I love cozy books... books about cabins with woodstoves, comfortable living rooms, abundant country gardens, warm friendships, enjoying long sun-kissed days of summer or deciding to coorie in on a cold winter evening.
In this post, I've curated some of the best cozy books to enjoy on a quiet night in when all you want to do is retreat into the pages of a good book and de-stress.
They're perfect to read in your favourite cozy place, whether that's by the fireplace, on the sofa, in bed, or soaking in the bath. Read on to warm your heart and ease your nerves...
The most cozy books to read during a quiet evening at home
1. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Shell Seekers is one of the most cozy and wholesome books ever written, and it will always make me think of summer on the beach in Cornwall and quaint English villages just like the one I grew up in.
It's a book that's touched the hearts of millions of readers worldwide, about one family in Southern England and the passions and heartbreaks that have held them together for three generations.
The world that Rosamunde Pilcher created is so warm, rich, and immersive that you can't help but tumble into its country lanes, delicate artwork, and family tiffs and quirks. It's a warm and enduring classic that offers the kind of reading experience that only comes along once in a while.
2. A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Described by Martha Wells as “an optimistic vision of a lush, beautiful world”, Becky Chambers’s delightful Monk and Robot series is full of feel-good vibes and hope for the future.
In its unique world where nature is adored and respected, it’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness, laid down their tools, wandered together into the wilderness, and faded into myth and urban legend.
But one day, the life of a tea monk is turned upside down by a robot at their door, asking “what do people need?” And that is a very good – and difficult – question. Here's my review of A Psalm for the Wild-Built.
3. Still Life by Louise Penny
"Peter swept aside Yogi Tea and Harmony Herbal Blend, though he hesitated a second over the chamomile. …. But no. Violent death demanded Earl Grey...”
It's set in October in Quebec with families gathering for Thanksgiving, characters sitting by the fire as night falls, and friends meeting for meals at the local bistro.
At least on the surface, life is incredibly idyllic in the village of Three Pines, but long-buried secrets are starting to reappear. This cozy book is best read with a cup of hot tea and a crumbly pastry.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another – whether that’s putting on a play, forming a secret society, or accepting and forgiving each other exactly as they are.
As one of the most wholesome comfort reads ever written, Little Women is Louisa May Alcott’s classic story of four sisters: grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. It's the perfect book to read or reread on a cozy night in.
5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Each time I think back to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I imagine cozy autumn days in rural Sussex in England, which is where I grew up and the book is also set.
This is one of Neil Gaiman’s most delicate yet terrifying books, centered on a mysterious farm at the end of the road, the unremembered past, and children who are wise beyond their years.
6. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
For a warm and cozy hotel feeling, read A Gentleman in Moscow. This bestselling book is a beautifully transporting novel about Count Alexander Rostov, a man who, in 1922, is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal and ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.
Rostov, who has never worked a day in his life, must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors.
Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery – and towards a far deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
7. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
In Garden Spells, an enchanting novel that feels like a warm blanket of a book, we meet the Waverley family; curious and endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina.
Claire Waverley is known for the dishes she makes with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets to the pansies that make children thoughtful.
Although Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, fled Bascom the moment she could, she now suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own. In this captivating book, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down and the sisters are left to deal with their common legacy.
8. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
Whenever I think of A Wild Sheep Chase, I think of snowy countryside. Some of that is because I read it on a winter train journey to Chamonix, France, but it's also because of the book's setting.
In this trippy and quasi-detective tale that's a perfect book for winter, we follow an unnamed, chain-smoking narrator to snowy Hokkaido in Japan.
The reason for the narrator's adventure is to search for a strange sheep with a star-shaped birthmark, accompanied by his girlfriend who possesses magically seductive and supernaturally perceptive ears. (What can I say, it's a Murakami novel.)
9. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
The Bookshop on the Corner is a wonderfully cozy book about books. Set in a sweet little Scottish town that you'll soon want to move to, Nina is a literary matchmaker: a librarian with a gift of finding the perfect book for her readers. However, after losing the job she loves, Nina must make a new life for herself.
Determined and ready for a new start, Nina moves to a sleepy village where she buys a van and transforms it into a mobile bookshop. She drives her bookmobile from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
10. The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
This full-hearted novel is a cozy book about Olivia Rawlings, a big-city pastry chef extraordinaire who discovers the true meaning of home when she escapes from the city to the most comforting place she can think of – the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont.
This is meant to be just a short getaway, until Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and not sure what else to do next, Livvy accepts – and realises that the most unexpected twists and turns in life can be the best things to happen to you.
So, which cozy book will you read next? Take your pick and treat yourself to a warm cup of tea, a cozy blanket, and freedom from notifications and distractions for some relaxing time to unwind.
Enjoy more from me
- Retreat into my new book, Your Life in Bloom: Finding Your Path and Your Courage, Grounded in the Wisdom of Nature.
- I'm also the author of Mountain Song: A Journey to Finding Quiet in the Swiss Alps, a book about my time living alone by the mountains.
- If you love books, are feeling a little lost right now, and would love some gentle comfort and guidance, join The Sanctuary, my seven-day course to rebalance your life.