A Cozy Fall Book List for Lovers of Magic

The crunch of leaves underfoot, the feel of a crisp fall wind blowing through my hair, and the beauty of a crystal blue sky dotted with bursts of orange from trees dotting the horizon always puts me in the mood to snuggle up with a cup of chamomile tea and a good book. There’s no better way for me to wind down at the end of a long day than reading.

Fall always feels like the most magical time of year for me. Maybe it’s because I was raised on the fantastical delights of Harry Potter, which heavily feature autumn scenery and the energy boost that comes along with the cold snap’s bite, or perhaps it revolves around the hauntings of ghouls and ghosts at Halloween. Whatever the reason, fall is the perfect time of year to transport yourself to a world of mystique and magic! Read on for a list of my favorite worlds of mystery to dive into as the world glows with russet tones.

  1. 1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

    While the whole Harry Potter series encapsulates the cozy feeling of fall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is my personal favorite to re-read at this time of year. For me, the first installment in the series is the perfect way to bring warmth and comfort into my life — it feels like I’m coming home, and is a personal favorite read when I’m homesick. The novel fills me with complete relaxation and contentment. Joy and wonder bloom in the pages as Harry boards the Hogwarts Express, lounges by the fire in the Gryffindor common room, drinks pumpkin juice, and explores Hogwarts for the very first time. 

  2. 2. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

    One doesn’t immediately think of the sandy shores of Greece when she ponders the beauty of autumn, but I promise this book is one of the coziest and most magical novels you will ever read. The Song of Achilles is perfect for the lover of all things Greek mythology — it’s a fantastic mature narrative for the avid Percy Jackson fan. A fictional retelling of Homer’s Iliad, this story encapsulates the true meaning of love, friendship, and courage. You might even learn something about yourself along the way… 

  3. 3. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

    Ghosts, demons, and ancient rituals fill the pages of this book, and within a matter of pages, I was enveloped in the world of Chinese superstitions and folklore. I’m currently in the middle of reading this book, and I can’t put it down! The protagonist is a woman of courage, strength, and determination that fights for her own life and doesn’t bend to the wishes of others. Filled with plot twists and surprises, the novel is a page-turner through and through. For those that want a spooky (yet cozy) read, this is a great place to begin. 

  4. 4. The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

    Before I begin my ode to The Twilight Saga, I would like to openly admit that this series contains an extremely cheesy narrative and writing that is nowhere near the level of a Pulitzer prize winner. That being said, the story encased in these pages is snug and warm and full of supernatural abilities. This was the first series I was allowed to read that wasn’t targeted towards anyone aged 13 and below, so maybe I love it because of the nostalgia factor. While it’s faced some harsh criticism over the years, I always love re-reading this series during the fall and winter. For some reason, watching Bella awkwardly navigate a life full of vampires and werewolves is extremely comforting. If you’ve never read it before, I highly recommend you do! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 

  5. 5. The Magicians by Lev Grossman

    This trilogy is by far my favorite narrative published in the past 10 years. The Magicians is basically a grown-up version of Harry Potter, answering the question: what if Harry Potter went to college in America? The amount of praise I can give to this series is infinite. From its depictions of mental health struggles to its unique grasp on magic as a skill that must be learned through sweat, blood, and determination, this narrative constructs the world I’ve always wanted to inhabit. While many people skip over reading the books because of the TV adaptation, I can assure you that the two are extremely different. If you’re only going to read one book this fall, make it this one — you won’t regret it in any way. 

I know that school makes it nearly impossible to find time for fun reading during the academic year, but the above literature is the perfect way to unwind after class. Put on a face mask and a pair of fuzzy socks, sip on some tea, and allow yourself to enter a world of no stress, no midterms, and no troubles at all… 

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