There’s an undeniable beauty to autumn. The season is shrouded in a poetic fog (or literal fog, which is less fun) and begs for a mug of hot beverage, a blanket and a good book. Here’s a small selection of books to fall in love with (credit, or blame, to Travis for the pun), either because they’re cozy, atmospheric, or just linked to autumn in the Inners’ minds. Enjoy, and give us your favourite seasonal stories!
Witchmark by C.L. Polk
The murder mystery and the sweet romance made me immediately think of this July debut as a perfect autumnal book. The setting helps confirm this impression; an Edwardian-inspired world where the streets smell like fresh apples give an overall feeling of cosiness. Read our review here!
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
Tigana is a melancholic, beautiful story that happens to start during a wine harvest festival. If you haven’t read the classic by Guy Gavriel Kay, this is the perfect occasion to pick it up. It’s the heartbreaking tale of a missed and forgotten homeland, revenge, two warring wizards, and impossible love.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
This fairy tale retelling features a wizard’s apprentice and a threatening mysterious wood. If “cosy” is maybe not an exact description, Uprooted is vividly atmospheric and addictive.
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Goblin Emperor is a staple in most feel-good-books lists, and for good reason. We follow Maia, a half-Goblin prince who ascends to the throne after his father and brothers are killed. Maia is unused to court politics, and out of his depth, but his innate decency helps him navigate his new treacherous environment. The story is uplifting and a perfect remedy against the seasonal grumpies.
Blackthorn and Grim by Juliet Marillier
This Marillier trilogy features an unlikely duo who solves folk-tales-inspired mysteries. The story has a friendship between two people who must learn to trust each other and strange mythical occurrences in ancient Ireland. It’s a slow-burning and comforting read to pick with a nice herbal tea infusion.
Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell
Ravenwood is a slice-of-life story whose protagonist is in the autumn of her life. Tanyth has been wandering the road for 20 years, learning herbal skills, and now she’s on one last pilgrimage. On the way she stumbles upon a small village that needs her help to get ready for winter. A charming story about community, with a touch of Wiccan-inspired magic.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The entire Raven Cycle series is one you’ll want to read while huddled under a blanket, sipping a hot beverage, and just losing yourself in the characters. The story is a mythic fantasy loosely about a group of friends trying to find the lost tomb of an ancient Welsh king. The blurb plays up the romance element (which is present and excellent) but that’s far from the main focus.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
With fall comes the colorful reminder of the cyclical changing of the seasons. As hinted in the title, this story follows a man who lives his life over and over. Every time he dies, he finds himself born again in the early 1900s. He’s not the only one with this ability, and others like him have been passing a warning back in time about the accelerating end of the world.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This is a book with Atmosphere, sinister and melancholy. (And chock-full of footnotes, for those back-to-uni vibes.) Set in an Alternative History version of the Napoleonic Wars, it centres around the two eponymous magicians who are working to bring magic back to England. If you bounced off the book for whatever reason, check out the excellent BBC mini-series instead!