Kirsten and I were talking about the definition of cozy books. There are a lot of definitions, but we feel that a cozy book will be enjoyed most if it is read in autumn or winter.
There is something so comforting about snuggling up with a some hot cocoa, a warm blanket, and a cozy book.
Cozy books are often mysteries, fantasies, and romances set in fall or autumn. These books will leave you feeling like you had a warm hug. Unlike a feel-good book, these books often have a little more substance before you reach your happy ending. We gathered our favorite cozy reads and we hope that you love these as much as we do.
*Cozy Reads Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.
Cozy Books to Read
The first in the New York Times Best Selling series of Chief Inspector Gamache. I fell in LOVE with the Inspector, the town of Three Pines, and its residents. Louise Penny CAN WRITE.
The mystery was great (and I didn’t solve it) but what got me the most was Penny’s writing style and reflections on the human psyche. This first Louise Penny book has Chief Inspector Armande Gamache searching a piece of art for clues after its painter, Jane Neal, turns up dead.
This is one of the best detective books and detective series I have ever read. You will fall in love with Three Pines and the people who live there. The wonderful community in this series is the best of what cozy books should be. If you love mystery novels and have not read this series, What are you waiting for?
I read this cozy mystery novel in one day. Maisie Dobbs is not your typical PI. For a start, she is a woman working as a PI in 1929.
Her first case seems like it should be a simple case of infidelity. Instead, it leads her to a murder and back to WWI where she was a nurse. I cannot wait to read more books in this series.
She is smart, thoughtful, and fun to read. Maisie Dobbs is a psychologist and a detective who trained under renowned Maurice Blanche a former member of Scotland Yard. She branches out and decides to start her own business.
Vera Wong lives above her tea shop in Chinatown in San Francisco. When she finds a dead body in the shop, she calls the police immediately but also cleans up a bit, uses a Sharpie to trace the body, and takes the flash drive out of the man’s dead hand. She is sure that she can do a better job of finding the murderer than the police.
She comes up with a plan to find the killer and finds four suspects who she grows to care for. I loved this mystery book and have recommended this cozy book too many times to count.
Cozy Books: Fantasy
This is one of the best fantasy books of 2023! I knew I needed to read it as soon as I saw the name, but everything about it was wonderful. I loved this book.
Emily Wilde is an expert on the study of faeries who is writing the first encyclopedia on faerie lore. She has traveled to the village of Hrafnsvik to study the Hidden Ones. She is much better with her dog and faeries than she is with people so she is not happy when Wendell Bamblely shows up uninvited.
He is her handsome and lazy rival who is not opposed to making things up as he goes along. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and was one of my favorite books for 2023. The sequel, Emily Wilde’s Map of the Overlands is already of of my favorites of 2024.
If you love fantasy books of any kind, stop now and make time to read this fantastic book. This is the book that you would get if The Princess Bride had a book baby that empowered women everywhere to be the heroes in their own story, seek out adventure, and be brave enough to become who they were intended to be.
Tress has grown up on her tiny island with her one friend Charlie, who is also the Duke’s son, to keep her company. When the Duke takes Charlie away and he doesn’t return, Tress sets off to rescue him from the Sorceress who lives on the deadly Midnight Sea. She will encounter pirates, talking rats, betrayal, love, and friendship on her voyage.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. All the stars to this cozy book. While technically this is a fantasy book for adults, it is appropriate for a young adult or teen audience as well.
Every word captivated me from beginning to end and I couldn’t put it down. The story was magical- both literally and figuratively and the descriptions are so vivid.
The stage has been set for a magical competition between the pupils of two very powerful magicians. The stage: the night circus. The pupils, a man and a woman, are unsure of the rules, unsure of how to win or when the competition will end. As the competition continues, the opponents fall in love- a situation that only complicates their predicament.
This is magic in a way that I never imagined it before. The story has twists and surprises that left me wondering how I didn’t see what was right there all along.
Linus Baker works as a caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He is sent on a mission to a secret orphanage isolated on an island where 6 of the world’s most dangerous youth live. Linus is sent to determine if the children are being cared for properly. Linus, who lives his life by the book, will have to look deeper to try and find the real answers to his questions.
This story was so much more than the sum of its parts. I felt like I had met each of the children in the story. Even though the story has magic, it somehow seems completely relevant to our society now. The magic and the orphan aspect are all reminiscent of Harry Potter.
Cozy Historical Fiction
This story about the island of Guernsey’s occupation during WWII features a book club that started to deceive the German soldiers. The members of the book club quickly become friends. Can you think of a better book for book clubs than one about a book club?
When a young novelist finds out about their society, she begins a correspondence and eventually visits them to learn more. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society must remain secret for their safety rather than by choice.
The story is told entirely in letters and was recently turned into a Netflix movie! We both love this heartwarming novel. If you have not read this cozy book, we highly recommend it to anyone who loved The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.
This epic love story can almost rival that of Jamie and Claire in Outlander. This saga takes place over decades and all over the world. This is an epic love story that begins in Leningrad during WWII.
Tatiana Metanova meets Alexander, an officer of the Red Army. Amid the terror of the war, the two fall in love, but Alexander is keeping a secret that can devastate them all.
This is a fantastic story from a historical fiction perspective because of the attention to detail. I learned a lot about everyday life in that era. Like Outlander, it’s a whopping 1000 pages but I couldn’t stop!
A gothic novel about a woman who returns to the castle to question the inhabitants her mother stayed with as a child ward during WWII, in a quest to discover the mysteries of her mother’s past.
I could not put this novel by Kate Morton down. It was so well-written and utterly fascinating to see what happened to children in England during the Blitz. This is one of the cozy books you will want to curl up and read without stopping. We recommend this book to anyone who loves The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Cozy Romance Books
After a terrible divorce, Helene moves to a small town in Alaska to write a novel. When she meets Sebastian, a handsome fisherman, he is the personification of all the dreams she ever had of her perfect man.
Helene is determined to find the truth about her instant connection to Sebastian, but he’s determined to keep it from her.
I don’t want to spoil exactly how this Romeo and Juliet retelling is connected to the original story, but it’s a lovely romance with many mini-romances scattered throughout. This is a cozy book that will keep you turning the pages and smiling at the end. Jackie and I both think this is one of the best romance books of 2023.
The Bookshop on the Corner #1
This contemporary fiction book was the first book that I read by Jenny Colgan and is different from her others. It is not centered around food but rather, books.
When Nina, a librarian, finds herself without a job, she decides to embark on a journey with a mobile bookshop in Scotland. There is nothing not to love in this sweet and cozy book.
A fantasy historical romance about pirate assassins with magical powers? SIGN ME UP!
I gravitated toward this story because of the gorgeous cover, but I was hooked from the first page. I loved all the women in The Wisteria Society. I loved how they could fly around their homes like ships, how they stole and plundered with abandon, and how they did it all while making sure they were the picture of polite womanhood.
The love story was charming, but it was the antics of Cecilia and her quest to save her fellow society members that kept me turning the pages. This cozy book has a little bit of everything. We recommend this book to anyone who loves The Princess Bride.
Classic Cozy Books
My mother was the first person to read this middle grade book to me and I was immediately drawn to Anne. She was smart, precocious, and had a way of making everyone love her while simultaneously finding new ways to get into trouble.
Anne is an orphan who is sent to live with siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert who wanted a male orphan to help them on the farm. Anne was sent to them instead. She is bright and loquacious and wins their hearts.
Something is comforting about this cozy book that makes me read it over and over. This is a beautiful book about friendship and found family. I am not sure if it is more popular in Canada but, one day I hope to visit Prince Edward Island. This is one of my (Jackie) all-time favorite books.
I remember reading this coming-of-age novel with my grandmother when I was young. It features a family of four girls who are trying to support each other and their mother while their father is away at war.
The classic story by Alcott has survived for generations for a reason, the way she wonderfully encapsulates what it’s like to be in a family. The highs and lows of the personal and collective lives of Beth, Jo, Amy, and Meg are an endearing testimony to the bonds of sisters.
Peter Pan is one of Kirsten’s favorite childhood stories. The magical world of Neverland with it’s pirates, mermaids, and natives is so engrossing.
The story of Peter Pan and his adventures with the Darling children have inspired countless spin-off books, movies, and theatrical productions for a reason. It’s a must-read classic children’s book for everyone.
What are your favorite cozy books?
What is a cozy book?
Cozy books make you feel like you have had a warm hug. These feel-good books have a little substance before you get to the end of the story.
If you love this list of cozy books, you will love our list of Winter Books as well.
If you love this list of cozy books, you will love this list of Autumn books as well,