Also, can I say your website is so freaking cute?! Your graphics are amazing and the whole design of your site is adorable!
    Dini @ dinipandareads recently posted…#TopTenTuesday: Books on my Autumn Possibility Pile!My Profile

  10. Cholla says:

    OMG, I have to pick up Fake Blood now! Hahaha. And Lock Every Door sounds really good.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  11. I hope you end up liking both Lock Every Door and Wilder Girls! Well I hope you like them all honestly. I only read Lock Every Door and I’m dying to read Wilder Girls whenever I get the chance <3 Great list!
    Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBRMy Profile

  12. I’ve heard great things about Wilder Girls. I hope you love it and the rest of your TBR.

  13. I’ve never heard of these books. Some of these sound really good.

  14. Amber says:

    I adored The Five! It was incredible, and the audiobook was really good as well.

  15. Dedra says:

    Several on here I’d never heard of, but I’m very intrigued. Great list for fall!

  16. Great list! I really want to read The Royal Art of Poison, Wilder Girls, The Lady from the Black Lagoon and The Five, and Monster, She Wrote sounds amazing. That’s going straight on my TBR!
    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted…Harry Potter Spells Book Tag!My Profile

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