25+ Cozy Autumn Books to cuddle up with this fall. Favorite books to cozy up to as the leaves change colors and the weather gets colder. Come pick a new book for Autumn!
My favorite reading season is Autumn. There’s something about the shorter days and cooler weather that lends itself to a slower pace and more time to pick up a book.
Depending on the day and the weather, I alternate between wanting a Spooky Book or a Cozy Autumn Book. If you’re looking for thrills and chills, try this list of my favorite Spooky Halloween Books for Adults. But if you want something cozy to cuddle up with, you’re in the right place.
What is a Cozy Autumn Book?
What feels “cozy” is entirely subjective, but when it comes to a cozy fall book, here’s what I gravitate towards in September, October, and November:
- Atmospheric writing
- Academic Settings (I love a good boarding school novel)
- Sweeping Family Sagas
- Indulgent Classics
- Thoughtful, reflective writing
- Heartwarming endings
- A hint of Magic / Magical Realism
- Stories that connect with nature and the changing Autumn season
Here are 25 + books that check one or more of these boxes and have all the cozy fall vibes! Light a candle, get a cup of hot cider, and enjoy one of these Cozy Autumn Books this month.
Note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.
Cozy Autumn Books
Autumn: A Novel
By Ali Smith
This is a quiet, beautiful novel about a friendship between Elisabeth, a 32 year old art lecturer at a university in London, and Daniel, her 101 year old neighbor. It reads almost like poetry at times, with Autumnal tones of nostalgia and quiet wisdom about the changing seasons.
This is part of a quartet of books, one for each season. I read this one first and fell in love with Smith's brilliant writing.
East of Eden
By John Steinbeck
There are few things cozier to me than a sweeping classic that follows characters through generations. This one checks all the cozy autumn boxes for me.
East of Eden is a retelling of the book of Genesis - Adam and Eve and the rivalry of Cain and Abel. It follows two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, over the generations as they farm the land in California's Salinas Valley.
I love this book, but what really makes it a cozy autumn book is that it's filled with rich storytelling and characterization that leaves you feeling so reflective long after the book ends.
By Laird Hunt
I read this book when it made the shortlist for the 2021 National Book Award and fell head over heels.
It's a short book, less than 200 pages, but it spans Zorrie Underwood's entire lifetime, most of which is spent living simply in a small community in Indiana.
Anthony Doerr called Zorrie "A tender, glowing novel . . .". As the days grow shorter in Autumn, this is the kind of book to bring light and warmth.
The Orchardist: A Novel
By Amanda Coplin
Talmadge has lived a solitary life for forty years after the death of his mother and his sister's disappearance. He tends to orchards in his quiet valley and keeps to himself. But when two young pregnant girls show up on his land, Talmadge's deep reservoir of compassion compels him to take them in.
This is a beautifully empathetic novel, rooted in the rural landscape of the Cascade Mountain foothills. It's an atmospheric book, making it a perfect cozy autumn read.
The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
By Claire Lombardo
This is a thick 600 page family saga with all the dramas and complexities you'd expect. It's a gripping read!
Marilyn and David fall in love in the 1970's. By 2016 they are still very much in love with each other, but their four daughters are in varying states of unrest. When a child that was placed for adoption by one of the daughters fifteen years earlier shows up again, it forces the whole family to grapple with their past.
This is an excellent saga to keep you company on dark Autumn evenings.
By Alice Hoffman
You've probably seen this fall movie, but have you read the book series about the Owens sisters? All four books are perfect fall reads with a touch of cozy witchcraft and a lot of ordinary magic.
The Dutch House: A Novel
By Ann Patchett
While I'm sure this book is a great read, I loved listening to Tom Hank's narration in the audio version. Is there anything cozier than Tom Hanks telling you a really good story? I think not.
This a phenomenal five decade family saga centered around a family home, the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It's a thought provoking book, but also a real page turner.
September: A Novel
By Rosamunde Pilcher
No one writes cozier books than Rosamunde Pilcher. That's a statement I'll stand by forever.
Set in the Scottish Highlands, the story opens in May, but culminates in beautiful September when family and friends gather from near and far to celebrate a birthday with the changing of the seasons.
The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel
By J. Ryan Stradal
I absolutely adored this book! It's funny, it's tender, and it's hopeful. If you want a feel-good book that doesn't feel fluffy, pick this one up.
A multigenerational story about women and the brewing industry in Minnesota. I have no interest whatsoever in beer, but this book was a delight and a perfect cozy read.
The Essex Serpent: A Novel
By Sarah Perry
Set in late nineteenth-century England, this book tells the story of an intellectual young widow, a pious vicar, and a mythical serpent that may or may not be tormenting a coastal village.
An atmospheric novel that explores themes of science, faith, and love. I read this in 2016 when it came out and now I'm enjoying the miniseries the book inspired on Apple TV.
The School of Essential Ingredients
By Erica Bauermeister
This book is a warm and cozy hug filled with the spices and flavors of all things delicious. It's the story of a cooking class at a popular local restaurant and how the lives of the people taking the class weave together.
It tips toward the sentimental, but it is deliciously cozy.
Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table
By Ruth Reichl
I love all of Reichl's food memoirs and all of them would be perfect cozy autumn reads. Her writing style is so warm and honest that it feels like conversation with a good friend. Oh, and the food! You'll want to eat everything.
By A.S. Byatt
People love this book or hate it. I'm firmly in the love camp. I think people give it up too early - it takes a bit to get into it, but once you do, it's a phenomenal ride.
Two scholars are researching the lives of two Victorian poets. They uncover secret letters and a luscious detailed history that kept me on the edge of my seat. Academics, spiritualists, fairy tales, - it gives me all the cozy fall vibes.
A Separate Peace
By John Knowles
A really moving classic set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II. It's a tale of friendship between two boys.
There's something about boarding schools that gives me all the cozy autumn feelings.
Once Upon a River: A Novel
By Diane Setterfield
One midwinter's night along the banks of the River Thames in 1887, a man discovers the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Everyone wants to figure it out and three different families all claim the girl as their own.
This is a wonderful tale of magic and myth, both suspenseful and richly atmospheric.
The Buried Giant: A novel
By Kazuo Ishiguro
I loved listening to this one on audiobook. It's a rich magical realism fairytale for grownups by a masterful author.
Beatrice and Axl are an elderly married couple in a post Arthurian world. They live among a mist that makes them forget. One day they remember that they had a son and they don't know what happened to him. They set out on a journey through the mist to find him.
It's a beautiful exploration of memory and the things we'd like to forget. It has a deeply touching ending and I found the fable very comforting.
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
By Shauna Niequist
This is a wonderful collection of essays that will leave you wanting to gather everyone you love around the table for a cozy meal.
In This House of Brede: A Novel
By Rumer Godden
Oh my word, I loved this book! It's the story of a highly successful professional woman who leaves her fancy life behind and joins a cloistered Benedictine monastery.
I am not Catholic, but this book had me longing for a monastery I could run away to.
Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells
By Pico Iyer
This is a gorgeous memoir about aging and loss. Iyer returns home to Japan after his father-in-law's sudden death and finds himself reflecting, as the seasons change, on change itself.
A Fall of Marigolds
By Susan Meissner
A historical fiction saga that takes place in September 1911 and September 2011 and follows a scarf that weaves two women's lives together across the span of a century. A wonderful Autumn book.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
By Alix E. Harrow
I thoroughly enjoyed this page turning fantasy!
January Scaller lives in a sprawling mansion as the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke. When she finds a strange book that opens doors to other worlds, she also discovers a connection to another young woman who has also found doors in another time and place.
If you want a cozy escape read this autumn, this is the book for you!
Crossing to Safety
By Wallace Stegner
This is a gorgeous book about the quiet lives of two couples in Vermont and Wisconsin. It follows their marriages and their friendship through the years and is a deeply moving book.
It's slow and steady and wonderful. A perfect book to carry you through the quiet days of fall.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
By V.E. Schwab
In a moment of desperation in 1714, young Addie LaRue makes a Faustian bargain with the devil to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. The story follows Addie in her cursed life for nearly 300 years until she meets a young man in a bookstore that can remember her name.
This one had a slow start for me, but I found myself completely invested by the end.
A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance Book 1)
By Naomi Novik
For many, the Harry Potter stories are the quintessential cozy autumn books. If you want a more grown-up Harry Potter tale, then this is the series for you!
Scholomance is a school for the magically gifted. But unlike Hogwarts, if you fail at this school, it means certain death. The stakes are higher and there are no friendly teachers or even students. This is a very intriguing magical world!
The Orphan of Salt Winds
By Elizabeth Brooks
Set England, 1939, ten-year-old Virginia Wrathmell arrives at Salt Winds to meet her adoptive parents. Her new home is a beautiful but haunting place on the edge of a marsh with dangerous tides. When a German fighter plane crashes into the marsh it sets into motion a crime that haunts Virginia for the rest of her life until seventy-five years later when she finds herself back at Salt Winds to unburden herself of her secrets.
This is a gripping novel and coming of age story, with haunting atmospheric writing.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel
By Ruth Emmie Lang
This is one of the most charming and warm hearted books I've ever read. Weylyn Grey was orphaned and raised by wolves as a child. He also has unusual powers that not even he seems to understand, like the power to stop a tornado on a stormy day.
This book is about Weylyn's life, as told from the perspective of the people lucky enough to have known him and loved him.
Such amazing selection ! Thanks for sharing