10 Cozy Autumn Reads

A girl reading a book in autumn
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As the crisp cool air whirls the yellow leaves against the autumn blue sky, our thoughts turn to all those cozy reads you can curl up with by a crackling fire. To help you savour this splendid season of blankets, pies and pumpkin lattes, we have narrowed down ten autumn books that you will be too happy to fall into as the nights draw in.

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Image Credit: William Morrow

An orphanage in an isolated town of St. Cloud’s has become a beacon of hope for many. For young women, who choose to postpone their motherhood, it’s a secret haven. For unadopted children, like Homer Wells, who spent years in foster care before arriving at St. Cloud’s, it turns out to be a true home. Bright and diligent, Homer is introduced to obstetrics by Dr Larch, who ends pregnancies and delivers unwanted babies on school premises. However, when the moral side of abortions becomes a heavy burden for his conscience, Homer starts a new life as a picker at the apple orchards. Through love affairs, violence, betrayal and incest, Homer will be forced to find his true identity in this not so black-and-white world.

If you prefer to spend fall away from the hustle and bustle of city life, then reach out for this fruitful delight slowly matured to perfection.

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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Image Credit:Random House

For Jacob de Zoet, an unassuming Dutch clerk who is dispatched to wage a war against corruption in Japan, the new position spells trouble. Thrust into the midst of an unjust society, he is determined to uncover iniquitous deeds of shady officials of Dejima. But as he delves deeper into his perilous task, his nearest and dearest begin to perish…

Meticulously researched, this historical novel dazzles readers with its candid portrayal of cultural prejudice, treachery and duplicity in the land of a thousand autumns at the end of the 18th century. 

If you spend your autumn evenings exploring fictional wonderlands, then this travel companion will not let you down. 

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Whispers in Autumn by Trisha Leigh

Image Credit: Trisha Leigh

Right from the start, Whispers in Autumn throws you into the deep end with no clues or explanations but an Ariadne’s thread on your hands. Set in a distant future, the story takes you through a labyrinth of events, revealing drastic changes on our planet caused by extraterrestrial invasion. Stripped of emotions, a brainwashed humanity is brought to its knees by the alien colonists, who crave the ultimate control over Earth. The only hope to restore the world to its former glory lies with a sixteen-year-old Althea, whose ultimate power of resistance to alien influence might hold the key to many questions. Mesmerising and fast-paced, this tale is enriched with memorable descriptions of seasons, where mythology seamlessly intertwines with science fiction with a dash of romance added to the mix.

If the stargazing sessions have filled your weekends this fall, then this futuristic tale might offer you a much-needed weekday fix.

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Persuasion by Jane Austen

Image Credit: Public Book Shelf

A little gem, that shines brighter than its more famous Austenesque counterparts, tells a sentimental story of a 27-year-old spinster Anne Elliot, haunted by the memories of her past. It has been seven years since Anne broke off the engagement with Frederick Wentworth, but time has proven inefficient in healing the wounds of her heart. Back then, naive and wealthy Anne fell a victim of social prejudice, when persuaded by well-wishers to part with an unworthy match. But now, on the brink of bankruptcy, Anne is forced to reevaluate her principles, when her old flame comes back from war as an eligible bachelor. Brimming with satire and witty remarks, this magnificent tale of second chances tears apart all misconceptions of social disparity by poking fun at the vanity of the 19th-century aristocracy. 

If your autumn pleasures arise from observing the nature’s last smiles upon the tawny leaves, then you should revisit this classic double-edged portrayal of beauty. 

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Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym

Image Credit: Pan-Macmillan

A brave look into the face of ageing, Quartet in Autumn follows four London colleagues as they stumble through their golden years of retirement. Along the way, some empty nesters will find new hobbies, make friends and even remarry, while others will learn to bounce back from adversities and overcome loneliness with dignity. 

Even if you are nowhere near your retirement age, don’t be quick to dismiss this book. It packs quite a hard punch with its timeless lessons infused with a healthy dose of wryly dark humour. The beauty of this diamond in the rough might be understated, yet it has the power to sneak up on you and remain with you long after you turn the last page.

If you have ever wondered what the autumn of life might bring, then plunge into this uplifting ode to freedom. 

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The Hound of The Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Image Credit: General Press

The walls of Baskerville Hall harbour some ghastly secrets. The legend of a hellhound tormenting the noble family for generations is fuelled by the frequent ghostly apparitions in the deadly marshland of Dartmoor. When Sir Henry, the latest heir to the Baskerville fortune, seeks protection from the famous sleuth, the entire residence is engulfed by hysteria. But never fear! Sherlock Holmes’s meticulous method of deduction and exceptional powers of observation never fail to catch the criminals, especially those who attempt to hide some sinister skeletons behind their charming facades. 

If you get a kick out of combing through abandoned autumn forests in search for clues, you should give this book a go. 

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When We fall by Emily Liebert

Image Credit: Berkley

Having lost her husband in a tragedy, Alison Parker moves back to her hometown to reconnect with her former self. An accomplished artist and a single mother, she is trying to rebuild burnt bridges in a quiet suburb of New York, where “keeping up with the Joneses” is the way of life. Soon, the “new girl” catches an eye of Charlotte Crane- a privileged housewife, whose immaculate exterior makes other soccer moms green with envy. As the friendship blossoms between two women, confessions and revelations give way to self-doubt, fears and jealousy in Charlotte’s mind. And no charity balls, dinner parties or new season’s Manolos will stop all the insecurities seeping through the crannies of her seemingly flawless life. With a silent nod to “The Stepford Wives”, this heart-warming story paints a delicate bond between women in their bid to reassemble the pieces of their fractured existence. 

If you can’t get enough of fall romance novels, then crack open this book and relish its intoxicating taste of drama. 

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Image Credit: Vintage

Step into the whimsical world of Le Cirque des Rêves, the only travelling circus that gathers its audience in the dead of night and closes its doors at the first sign of dawn. Besides the snake-charmers, acrobats and fortune-tellers, the circus becomes a second home for sorcerers who are free to use their innate abilities in a non-magical world. Disguised as mere illusion, the real magic becomes a weapon of destruction in a century-long rivalry between two wizards, pulling into its dangerous vortex the hearts and minds of their young apprentices. Captivating and fully immersive, the story tantalises all the senses through its lush imagery, tricking your mind to believe you are part of this enchanted universe. 

If you can’t imagine your life without magic, then treat yourself to this spell-binding tale for a perfect autumn night in. 

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A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Image Credit: Capsule Book

Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, this coming-of-age novel represents Gene Forrester’s recollection of his early life experiences, switching back and forth between elite boarding school and war trenches. While wandering about the grounds of his alma mater, an old soldier reminisces on the life-altering ripple effect of a single impulsive act that stripped the young student of his innocence. No longer able to keep his memories at bay, Gene is forced to relive the tragic events, exposing the dark side of adolescence. Published in 1959, this heart-wrenching tale catapulted the author to instant fame, retaining its best-seller status for over thirty years. 

If every fall prompts you to take a trip down a memory, then why not indulge yourself in a time-travelling experience with this compelling memoir.

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Return of The Native by Thomas Hardy

Image Credit Audible

One of Hardy’s best novels, Return of the Native is centred on Egdon Heath and its inhabitants. In fact, the landscape, defined by its timelessness, becomes an integral part of the plot, influencing the lives of the characters. In their quest for true love, Thomasin, Wildeve, Eustacia and Clym face passion, sorrow as well as challenges associated with superstition, faith and family bonds. Clym’s turbulent and intense relationship with his mother has a profound impact on his love life, leading to a tragedy for almost all involved. 

If you can’t think of anything more satisfying than the rustle of fallen leaves underfoot, then you will enjoy burying yourself in this breath-taking read this autumn.

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Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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