21 Cozy Fall Books to Get You Into the Season
Fall is for crunching orange leaves on the sidewalk, sipping pumpkin spice lattes, and reading all of the books. Sure, summer beach reads seem to get all the attention, but the cool breezes and shorter days of autumn call for cozy reads. The term "cozy reads" tends to conjure up images of fluffy reads only, but all sorts of books fit under the banner. From sprawling fantasy novels to autumnal romances, coziness comes in a variety of sizes and genres. The one thing that the books on this list all have in common is that they ooze fall vibes. From their covers to the atmospheric and cozy plots, these reads will leave you ready to wrap up in a warm blanket with a cup of piping-hot cider.
— Additional reporting by Tasha Dowbachuk
"Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries"
In "Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries," our title character feels more comfortable studying fairies than interacting with humans, so she sets out on a trip to the small village of Hrafnsvik to finish writing the world's first encyclopedia about faeries. But when she crosses paths with her handsome academic rival, Wendell Bambleby, she finds there are some things far more elusive than the fairies called The Hidden Ones she's long been searching for, like the mysteries of her own heart.
If you like to be able to watch a TV adaptation of your favorite books, "Virgin River" is the perfect cozy read for you. The book franchise about a nurse practitioner who moves to a mountain town with a population of 600 to escape past heartache is the source material for the hit Netflix show of the same name. The book series also consists of more than 20 books for you to enjoy, so there's enough story to last you a few autumns.
"The Night Circus"
Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus" oozes atmosphere. The titular circus arrives in town unannounced and only at night, and while people come to enjoy the spectacle, there's real magic and a complicated love story brewing behind the scenes. Thanks to the mysterious carnival, the lush descriptions of cool nights, and the magical plot, this book is the ultimate fall read.
There's a touch of magical realism that makes Sarah Addison Allen's "First Frost" extra special. The novel centers on the Waverley sisters and their small town life in Bascom, NC. As fall arrives in Bascom, the sisters meet a strange man who sets each of them on a new course.
"The Name of the Wind"
Patrick Rothfuss's "The Name of the Wind" is a sprawling fantasy masterpiece that may not appear to be cozy on the surface, but there's a comforting heart beating inside of this epic. Kvothe, the book's main character, is a gifted storyteller whose adventurous life is full of spooky encounters, daring deeds, and romance that he recounts on a long night as he sits with a stranger in his inn.
"The Ex Hex: A Novel"
Introducing a book that brings spookiness and romance together! Dive into Erin Sterling's "The Ex Hex" by following two exes who must break the curse of a breakup hex in order to save their town and possibly ignite their existing chemistry.
Looking for wicked humor and wondrous witches? Invite yourself into Rachael Harrison's "Cackle", where darkness and comedy come together to teach the main character, Annie, a young Manhattan woman who moves to a small upstate village, how to befriend a witch named Sophie (unknowingly, of course) and come into her own.
"Before the Coffee Gets Cold"
Toshikazu Kawaguchi stages an age-old, thought-provoking question with a complex twist inside the novel "Before the Coffee Gets Cold." This mysterious yet heartwarming read gives a glimpse toward the chance of time travel to explore the possibility of revisiting the past for as long as it takes for a cup of coffee to get cold.
"The Invisible Life of Addie Larue"
V.E. Schwab's "The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue" introduces the captivating idea of immortality with the promise of unexpected romances and fantasy. A young woman named Addie LaRue makes a bargain to gain immortality, which is met with a curse to be forgotten by those she meets — that is, until a young man remembers her name.
"The Secret History"
Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" illustrates the story of misfit students attending an elite New England college who challenge the boundaries of their everyday norms alongside the influence of their professor. This ever-evolving dark read is perfect for the chilling atmosphere of fall!
Who doesn't love a bewitched duo? Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic" invites you into the mysterious lives of the Owen sisters, who bear the generational curse that any man whom they love will die. This romance read packs spooky surprises that will make you want to curl up in your best cozy blanket and bask in the strength of sisterhood!
Beth Labonte's "Pumpkin Everything" serves a slice of life with second chances of romance, all with the flair of fall vibes! After Amy Fox, a horror novelist, calls off her fall wedding and develops a serious case of writer's block alongside a distaste toward pumpkin spice, she is reunited with her childhood best friend and first love, Kit Parker.
"My Plain Jane"
"Jane Eyre" is a superb fall read, but it's nowhere near as cozy as Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows's clever retelling "My Plain Jane." This version still has Mr. Rochester and a Gothic mansion, but it also has Jane communing with ghosts and hanging out with Charlotte Brontë, which is a major upgrade, in our opinion.
"Death by Pumpkin Spice"
Love it or hate, pumpkin spice is an unavoidable harbinger of fall, so it's only fitting that the divisive flavor gets a shout-out in the title of Alex Erickson's Halloween cozy mystery "Death by Pumpkin Spice." Bookstore cafe owner Krissy Hancock finds herself swept up in a murder mystery when one of the guests at a Halloween costume party ends up dead. Now she has to solve a crime alongside a sexy cop (the horror!) instead of serving up delicious seasonal bake goods at her shop.
"Marilla of Green Gables"
Much like the "Anne of Green Gables" series its based off of, Sarah McCoy's gentle-spirited "Marilla of Green Gables" spans the seasons. However, there's an overall coziness to the story of Marilla Cuthbert's life that makes the book feel like a warm hug throughout. Marilla's life on Prince Edward Island in the 19th Century is beautifully rendered, as are her adventures beyond the small town of Avonlea.
"The Sparrow Sisters"
We know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but Ellen Herrick's "The Sparrow Sisters" cover screams fall so loud that we can't help it. Thanks to an atmospheric New England setting, a healthy dash of magic, and a mystery that draws in the titular sisters, this book is a delightful and just ever so slightly spooky read (think "Practical Magic").
"The Accident Season"
Who says a cozy book can't also give you a case of the shivers? Moïra Fowley-Doyle's "The Accident Season" takes place during October, which is quite the dangerous month for 17-year-old Cara and her family. Each year, the family is plagued with accidents — some minor and some deadly — throughout the month of October, and this year, Cara is determined to find out why, no matter the cost.
"The Simplicity of Cider"
Amy E. Reichert's "The Simplicity of Cider" pairs perfectly with the beverage in the title. Sanna Lund is great at working on her family's orchard, but she's way less capable when it comes to interacting with people. However, when a handsome man and his son arrive to work on the farm, Sanna learns how to open her heart to something besides the soothing process of making apple cider.
"An Autumn Crush"
Milly Johnson's "An Autumn Crush" is every bit as fluffy and fun as it appears to be from the cover. Full of lovely descriptions of fall in England, this sweet book follows four friends in their mid-30s and the romantic entanglements that catch them all by surprise.
"As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust"
Alan Bradley's "As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust" is the seventh book in the author's Flavia de Luce series. Thankfully, the mysteries stand alone, so you can jump in with this delightfully macabre and wry installment that finds 11-year-old detective Flavia stumbling upon a mystery (and a corpse) at her new boarding school.
"The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter"
Theodora Gross's "The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter" is a monster mashup for people who aren't really into monsters. The daughters of Mr. Jekyll, Dr. Frankenstein, Mr. Moreau, and Rappaccini team up with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to solve mysteries in London. This is a rollicking read with all of the spooky fun of Halloween minus the actual scares.