It’s the time of year when many of us start to feel that first chill in the air, the nights start to get longer, and trees start to put on their spectacular color show. It’s a time when I start to think about cozy things like hot spiced cider, warm apple pie, fragrant baked goods—and favorite books. Below are a few titles among my favorites to read at this time of year.
Talented cider-maker Sanna is struggling to keep her business and the family orchard afloat as real estate vultures hover, and help comes from an unexpected quarter. Guaranteed to make you want to run out in search of some really good cider!
Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.
Don’t miss Amy’s newest work of women’s fiction: The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go!
Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.
Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.
Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.
From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.
Judge Deborah Knott is serving as a substitute judge in the court of a picturesque town in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains, dodging obsessed leaf peepers and trying to determine the cause of an unexpected death.
New vicar (and retired MI5 intelligence agent) Max Tudor is settling in nicely in his cozy English village when preparations for the annual Harvest Fayre lead to the death of the bossy head of the Women’s Institute. Whodunnit?
Bakers may be drawn to Judith Ryan Hendricks’s BREAD ALONE. Abandoned by her husband, 31-year-old Wynter Morrison has a chance for a fresh new start when she finds a job in a Seattle bakery.
Pie lovers can try Susan Bishop Crispell’s SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES. Rachel mysteriously has the power to grant wishes. What happens when, fleeing the aftermath of an innocent mistake, she meets a woman who can bind wishes into pies?
For a touch of the supernatural (after all, Halloween is coming!), try Alice Hoffman’s novels centering on the Owens family of witches. MAGIC LESSONS (just released), RULES OF MAGIC, and PRACTICAL MAGIC (celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year) all make for absorbing reads.
An instant New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick from beloved author Alice Hoffman—the spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic.
Find your magic.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Yet, the children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
Alice Hoffman delivers “fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle” (The New York Times Book Review) in a story how the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is “irresistible…the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last forty pages, savoring your final moments with the characters” (USA TODAY, 4/4 stars).
For even more spooky vibes, try M. J. Rose’s Daughters of La Lune series, starting with THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS. Young socialite Sandrine runs to her grandmother in Belle Époque Paris, fleeing an abusive marriage, only to find that she must deal with a family curse and the possessive spirit of La Lune, a sixteenth-century courtesan and witch.
We are living for the drama of possession, power, and passion as they play out against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris in this novel. When Sandrine Salome flees New York for Paris to escape her dangerous husband, a family curse illuminates the fine line between explosive desire and complete ruination.
Still looking for something to fill in Fall’s lengthening evenings? Curl up with Kate Morton’s THE LAKE HOUSE, in which a young detective becomes obsessed by the mystery posed by an elegant but abandoned estate. If you enjoy this, and have somehow missed Kate Morton’s other titles, there are several of this bestselling novelist’s works available to help pass those long, dark nights!
Filled with mystery and spellbinding secrets, this novel is the perfect escape. Alice Edevane is only 16 years old when her 11-month-old brother vanishes from her family’s idyllic lakeside estate. Decades later, a detective stumbles upon the now crumbling estate and uncovers shocking truths about a past long gone ... yet more present than ever.