When you think of cozy books, what comes to mind?
You might think of winter, or mysteries with interesting characters (and not too much violence). Cozy mysteries, in fact, seem to be a genre and reading taste unto themselves.
But my definition of cozy books is a little broader. For me, cozy books have in common some element of isolation–sometimes literal and sometimes figurative.
The characters in cozy books often seem to exist in a world of their own, if only for a short time. They may be physically isolated, or they may be part of an intense friend or family relationship.
They are perfect options for the “cozy book” category on my More Joy, Less Stress Reading Challenge.
Cozy Books for the More Joy, Less Stress Reading Challenge
And of course, one of the categories on this reading challenge is cozy books.
The Certainty of Chance by Jacquelyn Middleton
The Certainty of Chance
by Jacquelyn Middleton
This is the book I’ll be reading for the “cozy books” category in my Books Recommendations
The certainty of chance by jacqueline middleton. i am a huge fan of jaclyn middleton’s writing her romances her stories and so i was honestly thrilled to have the opportunity to chat about her newest release.
That also has a bit of holiday flair just in time for the holiday season but this is an emotional very layered story that obviously has a romantic plot line is a dual perspective story as well which in general is my favorite type of perspective setup when it comes to romances.
I love being in the heads of both of our main characters and what they’re thinking, and this follows one of our main characters madeline and she is feeling much more meh than mary at the beginning of the story there is an icelandic volcanic eruption which basically shuts down the european airspace resulting in our main character madeleine being stranded in london right before Christmas.
Before this, she was on her way to travel to paris to spend time with her sister especially with the upcoming tragic anniversary of her best friend’s passing she was really looking to have that familial emotional support.
Madeleine herself has never felt less festive and she’s really just focused on now getting through this season. unfortunately for her on her cab ride back for hotel the cute cab driver will not stop talking to her about all the incredible festive things that are surrounding them in London.
cut to our other main character julian who is a sunny optimist and also a former music journalist. but now he has basically embraced his love for the city of london and started his own black cab business where he happily ferries around his customers showing off all of his favorite sites around the city.
But life has also not always been easy for julian after navigating many major life setbacks including the cruel betrayal of his previous fiancé. julian now is just looking to hopefully find a kind person he can spend the rest of his life with, who also shares his love of music and will love his corgi winnie.
Despite being a very unlikely match these two characters kind of come crashing into each other’s life and almost seem brought together by fate again this is a closed door romance it definitely has two wonderful characters and we’re able to embrace that through that dual perspective this is a beautifully romantic story first and foremost it is set in london during the holiday season.
and one of our main characters julian loves the holidays and through him we basically get a tour of in my opinion one of the best cities during christmas and it’s just absolutely delightful and just romantic music is also a very central plot line within the story as well which i really enjoyed but i do want to call out that this is a very layered narrative obviously grief is a very central element to this plot as well.
She has to confront so many of these emotions this i would also say is great for fans of one day in december does not have a pesky love triangle which personally i can find to be a little detracting especially in very emotional romance stories. if you guys want to learn more about this particular book click here.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Bringing Down the Duke
by Evie Dunmore
Bringing down the duke by Evie Dunmore. this is one of my favorite historical romance stories i just feel like it has it all from the characters to the humor to the steamy scenes and just the overall setting and vibe is so transporting and so fun.
This is also the first book to a series so if you enjoy evie dunmore’s writing you can check out other books that she has released. i personally am wanting to read the third book really soon i just love saving these types of books or when i’m traveling or just when i need a bit of a pick-me-up but this book is set in 1879 and follows her main character annabelle is a young and very brilliant woman but she comes from a poor family in the countryside.
But she was able to secure a spot at a very prestigious university but she achieved this by getting a scholarship but in return for receiving this scholarship she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement and part of her job is to actually convince a bunch of rich grumpy men to basically back them.
And move forward their goals within parliament itself she has been given a particularly difficult target sebastian Giroux. who is a cold and very calculating man and is the duke of montgomery but one that is very politically powerful.
so you basically read the story as these two characters go back and forth and slowly you begin to see their attraction for each other grow more and more a large part of this book actually takes place in a remote manner home the overall vibes of the story is just so much fun again i love annabelle as a main character and a lot of these side characters that she becomes friends with along the way are great as well and many of them also get their own book and story.
But it’s just truly a very successful steamy historical fiction romance and it has a lot of wintry landscapes so we see your characters traverse through. it’s cozy it’s warm and it will definitely keep you very entertained.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
In a Holidaze
by Christina Lauren
The next book i have to recommend is a holiday contemporary rom-com option another really quick read and definitely has a very central holiday setting and that is in a holidays by christina lauren.
I read this last holiday season and honestly flew through it it was a lot of fun definitely put a smile on my face and i also really appreciated the uniqueness the groundhog day element to the plot itself but this follows our main character mei and overall.
She would describe herself as being rather unhappy she’s been in love with the same man despite him not knowing her entire life she hates her job and the one thing she’s looked forward to every single year her entire life is traveling with her family to a remote cabin in utah where she spends the holiday season with her family as well as another family they’re very close with. and that family also contains the brother she has been in love with her entire life.
Unfortunately at the beginning of the story the families have decided to part ways with this cabin and they’re all spending one final holiday with each other.
essentially everything goes wrong that she could possibly think of over the course of this one final christmas and on the way back to the airport may sends a plea out to the universe to show her what will make her happy and from there everything goes black and mae herself wakes up again on the airplane heading back to Utah.
where she then begins to live the holiday season over and over and over again basically allowing her to see where her life could go if she makes different decisions along the way. again this is a very family-centric fun holiday rom-com story with a lot of pining as well as a kind of friends to lover situation it’s really cute it also is still rather steamy and i honestly found it to be very entertaining.
it is also as i said a super quick reads if you’re looking for a great travel book and one that is very christmas inspired this is a great one to pick up and who doesn’t love a remote snowy christmas cabin i know i sure do
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
by Jessica Townsend
A series i tend to always read during the holiday season that is nevermoor which is the first book to the trials of morgan crowe. this series is just so good.
It’s very beloved for a lot of fantastic reasons and it does in each book have a wonderful kind of holiday-centered scene i don’t really want to give too much away but in terms of christmas and holiday influence each book definitely has a flare of that and it’s just so excellently done. and this follows our main character morgan crowe and she is cursed and she’s also blamed for any misfortune that happens to her family or anyone in the town that she lives in and she’s also supposed to die on her 11th birthday.
But on the eve of her 11th birthday a very unusual thing happens. and that is a man named jupiter north appears and basically sweeps her away to this unknown magical place called nevermoor only is she introduced to all of the workings of this wondrous place but she’s also introduced to jupiter north’s magical hotel which basically transforms itself every single night to whatever its guests need.
But morgan also begins to learn not only about the magic but also when the first one begins to partake in trials to become part of a secret society of explorers we basically in the first one follow morgan not only as she makes friends and kind of learns more about the world or participates in these trials throughout this book.
The trials themselves are absolutely so fun to read this is a very whimsical and magical story but again there is some really great holiday moments throughout this book as well morgan crowe is a main character is delightful she makes so many friends you’ll fall in love with as well if you just love fun middle grade stories this is such a great book to pick up during the holiday season.
It’s a quick read and it’s just delightful it’s beautiful one of my favorite middle grade series out there. and one i think you should definitely read during the holiday season.
Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi
by Tahereh Mafi
The next book i have to recommend is another middle grade option but is a standalone and that is which would by tahereh mafi.
this book is a fantastic read for the winter season for a variety of reasons one which i’m sure you can tell by the cover is that it’s set in a very cold wintry magical place but two it is one of the most charming delightful stories it’s all about the warmth of friendship and kind of finding a new lease on life it will melt your heart.
I promise you it is so so adorable and this follows our main character laylee bailey can barely remember the happier days before her mother’s passing which also resulted in her father losing his way from home as well.
Now laylee is alone now laylee is alone in the sole remaining mortuar and the village of which would this particular duty is not only a hard one but it’s also incredibly important because laylee’s job is to basically prepare the dead for the next step the afterlife unfortunately with this job she’s so reliant upon the village’s benevolence as they’re supposed to pay and provide penance in her service of preparing the dead.
But unfortunately the village of which wood has lost its way itself and does not help lately as they should. at the beginning of the story laylee is overworked and filled with loneliness until two very familiar people kind of show up in her world and from there laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers magic and love and friendship.
This book is absolutely delightful first and foremost it’s set in this whimsical world called witchwood this is a world full of magic and again it’s kind of set in this wintery landscape but it’s still full of so much life and its own way tehedra mafi’s writing is absolutely delightful it’s full of all the middle grade whimsy that you would want and again.
This is a story that also has a lot of heaviness to it as well we follow a young girl who’s undertaken a tremendously difficult task also having to grieve the loss of her mother. and throughout the story we see her not only kind of gain some of her own life back some of her own magic back but is also able to begin to rely on people again it’s just a story that will hit you right in the feels right in the heart and i love it so much.
I just feel like it’s truly the perfect combination of middle grade magic but also having such wonderful characters and just a story arc that you will fall head first into not to mention again the setting is very holiday winter vibes. i mean we have frozen roses on the cover what more could you want.