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Reading is the best thing ever to me at any time of year, but there’s something special about cozying up with a candle and a good book as it gets darker and colder. My Autumn reading list this year is something special – in the spirit of Secondhand September, all the books I’ve bought this month were pre-loved. The only exception is The Red Scrolls of Magic, which I bought back in August!
While shopping for clothes secondhand has become second nature, buying books this way has been much more of a challenge. There’s only one charity shop dedicated to books anywhere near me, and they very rarely have anything I’m interested in reading. I try to drop in frequently, though, as they do sometimes have some absolute gems! I’ve also recently discovered World of Books, which is a HUGE online secondhand book store. I’ve yet to try them out, though, as I find their website hard to navigate (the search doesn’t seem to work that well), and they do seem quite expensive for secondhand. But having said all that, I’m really quite pleased with how this early autumn reading list turned out, and I’m already looking forward to curating the next one!
The Red Scrolls of Magic – Cassandra Clare
I’ve really enjoyed all the Shadowhunter books I’ve read this year, and was looking forward to The Red Scrolls of Magic as an extension of that universe. I loved reading more about Magnus and Alec, as I think they don’t always get the appreciation they deserve in the main series, and I also loved the plot. Even though there was still plenty of fighting and everyone nearly died (standard), it still felt a lot more light-hearted than other books in the series – maybe because there are just small-scale battles and not entire wars? Either way, highly recommend!
Wilde Like Me & Wilde About the Girl – Louise Pentland
Back in the day when we all still watched Youtube, Louise used to be one of my favourites. I loved her down-to-earth content and I still love the fact that she posts so many realistic and relatable things rather than permanent unattainable perfect-home-and-holiday snaps. When she released her first book, Wilde Like Me, a few years ago, I really wanted to read it, but never got around to it. Then I found these two near-perfect condition hardbacks in my local charity shop for less than three quid (for the set!!) and obviously jumped at the change. I have to admit I was a bit let down by the first book, it was a bit clumsy, unrealistic, and just generally seemed a bit off. Wilde About the Girl, however, is absolutely fantastic. Louise’s writing clearly came on in leaps and bounds during the process, and I barely looked up while I read the whole thing. It’s also really current in its themes, working through harder topics like infertility and miscarriage, in a way that’s still uplifting and life-affirming. I loved it and the third book is high up on my to-read list.
Cinder, Scarlet & Cress – Marissa Meyer
I’d read so many good things about this series, but I’m ashamed to admit the covers always put me off. They just failed to draw me in and really want to pick up a copy, but after finding them secondhand and actually reading them, I feel a bit shallow :D. These are wonderful sci-fi retellings of classic fairy tales, all woven together, and the writing and world-building is absolutely fantastic. They have everything you could want from a young adult series – female heroines (who are mechanics and programmers), lost princesses, international politics, evil queens, and an entire society on the moon. I can’t get enough of this series, and I’m excited that there are two novella collections to read after I’ve finished the final installment!