Fall is finally here!
My favorite season of the year is right now. As of September 1st, it is officially fall, so pull out the flannel, make a pumpkin spice latte, and settle down with a few good reads.
In the fall, I become much too ambitious and want to do everything, including bookstagram picture shoots in sunflower fields, booktoks in pumpkin patches, cozy mystery listening while hiking through the woods, and cozy mystery reading on a hayride. And you do. normal autumnal fare.
Normally, Halloween comes to mind when I think of the fall. But I’ve started reading more diversely and have looked at books that other people could describe as cozy or autumnal. Books that make you feel warm and cozy, like cozy fantasies or cozy mysteries, will make up the majority of this list.
Not to worry.
The eerie truth will appear on another list that will surface in October. That will include all the eerie, frightening books I wish to read.
This list is extensive because it extends through the end of November. You are all aware that I need books to avoid being awkward at family gatherings.
Let’s get started with the cozy list right away, then, without further ado.
by Juneau Black
The first book in the Shady Hollow series introduces us to the community of Shady Hollow, where forest creatures coexist peacefully until a grumpy toad comes up dead and the local reporter is forced to investigate.
Vera Vixen, a reporter, is relatively new to Shady Hollow. The fox has a nose for news, so when she learns that the death might have been the result of a murder, she decides to follow the trail of evidence to its conclusion. The fox uncovers numerous mysteries as she stirs up quiet waters and learns that further lives are in danger.
Vera discovers more about this community than she had anticipated. Vera will soon need to use all of her wits and quick thinking to solve the murder because it appears that someone in the Hollow will stop at nothing to prevent her from doing so.
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
by Julie Berry
In this hilarious farce, the girls of St. Etheldreda’s strive to cover up the death of their headmistress despite the fact that there is a killer on the loose.
The girls’ students at St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls are faced with a difficult situation. Mrs. Plackett, their irritable headmistress, and her snarky brother, Mr. Godding, were inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Unless these seven very nice young ladies are able to conceal the murders and persuade their neighbors that nothing is amiss, the school will now almost likely be closed and the girls sent home.
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry is a clever, entertaining Victorian adventure chock full of crazy plot twists, misidentifications, and paranormal events.
In the Company of Witches
by Auralee Wallace
In this enchanting and endearing new cozy mystery, a young witch must rely on some good ol’ fashioned investigation to clear her aunt’s name when a guest dies in the B&B she helps her aunts run.
The Warren witches have been secretly assisting the residents of the small New England town of Evenfall to prosper for 400 years. They have never encountered a challenge they couldn’t solve. Constance Graves, a notoriously difficult and demanding local, passes away while a guest at the bed and breakfast Brynn Warren runs with her aunts. It appears to be an accident at first, but it quickly becomes apparent that there is something more sinister at play, and Aunt Nora is quickly emerging as the main suspect.
Nothing would make Brynn happier than to establish Nora’s innocence, and the thought that it might have been simpler even two years ago upsets her. After all, Brynn is a witch of the dead, a witch with the ability to communicate with ghosts. Constance might remember something about her life that would assist solve the mystery. Ghosts rarely remember much about their deaths. But Brynn hasn’t utilized her powers—and she’s not even sure she can—since her spouse passed away. Brynn will simply have to wait and hope that the witchcraft of her aunts and her own sleuthing abilities will take her to the solutions—and perhaps even back to the talent she once thought she was prepared to give up for good.
Anatomy, A Love Story
by Dana Schwartz
Hazel Sinnett is a woman who prefers to become a surgeon before being married.
Jack Currer, a resurrectionist, is just trying to get by in a city where passing away comes too easily.
Hazel first dismisses their chance encounter when it occurs outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society. But after being denied entry to renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures because she was dressed inappropriately, she comes to the conclusion that her new acquaintance might be more valuable than she initially imagined. To continue her medical career, Dr. Beecham has agreed to let Hazel continue provided she can pass the medical examination on her own. But without formal instruction, Hazel will require more than just her books; she will also require corpses to study.
She is fortunate to have met someone who works in their excavation.
The dreadful Roman Fever, which killed millions a few years ago, is back with a vengeance, and Jack is dealing with his own issues as well. Strange individuals have been spotted lurking around graves, his pals are going missing, and the Roman Fever is returning with a vengeance. The only person who matters is Hazel.
Now that the secrets are buried not only in unmarked graves but also in the very center of Edinburgh society, Hazel and Jack must collaborate to find them.
The Society for Soulless Girls
by Laura Steven
A YA thriller with a supernatural element that is both dark and humorous. from the Comedy Women in Print Award recipient.
The prestigious Carvell College of Arts had to close its doors ten years ago when four students died in the notorious North Tower killings.
Fearless student Lottie is determined to learn the truth now that Carvell is reopened. However, the North Tower claims yet another victim when Alice, her roommate, discovers a terrifying soul-splitting ceremony concealed in Carvell’s haunting library.
Will Lottie be able to learn the truth before the North Tower attacks once more? Can Alice undo the ceremony before being consumed by her hideous alter ego? And can they actually stop flirting for 15 seconds to accomplish this?
Fans of Ace of Spaces, The Secret History, and The Inheritance Games will enjoy The Society of Soulless Girls’ exploration of possession and ambition, passion and bloodlust, femininity and brutality.
Fly by Night
by Tara O’Conner
Dee has to learn what happened to her missing sibling in this environmental thriller graphic novel with a spooky twist. This stunning mystery reveals that monsters are all around us and is loaded with bizarre creatures, high school drama, and family.
The woods are filled with monsters.
The woods contain a mystical presence. Dee finds something “isn’t quite right” in the woods as she is out looking for her missing sister and desperately attempting to locate any possible clues to her location. Dee quickly finds herself in the heart of a fight to protect the pinelands, where she is uncovering more suspects and raising more questions than she is able to resolve.
There is just one thing she is convinced of as time goes on: there are monsters among us. However, those are not the ones you should be terrified of.
Dreadful Young Ladies
by Kelly Barnhill
An wonderful collection of eerie, enchanting tales from Kelly Barnhill, recipient of the Newbery Medal.
In “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch,” Mrs. Sorensen rekindles a long-dormant love with an unsuitable partner after the death of her husband. In the short story “Open the Door and the Light Pours Through,” a young guy struggles with his sexuality and loss while writing to his distant love. The strength and power of the imagination, both known and undiscovered, are demonstrated in “Dreadful Young Ladies.” A witch in “Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake” is troubled by a spell’s fatal consequences. The novel “The Insect and the Astronomer” challenges preconceived notions of right and wrong, wisdom and ignorance, and love and desire. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Barnhill, winner of the Newbery Medal, has thematic parallels in the World Fantasy Award-winning novella “The Unlicensed Magician,” which introduces the secret magical existence of an unseen girl who was once abandoned for dead.
The stories in Dreadful Young Ladies demonstrate why the book’s author has been acclaimed as “a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman” with their audacious, reality-bending creation and deeply depicted universal themes of love, death, jealousy, and hope (Minneapolis Star Tribune). Barnhill’s status as one of the wittiest, most important, and captivating voices in modern literature is cemented by this book.
by RF Kuang
Babel, by acclaimed novelist R. F. Kuang, deals with student uprisings, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominant tool of the British empire. It is a thematic rejoinder to The Secret History and a tonal rejoinder to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
Translation is always a form of betrayal, translator, translator.
- The mysterious Professor Lovell transports the cholera orphan Robin Swift from Canton to London. In order to be ready for the day he enrolls in Oxford University’s famed Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel—he spends years there studying Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese.
The center of the world for magic and translation is Babel. As this expertise helps the Empire’s goal of colonization, silver working—the practice of utilizing enchanted silver bars to manifest the meaning lost in translation—has given the British an unparalleled level of power.
For Robin, Oxford is a perfect place where everyone is devoted to learning. However, power subordinates knowledge, and Robin, a Chinese child raised in Britain, understands that serving Babel entails betraying his motherland. As his studies advance, Robin is forced to choose between the enigmatic Hermes Society—an organization devoted to halting imperial expansion—and Babel. Robin must make a choice when Britain wages an unfair war with China over silver and opium.
Do violent revolutions necessarily need to take place in order to transform powerful institutions, or is this possible?
My Year of Rest and Relaxation
by Ottessa Moshfegh
A novel about a young woman’s attempts to escape the problems of the world by going on a prolonged hibernation with the assistance of one of the worst psychiatrists in literary history and the battery of medications she prescribes comes from one of our bravest, most lauded new literary voices.
Our narrator ought to be content, right? She recently graduated from Columbia University, is young, attractive, and works an easy job at a cool art gallery. She also lives in an Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan that she pays for with her inheritance, much like the rest of her needs. However, there is a hollow, dark spot in her heart that is not caused by the death of her parents, the way her Wall Street boyfriend abuses her, or even the sadomasochistic bond she has with her best friend, Reva. What could be so horribly wrong in a city that sparkles with wealth and opportunity in the year 2000?
A strong response to that query is provided by My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Moshfegh demonstrates how rational, even essential, alienation may be through the narrative of a year spent under the influence of a rather bizarre combination of pharmaceuticals intended to rehabilitate our heroine from her alienation from this world. It serves as a showcase for the talents of one of our major authors who is at the pinnacle of her powers. It is at once delicate and blackly humorous, harsh and empathetic.
by Mona Awad
A “wild, and exciting” novel (Lauren Groff) about a theater professor who believes producing Shakespeare’s most reviled play will cure all of her ills comes from the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood calls “genius.” But at what cost?
The daily misery that is Miranda Fitch’s existence. She suffered from agonizing chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a growing dependence on pills as a result of the injury that put an end to her budding acting career. She is currently in danger of losing her position as director of the campus theater. She faces a mutinous cast that is determined to stage Macbeth instead of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised and cost her everything. Miranda watches as her opportunity for atonement is lost.
At that point, she encounters three mysterious supporters who have a chilling understanding of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing vision of her future: one in which the performance goes on, her disobedient students receive their due, and the unspoken sorrow that has kept her out of the spotlight is revealed.
Mona Awad has created her most potent, subversive book ever, with writing Margaret Atwood has praised as “no hilarities dodged, no punches withheld… brilliance.” All’s Well is a “wonderful novel” (Mary Karr) about a woman who has reached her breaking point and a strong, bitingly hilarious condemnation of our society’s inability to acknowledge and believe in female suffering.
by Emily J. Taylor
This sumptuous young adult fantasy novel follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she unearths the truly unsettling secrets of the fabled Hotel Magnifique. It is decadent and darkly intriguing.
Jani has had dreams about Elsewhere her entire life. She’s resigned to a gloomy life in the harbor town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa, barely making ends meet with her job at a tannery. Until the Hotel Magnifique arrives in town, that is.
The hotel is renowned for its wacky charms as well as its propensity for traveling, emerging in a new location each morning. The extravagant costs of a guest’s stay are out of reach for Jani and Zosa, but they can interview to join the staff and are quickly swept away on the most incredible experience of their lives. But as soon as she enters, Jani realizes that their agreements are irrevocable and that the hotel is actually concealing risky information under its magnificent glitz.
Jani sets out on a quest to solve the riddle of the magic in the hotel’s core and rescue Zosa—along with the other staff—from the merciless maître d’hôtel. Her only friend is the annoyingly attractive doorman Bel. She will have to put everything she cherishes in danger if she is to succeed, yet failure would entail a fate far worse than never going back home.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold
by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Who would you like to meet if you could go back?
There is a café in Tokyo that has been selling expertly prepared coffee for more than a century in a tiny back lane. According to local lore, this shop provides the opportunity to travel back in time in addition to coffee.
Four clients stop by the café over the course of one summer, hoping to go there. But there are regulations that must be followed when time travel is involved. Most importantly, the journey can only go on for as long as the coffee is warm.
Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s internationally bestselling book examines the age-old question: What would you change if you could go back in time? It is heartwarming, sad, mysterious, and deliciously offbeat.
And that concludes my list of novels to read for a nice, comfortable fall. What books do you wish to read this coming fall? I’d love to hear from you all. If you have read this blog post all the way through, please give me some fall leaf emojis in the comments if you have already decided on any books.
Happy fall, everyone.