As the temperature begins to drop and the skies grow slightly darker, everything plaid, knit and fuzzy reappears in our closets and homes, while warm drinks and hot food begin to take center stage. Baked goods and Coffee have never tasted better and the favorite corner of the couch is irresistibly more inviting. So to honor this calling and truly escape into the richness of fall, here are six classic reads that are sure to satisfy. So make yourself a piping hot spiced apple cider, grab a few pecan biscotti, light that cinnamon spice candle, pull on those fuzzy socks and grab one of these gratifying journeys into fall.

Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol (

New to town, Pavel Chichikov comes into to the small Russian village, making fast friends with both drunks and dignitaries. He begins a curiously dark business, dealing in buying dead peasant souls, since they count as property. Landowner receives payment and is relieved of the tax burden of the serfs who died in their service. This will allow Chichikov to attain the reputation of gentleman owner. From the book cover “Since its publication in 1842, Dead Souls has been celebrated as a supremely realistic portrait of provincial Russian life and as a splendidly exaggerated tale; as a paean to the Russian spirit and as a remorseless satire of imperial Russian venality, vulgarity, and pomp.” The writing is insightful and poetic, “However stupid a fool’s words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man,” an interesting parallel to politics today.

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (

Published in 1937, this beloved classic of Tolkien takes the reader on “the greatest adventure” with the endearing home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins leaving his adored charming countryside with his band of dwarves and Gandalf the wizard. Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men” we travel over mountains and through caves on an episodic quest battling Trolls, Goblins and Wargs, encountering good Elves and bad, to acquire treasure guarded by the most glorious of dragons, Smaug. After the war of the five armies and the treasure in hand, Bilbo says “Victory after all, I suppose! Well, it seems a very gloomy business.” With the greatest adventure now behind him, he returns to hobbit-hole, having selflessly given away the majority of his treasure for the greater good, wanting to return to his cherished simplicity.

Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel (

For the love of all things Tudor, Wolf Hall (book 1 of 3 in the series) set in England in the 1520’s when the throne of Henry VIII was at risk due to lack of a male heir and most of Europe and the Pope in opposition. Henry’s want to remarry sends all facets of society into a tailspin. This book however is less about Henry and more about those required to manage all that happens around him behind the scenes to maintain the system, like protagonist Thomas Cromwell. Steeped in history and detailed beyond compare. Your Tudor obsession will be more than satisfied.

Harry Potter – JK Rowling (

Nothing says fall like back-to-school. However if your school is for wizards and is a castle deep in the forest filled with magical creatures, a spectacular dining hall, resident ghosts and amazing school supplies, it means so much more. With the most brilliant teaching staff ever assembled, classic coming of age peer dynamics and the Dark Lord forever after you, the Harry Potter series will have you craving all things fall, like butter beer, a roaring fire and a cape. Mystery, romance, thrill and adventure all in one, back to school has never been so enticing!

Dracula – Bram Stoker (

Highlighting the risks of being a travelling sales agent, a naïve young Englishman, looking to sell a real estate listing in London, makes a call on a new client in Transylvania, by the name of Count Dracula and the story begins. The pale, snaggle-toothed Dracula travels to London where suddenly, unexplained disasters begin occurring and are detailed through news reports based on eye-witness accounts and diaries. The brilliant characters, creaking doors, vanishing babies and wolves howling from the forest, the mystery will keep you engrossed well over 100 years later.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (

Oscar Wilde was an extraordinary writer. He believed that in artistic matters, style out-weighed sincerity or substance. His writing is descriptive, nuanced, witty and paradoxical. Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a late-Victorian gothic story of a young man selling his soul for eternal youth. Dorian is the impossibly gorgeous young man who becomes the subject of a portrait by esteemed painter Basil Hallward. When the now infatuated painter introduces the “young Adonis” to Lord Henry Wotton, he cannot resist his devotion to hedonism. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it” and Dorian plunges into decadent slavery to drugs a debauchery. As he remains miraculously beautiful while being at the depths of his sin-filled life, he discovers his portrait has morphed, reflecting the hideous corruption of his soul.

At Life with Moxie we believe that giving yourself permission to do what feeds your soul is essential our health. Reading is one of the most basic options to do so. If you don’t believe you have time, we can help. Email me at

These are but a few of the amazing reading choices to help get you in the fall spirit. These, along with pumpkin spice everything, a plaid scarf and old jeans and we should be ready to start snuggling in to the season.

Have ideas you’d like to add to the list? Need more suggestions? Let me know!

Julie Koester is CEO of Life with Moxie, a Lifestyle Revolution Company and Host of Life with Moxie Radio, Saturday’s at 1pm on 98.9 WGUF in Southwest Florida. You can reach her at

Passionate Living by Design, That’s Life with Moxie

Author Dragon Horse

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