Though the days are creeping shorter, it isn’t winter yet. But it is autumn and autumn is the season when it gets windy, rainy and you want to do anything but study – so it’s also the perfect season to catch up on a bit of reading. Not the reading we’re all so bored of, of essays and papers and textbooks. Of books. Real books. It’s the perfect season to put on your pjs and snuggle up in bed, maybe even with a mug of hot chocolate, and definitely with an old paperback. Here are five cosy autumn reads to help you through those cold days.
1. The Little Book of Hygge, Oliver Bonas
This is the only non-fiction book on the list, but it fits so well that I just had to add it in. Hygge is a Danish word which means ‘comfort, warmth and togetherness’, and I think these three things come pretty close to summing up autumn. They make me think of cuddling up with someone in front of a fire, or being wrapped up, feeling all cosy inside while it gets all stormy and dark outside. The book itself brings advice from the happiest country in the world on how to live in a way that is more hygge – even including tips on how to organise a hygge dinner party. Get your fairy lights ready, folks.
2. In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware
This book is a great thriller to read at any time of the year, but especially in the fall. It tells the story of Leonora, as she meets an old classmate at a house deep in the woods. If the setting wasn’t creepy enough, she wakes up in hospital remembering nothing of her time there. Yes, you’ll be curled up under your covers to keep cosy – but also to hide from whatever lurks outside. After all, it wouldn’t be autumn without Halloween, would it?
3. Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
This young adult novel follows the struggles of Cath as she settles into her first year of university, and forced to balance family issues with schoolwork and making friends. There’s both romance in her relationship with her roommate’s friend and plenty of drama, as her sister’s nocturnal escapades cause multiple fallouts with her friends. And of course I think we can all relate to those uni struggles. What brings it onto this list, though, is its setting in the freezing cold of Omaha, Nebraska. I can’t think of a better place to read this than under a blanket, feeling smug that you don’t have to go out in the snow.
4. The Night Watch, Sarah Waters
This historical novel is set in 1940s London, after the Second World War. It follows the stories of a group of men and women living interconnected lives, and their struggles with being homosexual in this period. Though some pretty serious issues are addressed, the complex character development makes this one you can’t put down. Also…it’s set in the autumn.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
As a book lover, it was really hard to pick only 5 books, and even harder to keep just one of them a classic. Eventually though I settled on this, so if you haven’t read it yet, now is the time to get started. It follows the tale of the Finch family in 1930s Alabama, and though the novel raises serious matters of racism and rape, it is also widely regarded for its humour and its warmth. Not only is it a great all-rounder of a book, but it is also set in the autumn, so get your jumpers on and start reading!