Picking up a good book can offer a nice reprieve from studying
It’s that time of year again — the dreaded midterm season. And with it, the high blood pressure and stress levels that permeate the soul of every university student. During this time, it’s more important than ever to find a way to stay sane throughout this hectic, mid-way point of the semester.
If you’re like me, sometimes you just need to pick up a good book that you can curl up with in your favourite spot on a cold and rainy day. Allowing you to put your intense academic readings and workload on the backburner, and escape to another reality for awhile (or at least a couple of hours until the calls of academia can no longer be ignored).
This is a list of books that encompass that fall feeling, perfectly matching the cosy season, and might make you feel a little warmer inside, perhaps providing an incentive to tackle your studying once again.
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
I couldn’t write a top five list of cosy, comfort books without including Little Women. If you’re looking for a heart-warming coming-of-age story about a family of four sisters dealing with circumstances of love and death, war and peace, and women’s struggle between familial duty and personal growth — then this one’s for you.
Even for a book written in 1868, Jo March, the main protagonist, holds up to this day as an iconic feminist main character, whose burning desire to be a writer in a time where traditional gender roles made that goal extremely difficult.
With many moments in the book taking place in the fall, Alcott’s lively description of the girls’ hometown of Concord, Massachusetts makes this book the perfect fall read.
Anxious People, Fredrik Backman
Looking for a little humorous and psychological fiction to settle down with in your heated blanket on a dark and cold night? Fredrik Backman is an author that’s hard to put down.
Anxious People is a story about a disastrous bank robbery that ends up turning an apartment viewing into a hostage situation. Comedically, the captives are constantly argumentative, the bank robber is distressed, and the realtor is overall inept at handling such a situation.
However, when police hear a gunshot go off and they find blood in the apartment, the situation gets serious when the missing bank robber disappears and can’t be found.
Backman takes his readers on a rollercoaster of emotions through every page pairing moments of absurd hilarity with others of deep anguish. Ultimately, this is a story about a group of extremely different people stuck together and experiencing empathy, learning to connect, and unpacking the battles that we are all facing.
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle
What’s a fall reading list without the gothic and detective fiction genre? Arthur Conan Doyle’s character, Sherlock Holmes, is one of the most recognized fictional detectives in literature history. The Hound of the Baskervilles is the perfect crime and mystery book for the spooky season.
The plot revolves around Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick and friend John Watson, as they investigate the local legend of a supernatural hound that is supposedly responsible for inflicting terrifying deaths at a country estate.
Now, with the hound’s sights on a young heir who lives in that estate on the moorland, it is up to Holmes and Watson to figure out what’s going on, and how to stop it before it’s too late.
This novel is perfect if you’re looking for something a little chilling and supernatural for the fall season. Most of the action takes place at night in the fog, creating an eerie setting and mysterious atmosphere for the majority of the book.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
For all my romance, enemies-to-lovers fanatics out there, Pride and Prejudice is a must-read this cosy season. Set in rural England at the turn of the 19th century, the book focuses on the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and Mr. Darcy, a rich man and owner of a very expensive estate in England.
An independent woman navigating societal expectations, laugh-out-loud moments, Jane Austen’s classic wittiness, and regency-era visuals. What more could someone want, other than a hot chocolate to go with it?
Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
A Canadian classic, a large portion of Anne of Green Gables takes place during the fall, making it the ultimate fall read and immaculately encompasses the season as a whole.
The novel follows the story of a red-headed orphan girl named Anne Shirley who lives on Prince Edward Island. By mistake, she gets adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, an elderly brother and sister who sought to adopt a boy to help run their farm, Green Gables.
Anne, a spirited and imaginative young girl, brings unexpected adventure into their lives with her curiosity and passion for life.
No one can put into better words the goodness of the fall season than Anne Shirley: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?”