It’s officially my favorite time of the year.
Maybe it’s stereotypical, but I think the best season is the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The two holidays that bookend either side of the season are spent with family, it’s still technically fall (even though it feels like winter), Christmas music is playing, decorations are up, there’s a lot of time off from school, and hot chocolate is an everyday necessity.
It’s the coziest time of the year, so I think that calls for some cozy book recommendations! There’s nothing better than finding a good book to snuggle under a blanket with and read while the temperatures drop outside.
I meant to do a post like this at the beginning of fall, but since I ended up taking a hiatus, I’m just now getting around to writing it. I’m happy I had to wait to write it though, because now I can add even more books and now that we’re in the thick of cozy season™, I feel very inspired to make this list. ✨
Without further ado, onto the book recommendations.
Little Women will always be one of my favorite books in the entire world, and there’s nothing that screams fall and winter to me more than this heartwarming, family-oriented, beautiful novel. I can hardly think of anything more comforting than returning to the world of Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth and becoming immersed in their adventures, their heartbreak, their triumphs, and following their path to adulthood. Additionally, there is a Little Women movie coming out on Christmas day that I am very excited for (Emma Watson is Meg and the trailer is pure perfection and I have maybe watched it 16 times), so now is the ideal time to get your fix of the novel, that way watching the movie is even more fun.
I’m not exactly sure why The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo screams fall to me, but it definitely does. I think it has something to do with the heartbreak and tragedy of this story- in my mind, the whole story seems to be silhouetted against a gray sky, mountain peaks, and a wild wind,
but that’s just me. If you’re looking for a darker, heavier story to accompany the short, dark days of fall and winter, this book is perfect. Plus, it’s on the longer side, so it will last you a while. I guarantee once you get hooked on Evelyn’s story, you won’t be able to go back.
This is one of the most hilarious, empowering, adventurous, unexpectedly delightful books I have ever read. I will be shouting about My Lady Jane from the rooftops until everyone has read it! Told from three points of view, this story tells a well-known historical story (that of Lady Jane Grey) but with a magical twist. Quite literally. Its darker atmosphere is punctuated with jokes and witty dialogue, as well as with lovable characters, betrayal, love, and suspense. I couldn’t put this book down, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I reread this multiple times over the next couple of months. As for why I chose it for this list, I just have this odd innate feeling that if it were to be assigned to a season, that season would be fall.
At this point, I had to include Harry Potter just to stop myself from having an identity crisis. Kidding, kidding.
Mostly. But for real, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the ultimate cozy book. You get to watch Harry discover magic, you get Christmastime at Hogwarts (yes, it’s Christmas every school year, but this is the Christmas of a sweater from Ron’s mum and the invisibility cloak and snowballs being thrown at Quirrell’s head), and to top it all off, you can curl up on the couch and watch the movie after you’ve finished your reread for maximum coziness.
I mean, just look at the cover. Foolish Hearts exudes coziness. If you aren’t looking to enhance your fall by adding in a soft boy that you will utterly fall in love with, an enemies-to-best-friend duo that you can’t get enough of, boy band fangirls, and a theater production…then what are you looking for? Not to be annoying, but your answer to this is most definitely “I am looking for exactly this, Olivia, you’ve just perfectly described all my hopes and dreams.” This book is in my top three slots of “favorite books ever,” and I’ll be recommending it until the end of time.
Something about magical realism is just so quintessentially fall. Blanca & Roja may be the most fall of them all, I have to say. Fairytale retelling! Evil swans! Sisters! Sacrifices! Beautiful writing! Will grab your heart and crush it but also fill it? It’s complicated. If you want a story with a darker atmosphere that will keep you on edge but also provide just the right amount of magic, as well as give you all the fall vibes.
If you’re looking for a new addiction and you finally have time to dedicate to one over the holidays, then Six of Crows is for you. I’m no expert, but I truly haven’t seen very many negative reviews for this book, and I have talked to so many people who enjoyed it more than they ever thought they would (myself included). Like I’ve said with some of the other books on this list, I think this is perfect for fall/winter because it’s so atmospheric and dark- so much moral greyness in this book, y’all. Plus, the setting is so vibrantly described, I can see it in my mind’s eye even so long after I finished the book. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the characters just as much as I did.
Honestly, I’m not completely sure why Paper Towns is so fall to me. Maybe it’s because (at least in my brain that organizes everything by season) The Fault in Our Stars is summer, so it only seems right that this is fall. Whatever the reason, you should read this book! It’s my personal favorite John Green, the love story is intriguing, the main character is the cutest, and the adventure is real. I’ve reread this book a couple times since first reading it only a few years ago, and I might return to it when I’m in need of a lighter, but still great book later this season.
The cover of A Monster Calls pretty much tells you all you need to know about why I think this book is perfect for fall and winter. I haven’t read it in a while, but I remember being thoroughly creeped out by the story (but also enjoying it? sometimes scary is good, @ stranger things). It’s definitely dark, it has really great illustrations, and the overall message is powerful. I don’t want to count the amount of times I’ve said “atmospheric” in this post, but this is an atmospheric read, okay??
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is probably one of the most heartwarming contemporaries I’ve read. I know I can always count on it to make my heart feel warm and cozy. A romance stemmed through emails? The friendships? The supportive family and adorable brother-sister relationships? The Harry Potter references? Yes, I’m here for it, and chances are by the end I’m crying over Simon and Blue even though by now I already know who Blue is. Admit it, if you’ve already read this book (and chances are you probably have) I have just made you want to reread it. And that’s not because I have magical persuasion powers, it’s because this book is adorable and cozy and that’s exactly what you need in your life right now.
I will fully admit that I read All the Light We Cannot See long enough ago that I can’t tell you too much about it, other than it’s set in World War II and follows a French girl and a German boy. I can, however, tell you that I remember exactly the feeling this book gave me. It gave me disaster and chaos and despair, but also hope and inherent good. It felt like a long, large hug in which you learn a lot but come out the other end feeling a whole lot warmer. It was a truly beautiful experience, and the atmosphere is perfect for fall.
Is it just me, or is fall the best season to return to everyone’s favorite gangsey on a search for a dead Welsh king? Just me? All right then. The Raven Boys is the series opener to what is a spectacularly confusing, intoxicating, and enthralling series. Read this book, and I guarantee you’ll be bound to Gansey, Blue, Adam, Ronan, and Noah for life. You should read this in the fall because there are a lot of school scenes, which equals fall, but also because like I was saying earlier in this post, magical realism is the epitome of fall and winter. Something about this series and its magical goodness and the presence of enchanted forests and psychics and love utterly screams, “read me now, or you’ll be hearing from Gansey’s lawyer.”
I genuinely just had the best time writing out these recommendations. I really, really hope this helped grow your TBR, even if by one book! I know I’ll be rereading a few of these during the season- I’m already rereading The Raven Boys right now, with the goal of getting to the whole series before the new year.
I cannot stay away from Richard Campbell Gansey III.
That concludes my list for now- expect more recommendations, reviews, and other exciting posts to come in the future. 😉 Happy reading to all!