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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Cozy Book Recommendations for Sweater Weather

Read on for book recommendations and places to enjoy them to satisfy your fiction fix.
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Claire Peterson
(Design by Claire Peterson | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

Sweater weather is upon us. Now is the perfect time to get away from the cold Utah weather by escaping into the expansive worlds of fiction.

Several genres come to mind when imagining fall reading — dark academia, mystery, fantasy and horror to name a few. Complete the reading experience by enjoying a newly bought book in the comfort of your local cafe.

Read on for book recommendations and places to enjoy them to satisfy your fiction fix.

Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo

Books within the dark academia genre always have a moody, autumnal atmosphere. “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo is no exception. Uncover the secrets of Yale’s secret societies with Alex Stern, a member of Yale’s ninth house, Lethe, that monitors the activities of the other houses. The occult and academia intersect, turning seemingly unassuming places into haunting locations of magic. This is a thrilling read, and each character will worm their way into your head long after you’ve finished the book. 

Lapvona” by Ottessa Moshfegh

To put it simply, “Lapvona” by Ottessa Moshfegh will creep you out. It’s grotesque and horrifying, but don’t let that drive you away from picking it up. It’s perfectly suited for autumn reading. Moshfegh blends light horror and uncanniness into a story set in a medieval fiefdom, while simultaneously examining a community’s reliance on religion. 

Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan

Clocking in at just over 100 pages, Claire Keegan’s “Small Things Like These” manages to pack an emotional punch with concise writing. Told from the perspective of a working father, the story details a small Irish town and the Magdalene laundries in the 1980s. Keegan expertly weaves the father’s perspective on life, family and youth into a snowy display of the tragedy. 

The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black

Escape into a world where humans and fae intermingle. As a standalone, this urban fantasy novel doesn’t ask a lot from its readers. Holly Black still creates an immersive world that feels like a fever dream. Take the fairytales you grew up on, warp them to create something darker, and you get this book. It’s the perfect read for getting tangled up in a world that blurs the distinction between myth and reality. 

Gallant” by V.E. Schwab 

A story about a nonverbal girl who can see ghosts comes to life with V.E. Schwab’s evocative prose in “Gallant.” Eerie and haunting, “Gallant” is the result of Schwab’s desire to write a “claustrophobic story.” The setting, a crumbling manor, plays as much of a part in the story as the characters themselves do. Black-and-white drawings strewn throughout the book to complete the atmospheric reading experience this book creates.

Where to Buy and Enjoy 

Weller Book Works, The King’s English Bookshop, Central Book Exchange and Marissa’s Books are all local bookstores you should support instead of shopping from places like Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Independent bookstores are the cornerstones of local communities, bringing people together over a shared love of stories and knowledge. They also tend to have more personality because their owners infuse their passion into the space, unlike a sterile Barnes & Noble or the online shopping experience offered by Amazon.

If you prefer Amazon for its cheap prices, consider buying used books instead. Buying used is an affordable way of supporting local bookstores without having to feel the effects on your wallet. Not only that, but you get to add to the journey of the book as it passes from one owner to the next.

After browsing these bookstores, I recommend you stop in a café like Sugar House Coffee, Coffee Garden, Blue Copper Coffee Room or Coffee Noir. Get yourself a treat and immerse yourself in a world that fits in your hands. I strongly recommend treating yourself with a day out visiting cozy bookstores in Salt Lake, browsing the shelves for a book that will transport you into another world and enjoying a warm drink in the quiet, bustling atmosphere of a café.

 

[email protected] 

@grieraberchrony

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About the Contributors
Grier Abercrombie, Arts Writer
(she/her) Grier Abercrombie is a sophomore studying English and computer science. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, she grew up going to the beach, playing the piano and video games, and reading, all of which are things she still loves to do.
Claire Peterson, Designer
Claire has been a part of the design desk at the Chronicle since 2021. She’s a senior studying urban ecology with minors in geography and architecture. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, skiing, and paddle boarding.

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