Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
Everyone has their own definition of cosy, but mine is “I feel warm and fuzzy after reading this, and could well reach for it when feeling ill/down.”
1. THE AGENCY FOR SCANDAL, by Laura Wood
To be fair, I could have titled this entry “literally anything Laura Wood writes” because every single one of her books I’ve read (from her YA A SKY PAINTED GOLD to her MG VOTE FOR EFFIE) has felt like being wrapped in a big warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. And that, to me, is the definition of a big cosy book.
However, I am going to specifically focus on the upcoming THE AGENCY FOR SCANDAL. This is a historical romance set in Victorian England about Izzy, a member of the female-run agency who help women deal with their husbands when the law turns a blind eye. Unfortunately, her latest case implicates her secret crush, Max, the Duke of Roxton.
2. THE PAPER AND HEARTS SOCIETY, by Lucy Powrie
THE PAPER AND HEARTS SOCIETY is a UKYA trilogy of standalones each following a different member of this friendship group-cum-book club as they face challenges such as bullying, burn out, and starting a new job. I love both the warmth of the tales and also the way they tackle big topics, aimed at the lower end of YA, which is a highly underrepresented group.
While there is romance, the focus is the friendship group and their various bookish adventures. They go on a Jane Austen themed road trip, have their own Regency dance, and other classic-related events. Plus the books are told through chapters and group chat messages, which I really liked.
3. The Adventures on Trains Series, by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
Are you sick of me talking about this series yet? Well, I love it so much so I’m just going to keep yabbering on about it!
The Adventures on Trains series (THE HIGHLAND FALCON THIEF, KIDNAP ON THE CALIFORNIA COMET, MURDER ON THE SAFARI STAR, DANGER AT DEAD MAN’S PASS, SABOTAGE ON THE SOLAR EXPRESS, and THE ARCTIC RAILWAY ASSASSIN) combines two things I find really cosy (murder mysteries and MG) into something SUPER cosy.
Hal and his Uncle Nat like taking trips on trains, and if they’re overnight, all the better. Unfortunately for them, they often seem to stumble across a mystery, and its up to artist Hal and his journalist-and-possibly-also-a-spy uncle to solve the case!
4. WINTER’S ORBIT, by Everina Maxwell
WINTER’S ORBIT is a standalone sci-fi romance (it has a companion/same galaxy book) about a diplomat and a prince who marry to keep a treaty alive. Except the diplomat is then accused of murdering his former partner, and the pair must find out what really happened before the treaty (and everything that depends on it) crumbles.
I have lost track of how many times I’ve read this book. The central relationship is warm and fuzzy, with two people who have their own burdens coming to trust one another and through that see value in themselves. I love the sensitive way it handles the affect of domestic abuse, how it lingers even once the abuser is out of the abusee’s life.
5. THE VERY SECRET SOCIETY OF IRREGULAR WITCHES, by Sangu Mandanna
THE VERY SECRET SOCIETY OF IRREGULAR WITCHES is hands-down my favourite audiobook listen of the year. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend you give this one a listen.
This adult fantasy is quirky in the best possible way. I laughed so much, and it so British (set mainly in Norwich and its surrounds) which made it feel even cosier to me because the setting was familiar (but magical). It is about people on the edge of society, due to a need to hide their magic, coming together to find a home – and a community.
6. THE BEAST AND THE BETHANY, by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Time for another quirky entry, though a MG rather than adult novel. THE BEAST AND THE BETHANY is about a man who fears dying, so has bargained with a beast to feed it whatever it desires in order to gain immortality potions, and a naughty girl selected to be its next meal.
It’s funny and silly and about two people from different backgrounds and with different goals coming to care for one another. It’s also about when it’s necessary to be “naughty” and when to be “nice.” And just generally a good time is had when reading this series.
7. YEAR OF THE REAPER, by Makiia Lucier
A book about the aftermath of a plague and political turmoil thanks to an alliance not every one wants on the surface doesn’t seem like a cosy book. But there’s something so comforting about the way Makiia Lucier writes.
It’s not detached but a bit removed. There’s still plenty of emotions, but it’s not the overly heady go go go that’s so typical in YA, one that I can find artificial and too much (which I suspect is a reflection of how I process feelings.) YEAR OF THE REAPER showcases that gorgeous, stately prose so well, and the mystery element of the plot, not to mention the atypical way it ends, has me reaching for re-reads.
8. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
The Thrawn Trilogy is a Star Wars trilogy that was “cannon” until Disney acquired the franchise and started the latest series of films. It prevents a series of events happening to Luke, Leia, Han, and the new republic as they try to keep the galaxy together, but some parts of the empire are still holding out.
I haven’t read this in years (lost my copies and only recently acquired replacements) but when I was younger, this series came under “nightmare books.” This was a collection of books I’d read when I woke up after a nightmare (I had a lot of nightmares as a child/young teen.) I’m looking forward to revisiting them – and I also want to get around to finding and reading the series about the main villain, Thrawn.
9. MIDNIGHT IN EVERWOOD, by M. A. Kuzniar
MIDNIGHT IN EVERWOOD is a reimagining of the Nutcracker with a heavy emphasis on the ballet side of things. It follows a ballerina in the early 1900s swept away to a magical, wintry world, to the court of a tyrannical king and made to dance for him.
The book is magical, full of wintry forests and banquets of sweets, but it is also has a dark undertone to it. It is definitely one for curling up with on a cold day with a mug of a sweet hot drink and not getting up until you’ve finished it.
10. BRIGHTSTORM, by Vashti Hardy
BRIGHTSTORM is the start of a middle grade fantasy trilogy about explorers who use sky-ships to find new lands and new discoveries. It is also about the damage that greedy, unrespectful explorers can bring to other lands, those who seek out new places to profit from them.
It perfectly captures the wonder of learning about new lands, with the books taking the reader to the frozen south, a volcanic north, and mysterious water-y lands. At the same time it’s a story about siblings trying to discover who they are on their own and found family.
What are your favourite cosy books?