On a rainy Autumn day, there’s no better feeling than hibernating indoors away from the elements with a blanket over your knees and a good book to boot.
Let’s set the scene: the woody candles are flickering away, there’s a steaming mug of hot chocolate just within reach and you’ve got nowhere else to be but here, leaving butt cheek imprints on the seat of your favourite armchair.
You might break to gnaw on a chocolate Hobnob here and there, stretch your legs, sniff your paperback (we know you do it) but other than that, you don’t intend to move from this reading nook right here.
From seasonal must reads full of heart and poignant observations, to beloved classics with their crumbling manor houses and 10/10 heroines, these are the cosy books chilly autumn days & evenings were made for.
What better way to kick off the cosy reading list than with a book rooted in Autumn? The first of four seasonal novels by Scottish author, Ali Smith, Autumn is a beautiful and nuanced exploration of our relationship with time; how we experience it and how we narrate it. Buy Autumn here.
If you like your fiction heartfelt and fanciful, look no further than The Snow Child. Set in 1920s Alaska and based on the old Russian fairy tale, Snegurochka, it tells the story of a couple who create a child out of snow.
The next morning the snow child is gone, but they catch sight of an elusive, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. The little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and leaves blizzards in her wake. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who seems to have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in the Alaska wilderness, life and death are inextricable, and what they eventually learn about Faina changes their lives forever. Buy The Snow Child here.
If you don’t have time to sink your teeth into a novel then tuck into one of Zadie Smith’s incredible short stories from her book Grand Union. Mostly based in New York the book is packed full of 19 different narratives you might find yourself as an artist in ‘Downtown’ or a drag queen in ‘Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets’. Buy Grand Union here.
Like a comforting cup of tea in book form, The Switch is the warm and fuzzy tale we all need in these turbulent times (aka 2020 as a whole). Bursting with heart, warmth and unruly OAPs, it will have you howling with laughter one minute and welling up with happy tears the next. Buy The Switch here.
When Lizzy finds herself unexpectedly single, her whole life is flipped upside down but through the heartbreak and tears, she sees an opportunity to discover who she really is. It’s a joyful reminder that happiness can be found where you least expect it. Buy Some Kind of Wonderful here.
Hunker down for the night with Louisa May Allcott’s timeless and teary classic. The March sisters will fill your heart with warmth but also rip it out a tiny bit. Cryers, you have been warned. Buy Little Women here.
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck in a lift with isn’t something Alexa Monroe would normally do, but there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist…
If you’re looking for a feel-good rom-com you can read instead of watch, RSVP to The Wedding Date, asap. Buy The Wedding Date here.
A richly imagined, genre-defying love story, laced with bookbinding magic and unforgettable characters. This is a booklover’s dream! PS look at that enchanting cover, it’s crying out to be top of your Autumn stack. Buy The Binding here.
Nothing says cosy quite like knitting and in this adorable romance Jesse and his brother struggle after the loss of their mother Mama Joy and the knitting shop she has left behind. Whilst fighting to keep the store open Jesse finds himself becoming more and more attracted to one of his employees Kerry, didn’t we tell you this story was adorable? Buy Real Men Knit here.
On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. A delightful book you’ll want to savour cover to cover in one sitting rather than grabbing quick snatches here and there. Buy The Little Paris Bookshop here.
When the wind’s bleating against the windows, you can’t beat staying up way past midnight in the glow of your bedside lamp with a bit of Austen for company. This classic tale of romance and passion never gets old. Buy Pride & Prejudice here.
Blustery Autumn days were made for butterbeer, Quidditch and those dulcet Dumbledore utterances. Buy Harry Potter here.
Fall in love with chronically ill computer-obsessed Chloe Brown, as she creates a checklist to officially help her “get a life.” Throw in the perfect tattooed handyman artist and you’ve got yourself a bestseller from Talia Hibbert. Get comfy as you’ll want to gobble this one up in one sitting. Buy Get a Life, Chloe Brow here.
Sometimes, we just need to indulge in an undemanding book and the latest novel from Salley Vickers fits the bill nicely. A tender portrait of the bond between grandmothers and their grandchildren, it’s the soothing Autumn read we all need right now. Buy Grandmothers here.
What even is Autumn without this du Maurier fireside treat? Atmospheric, gothic and oozing with suspense, whiling away the hours inside the eerie walls at Manderley House is time well spent indeed. Buy Rebecca here.