Fall is almost here - in search of cozy books!
August 19, 2019 1:51 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a specific kind of cozy that has a domestic, connected-with-nature, everything-will-be-alright vibe. If it features homesteading, dogs, fireplaces, children or wise grandmothers - all the better! I especially like it if the cozy protagonist goes against the grain of the established system. Things that have been the right kind of cozy for me before below the cut:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
The movie Captain Fantastic
Earth Abides by G.R.Stewart

I'll take fantasy, sci-fi and magical realism as well as high-brow fiction.
Not a big fan of historical novels and mysteries.

Trow your favorite autumn comfort read at me!
posted by luminary to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern hit the perfect tone of intriguing fantasy without falling into whimsy.
posted by humuhumu at 3:42 AM on August 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

Based on your examples, I think you might like Marilynn Robinson. Start with Housekeeping, or Gilead.

For my personal definition of cozy, I keep coming back to Winter's Tale, The Last Unicorn, and pretty much anything by Fannie Flagg.
posted by Mchelly at 4:46 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Prodigal Summer might do this for you.
posted by metasarah at 6:31 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This probably doesn't fit everyone's definition of cozy, but something about the fact you listed The Goldfinch as falling in this category makes me think it might work for you.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 6:32 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard - connecting with nature is the main theme, also cabin living
The Overstory by Richard Powers - about trees and interconnectedness of species which fits nicely into fall theme
The Way Home by Mark Boyle - lyrical account of homesteading
posted by BeHereNow at 7:23 AM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed “Deep Country” by Neil Ansell. I think it ticks all of your boxes! He leaves London to homestead in remote Welsh hills for five years. It has a lovely cadence.

Also, seconding Annie Dillard—Pilgrim is an incredible book.
posted by stillmoving at 7:31 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you like mysteries, you might like Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series. He's a high ranking detective with Canada's Surete and lives in the tiny town of Three Pines. They're "character driven" he's definitely an against-the-grain guy but mostly in good ways. They're murder mysteries but not very violent (or rapey) and there are a LOT of fireplaces, snuggy cups of cocoa, dogs and things mostly working out (though not always). The grandmother figure is a bit of a loose cannon but she's a pretty great character.
posted by jessamyn at 7:56 AM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

The gardening books by Beverly Nichols hit this spot for me.
Also The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:01 AM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

It is literally a book set in summer, but I would still recommend The Summer Book by Tove Jansson: An elderly woman and her six-year-old granddaughter Sophia spend a summer together on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland exploring, talking about life, nature, everything but their feelings about Sophia's mother's death and their love for one another.
"Every year, the bright Scandinavian summer nights fade away without anyone’s noticing. One evening in August you have an errand outdoors, and all of a sudden it’s pitch-black. A great warm, dark silence surrounds the house. It is still summer, but the summer is no longer alive. It has come to a standstill; nothing withers, and fall is not ready to begin. There are no stars yet, just darkness."

Also, have you ever read Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, which is basically magic realism? (It can get a bit twee now and then, but is still worth a read in my opinion.)
posted by gudrun at 11:07 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Currently reading the Goldfinch, next on my list is The Chaperone which I think may fit your criteria
posted by cross_impact at 12:26 PM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold! There is definitely some adventure and tension but it all works out in the end, and is super cozy with homesteading, fireplaces, and a lovely romance too. The first one is Beguilement. (CW: miscarriage through monster-violence very early in the first book.)

Also Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (so domestic and gentle and fun!) and Beauty by Robin McKinley (a gorgeous retelling of Beauty and the Beast) if you haven’t read them yet!
posted by bananacabana at 4:21 PM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm reading Pam Houston's Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country, and it might be up your alley -- it has stories of homesteading, fireplaces, and dogs in droves. It's a memoir centered on love of place, written by a woman who travels half the year but cherishes rounding the bend toward the 120-acre ranch she shares with her horses, donkeys, sheep, and wolfhounds. (CW for mentions of her abusive childhood, but the spirit of joy amid pain that suffuses the book earns it a spot on this list, I think.)
posted by nuannarpoq at 9:35 PM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for excellent recommendations!
posted by luminary at 12:28 AM on August 20, 2019

It's been a while since I read it, but I found "Fifty Acres and a Poodle" by Jeanne Marie Laskas delightful (and at least ticks your "homesteading" and "dogs" boxes). From Goodreads: "Jeanne Marie Laskas had a dream of fleeing her otherwise happy urban life for fresh air and open space — a dream she would discover was about something more than that. But she never expected her fantasy to come true — until a summer afternoon’s drive in the country."
posted by Empidonax at 10:35 AM on August 20, 2019

I've been describing Evvie Drake Starts Over as a cozy romance and recommending it to everyone this week.
posted by faethverity at 11:16 AM on August 25, 2019

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