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Bookworm Love: 9 Cozy Reads with Bookish Characters

Jennifer Proffitt
September 28 2021
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If you are a bookworm, perhaps the only thing you might love more than discovering a new favorite read is finding other book lovers in fiction. Autumn ushers in a season full of sweater weather, cozy days drinking tea and, of course, reading. The books on this list will leave you feeling like you’re tucked into a pleasant book nook surrounded by your favorite type of people: readers.

Cloud Cuckoo Land
by Anthony Doerr

CLOUD CUCKOO LAND transports you from fifteenth-century Constantinople to a small town in present-day Idaho to an interstellar ship decades from now. The one thing that connects these vastly different settings is the readers that inhabit them and the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. In Constantinople, thirteen-year-old Anna’s life is changed when she teaches herself to read and passes the story of Aethon on to the people in her life. In present-day Idaho, octogenarian Zeno leads children in a rehearsal for the play adaptation of Aethon’s story, and finally in a not-so-distant future, Konstance copies the story of Aethon, as told to her by her father.

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Cloud Cuckoo Land
Anthony Doerr

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time, comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story.

The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are trying to figure out the world around them: Anna and Omeir, on opposite sides of the formidable city walls during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour in an attack on a public library in present day Idaho; and Konstance, on an interstellar ship bound for an exoplanet, decades from now. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, and Konstance are dreamers and outsiders who find resourcefulness and hope in the midst of peril.

An ancient text—the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky—provides solace and mystery to these unforgettable characters. Doerr has created a tapestry of times and places that reflects our vast interconnectedness—with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us and those who will be here after we’re gone.

Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman

In THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL, Nina works for her neighborhood bookstore and loves her life—filled with book clubs, scheduled days where she does nothing but read, and trivia league competitions. However, her bookish life gets turned upside down when the father she never knew dies and leaves her something in his will, along with siblings and nieces and nephews.

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Abbi Waxman

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In a Book Club Far Away
by Tif Marcelo

IN A BOOK CLUB FAR AWAY, Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden used to be best friends, bonded over a book club they started as army wives at Fort East. However, a betrayal splinters the group, and they don’t speak again until years later when Adelaide needs Regina and Sophie’s help to care for her young daughter when she undergoes emergency surgery while her husband is stationed abroad. Books once brought these women together, but can those memories of book club help them reforge their friendship once again?

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In a Book Club Far Away
Tif Marcelo

From the author of Once Upon a Sunset and The Key to Happily Ever After comes a heartwarming and moving novel following three Army wives—estranged friends—who must overcome their differences when one of them is desperate for help.

Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden used to be best friends. As Army wives at Fort East, they bonded during their book club and soon became inseparable. But when an unimaginable betrayal happened amongst the group, the friendship abruptly ended, and they haven’t spoken since.

That’s why, eight years later, Regina and Sophie are shocked when they get a call for help from Adelaide. Adelaide’s husband is stationed abroad, and without any friends or family near her new home of Alexandria, Virginia, she has no one to help take care of her young daughter when she has to undergo emergency surgery. For the sake of an innocent child, Regina and Sophie reluctantly put their differences aside to help an old friend.

As the three women reunite, they must overcome past hurts and see if there’s any future for their friendship. Featuring Tif Marcelo’s signature “enchanting prose” (Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake) and the books that brought them together in the first place, In a Book Club Far Away honors the immense power of female friendship and how love can defy time, distance, and all old wounds.

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Happily Ever After
by Harriet Evans

“And they all lived happily ever after” is a story ending we’re all fairly familiar with, but in HAPPILY EVER AFTER, shy bookworm Eleanor Bee doesn’t believe in happy endings. Elle pledges to transform herself into someone who is bright, confident, and sophisticated. But life has other plans for Elle, and it has a few lessons in store for her that she can’t learn from one of her books.

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Happily Ever After
Harriet Evans

A poignant, romantic, and delightful new novel about a young woman who refuses to believe happy endings are real, from internationally bestselling author Harriet Evans, who perfectly captures the complex lives of young twenty-first-century career women with an “effortlessly readable...comic style and loveable characters” (Marie Claire, UK).

At twenty-two, Eleanor Bee is sure about three things: she wants to move to London and become a literary superstar; she wants to be able to afford to buy a coffee and croissant every morning; and after seeing what divorce did to her parents—especially her mum—she doesn’t believe in happy endings.

Elle moves to London. She gets a job at Bluebird Books, a charmingly old-fashioned publisher. She falls out of bars, wears too-short skirts, makes lots of mistakes, and feels like she’s learning nothing and everything at the same time. And then, out of the blue, she falls in love, and that’s when she realizes just how much growing up she has to do.

Ten years on, Elle lives in New York, and you could say she has found success; certainly her life has changed in ways she could never have predicted. But no matter where you go and how much you try to run away, the past has a funny way of catching up with you...

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Much Ado About You
by Samantha Young

You may have dreamed of escaping your everyday responsibilities and working in a bookstore in a small village in England, but Evangeline Starling makes that a reality when she realizes her life in Chicago is missing something in MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU. Evangeline quits her job and plans a holiday to a quaint English village; the package comes complete with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. However, when Evangeline went looking to shake up her life, she didn’t expect to find love with sexy farmer, Roane Robson.

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Much Ado About You
Samantha Young

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The Book Charmer
by Karen Hawkins

For many of us, books feel like they come alive when we read them. For Sarah Dove, in THE BOOK CHARMER, books live, breathe, and sometimes even speak. As a librarian in her Southern town of Dove Pond, this gift helps her place the right book in the right reader’s hands. Then Grace Wheeler comes to town and sets the books to whispering about her arrival.

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The Book Charmer
Karen Hawkins

New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins crafts an unforgettable story about a sleepy Southern town, two fiercely independent women, and a truly magical friendship.

Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books have always been more than just objects: they live, they breathe, and sometimes they even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler.

If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents—Sarah chief among them. It takes a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, but Grace ultimately embraces the challenge to rescue her charmed new community. In her quest, she discovers the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the power of finding just the right book.

“A mesmerizing fusion of the mystical and the everyday” (Susan Andersen, New York Times bestselling author), The Book Charmer is a heartwarming story about the magic of books that feels more than a little magical itself. Prepare to fall under its spell.

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The Bookstore
by Deborah Meyler

Among the shelves of a shabby secondhand bookstore in Manhattan, a colorful cast of characters finds solace and new beginnings together in THE BOOKSTORE. When Esme Garland, a young British student in New York City, starts a new job at The Owl bookstore, she vows to manage on her own—even after discovering she’s pregnant. While Esme has a lot of hard decisions to make in the near future, the books she sells, the shop, and the people in it are a bright spot in her world.

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The Bookstore
Deborah Meyler

A young, pregnant woman finds a chance at salvation when she gets a job in a shabby Manhattan bookstore after her boyfriend dumps her. The colorful and quirky people who call the bookstore home form an unlikely family. This witty debut is a stirring celebration of books and the people who sell, read, and love them.

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Lost in Paris
by Elizabeth Thompson

Hannah Bond leads a quiet life after escaping Florida, and her unstable mother in LOST IN PARIS. But that quiet life—complete with leading Jane Austen tours through the British countryside, the perfect job for any bookworm—is disrupted when her mother shows up in her London flat with a black eye and an envelope with the deed to an apartment in Paris, an old key, and newspaper clippings about the death of a famous writer named Andres Armand. When Hannah and her mother journey to Paris, they discover an apartment frozen in time and filled with clues to a mystery.

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Lost in Paris
Elizabeth Thompson

“A luscious, layered story of inheritance, heartbreak, reinvention, and family. I adored this book.” —Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

When a deed to an apartment in Paris turns up in an old attic trunk, an estranged mother and daughter must reunite to uncover the secret life of a family matriarch—perfect for fans of The Little Paris Bookshop and The Beekeeper’s Daughter.

Hannah Bond has always been a bookworm, which is why she fled Florida—and her unstable, alcoholic mother—for a quiet life leading Jane Austen-themed tours through the British countryside. But on New Year’s Eve, everything comes crashing down when she arrives back at her London flat to find her mother, Marla, waiting for her.

Marla’s brought two things with her: a black eye from her ex-boyfriend and an envelope. Its contents? The deed to an apartment in Paris, an old key, and newspaper clippings about the death of a famous writer named Andres Armand. Hannah, wary of her mother’s motives, reluctantly agrees to accompany her to Paris, where against all odds, they discover great-grandma Ivy’s apartment frozen in 1940 and covered in dust.

Inside the apartment, Hannah and Marla discover mysterious clues about Ivy’s life—including a diary detailing evenings of drinking and dancing with Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, and other iconic expats. Outside, they retrace her steps through the city in an attempt to understand why she went to such great lengths to hide her Paris identity from future generations.

A heartwarming and charming saga set in the City of Lights, Lost in Paris is an unforgettable celebration of family and the love between a mother and a daughter.

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A Window Opens
by Elisabeth Egan

Alice Pearse has a lot on her plate in A WINDOW OPENS. She’s just started a job at Scroll, a start-up that promises to be the future of reading, and despite the disapproval of her best friend who owns the local bookstore, Alice has it all figured out . . . or so she thinks. But suddenly the responsibilities of being a successful professional woman, a wife and mother of three, and an attentive daughter all catch up with her, and Alice has to figure out what having it all really means.

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A Window Opens
Elisabeth Egan

Alice Pearse wants to have a satisfying career and a thriving personal life. But when she starts her dream job, her time away from home puts strains on her marriage, her children, her parents, and her friends. Eventually, Alice realizes that what’s most important is not “having it all” but finding out what she really wants.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Photo credit: iStock / humonia

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