One of my favorite frugal hobbies is reading.
During this time of year when the weather starts to cool down, I love to cozy up with a warm mug of chai tea and a good book.
If you’re looking to get into the Fall spirit too, these 9 books cover many genres from feel-good romances to cozy murder mysteries.
Before you go paying full price for any of these books, let’s explore the ways you can read them for free or very inexpensively.
Check them out of your local library. When I find a list of books I’m excited about and don’t want to wait to read them, I request all books on the list.
This pretty much guarantees that I will have at least one of the books in my hands within a couple of days.
Ask Your Buy Nothing Facebook group, family, or friends if they will lend you the book. These are all fairly well-known books, so your community might have them!
Check free online resources such as Overdrive, the Libby app, and Digital Public Library of America to digitally borrow eBooks. You’ll need a library card to access Overdrive and Libby.
Buy USED on Amazon. If your local library doesn’t have the book, or you’ve read it and really want to own it, buying used will save you a lot.
Now let’s get into these 10 cozy books for Fall.
This is the first book on my list because of how comfortable and cozy you will feel when reading it.
Rosamunde Pilcher will transport you to the beautiful countryside of Scotland where you will be invited into the lives of wonderful characters.
“I gave this 5 stars not because it feeds my soul, but for the lovely journey & sated feeling I had by the end. I wanted to continue “visiting” with these people.”
As spring comes to Scotland and the hills burst into life, a dance is planned for September. The invitations summon home the group of people Violet Aird has cared for most in her long life.
Genres: Romance, Historical Fiction, Chick lit, Drama
If you like “cozy” murder mysteries, then this is the book for you.
“Despite being about murder, the book is infused with a sense of kindness and a faith in humanity that is quite refreshing and even healing.”
The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving Weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Surete du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines – a place so free from crime it doesn’t even have its own police force.
Genres: Cozy mystery, Crime, Detective, Thriller
If you’re looking for a magical and charming romance story, then this book will captivate you from start to finish.
“Just as a movie can be labeled as a feel-good movie, so can a book and Garden Spells definitely fall into that category. Throughout the read, I constantly found myself smiling and laughing while being moved by the story itself. You don’t often find a book that just makes you feel good, plain and simple.”
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it…
Genres: Magical realism, Romance, Fantasy, Chick Lit, Paranormal
This classic Gothic novel will be perfect for those who enjoy a slow burn mystery book. The writing is undeniably gorgeous and perfect for Halloween time.
“This is it. THE delicious, curl up next to the fire under a blanket with tea book. THE windowsill on a rainy day with your pet book. THE stay up all night book. A chill goes down your spine (but in a good way!) while reading it. Whether you’re generally a fan of mystery, romance or thrillers, this book is quite simply a delicious read.”
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”
Ancient, beautiful Manderley, between the rose garden and the sea, is the county’s showpiece. Rebecca made it so – even a year after her death, Rebecca’s influence still rules there. How can Maxim de Winter’s shy new bride ever fill her place or escape her vital shadow?
A shadow that grows longer and darker as the brief summer fades, until, in a moment of climatic revelations, it threatens to eclipse Manderley and its inhabitants completely…
Genres: Classics, Mystery, Gothic, Romance, Historical fiction, Thriller
If you love historical fiction, then this novel set in post-WWII might become your new favorite! It is written in epistolary format (letter correspondence), but don’t let that deter you.
“I was impressed with how well the authors melded actual historical facts about the island of Guernsey during WWII, and people’s wartime experiences, with the novel’s storyline.
While it deals with some harrowing experiences, it does so with a fairly light hand. It tends toward the “cozy” type of read, which isn’t a bad thing in my book. There’s a rich cast of characters, just a touch of romance, and some truly delightful humor.”
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Genres: Historical fiction, Romance, World War II
There are not many books that can evoke emotions quite like this one. It is a heartwarming story about love, loss, kindness, and friendship that will have you laughing and crying over and over again.
“I feel like this is a book for all ages – it’s heartwarming, funny, and helps you try to see the good in people. It has so many important messages and is written so beautifully – I cannot recommend it enough!”
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window.
He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.
All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
Genres: Contemporary, Humor
This is the first book in the Mitford series – a warm and relaxing read.
Keep in mind that is has a religious undertone, but don’t let that stop you from reading it!
“If you’re looking for gentle wit, a bit a sarcasm, likeable characters, lovable dogs (a few cats), great storylines including some nice love stories, as well as great spiritual messages without it becoming preachy, you will love reading about Mitford and Father Tim.”
It’s easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable.
Yet, Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won’t go away.
Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that’s sixty years old.
Suddenly, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. And readers get a rich, provincial comedy in which mysteries and miracles abound.
Genres: Christian fiction, Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
This is one of those books that you won’t want to put down. It will capture your heart and imagination as you journey with characters throughout time.
“Morton jumps from time period to time period, country to country, character to character in a flawless manner.
The imagery is astounding. The relationships are well planned. Morton keeps you guessing as to how it’s all connected with the garden up front and center the whole way through the ride.“
Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her.
But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.
Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace—the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century—Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.
Genres: Historical fiction, Mystery, Romance
If you are dreading the cold, dreary winter months and looking for a book that makes you feel inspired after reading it – grab a copy of The Hygge Holiday!
“This was a cozy, sweet book of new beginnings, second chances, finding your own place, and happiness. A story full of hope, that immediately draws you in and makes you feel warmer and better.“
It’s autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.
Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother’s shop.
Joe is very busy and important in the city and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?
Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?
Genres: Romance, Chick lit, Holiday, Contemporary, cozy mystery