Transitional Reads | Recommendations

22 November 2019

Sometime between the peak of fall and the beginning of the bitter cold of winter is my absolute favorite time of year to read. I get a new found enthusiasm about all the books I want to read before the end of the year. I get to feel more cozy while I read, curled up with a mug of tea under a mountain of blankets, with the unpredictable pattern of midwest snow or chilling rain outside my window. Despite the perfect atmosphere for reading, however, it can be one of the hardest times of the year to pick out perfect books to read.

Though typically I'm fine reading anything during any time of year, there's something special about reading something seasonal at just the right time. The seasons can have a strong influence over what books I gravitate towards and crave throughout the year. For me spring and summer are the times to read contemporary, the beginning of the fall is for scary thrillers and suspenseful mysteries, and winter is when I love to pick up dense fantasy and classics.

This transitional time between fall and winter, when the seasons begin to blend together, calls for a specific type of book. Something soft to recover from the thrilling, scary reads of October. Something whimsical to get ready for the magic of Christmas, yet something suspenseful to keep you hooked. It's hard to find books that fit that mold, but I have five today to recommend to you for this beautiful time of year.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill

Middle grade books are perfect during transitional times of year. They are so easy to read, full of whimsy, and they make you feel a sort of nostalgia no matter which middle grade book you pick up. This book in particular touched me when I read it last year. This story of a witch who accidentally feeds an infant moon light will make you feel like you're dreaming in the best way possible. It's the perfect book to get into the mood for winter and thick fantasy books, but will also give you a lingering hint of halloween spookiness with the witch and other magical creatures. I think about this book all the time and desperately want to pick it up again soon. It's dark and magical, and the climax will hit you hard.

Any and all Agatha Christie books (but especially Murder on the Orient Express)

There's something about Agatha Christie. She can put you on the edge of your seat, get you feeling anxious with her suspense, and yet the experience of reading her books is the coziest. They are books that can be read in a single day by the fire if you wanted to. I recently read Murder on the Orient Express and absolutely loved it, but all her mysteries are perfect! There's a reason why she's known as the queen of mystery. Her stories aren't gruesome or nightmare inducing, but they will get you excited and give you all the vibes to get you ready for the colder months ahead. It's one of my goals to binge read the whole Hercule Poirot series at some point in my life!

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven is another short book that could be read in a day. While short, it packs a punch. This is a dystopian book that jumps through the perspectives of several characters as the world as we know it deteriorates. There's a traveling theatre group, a terrifying cult, and several other storylines that are woven together in a breathtaking way. The writing of this is beautiful and will capture you, which makes it perfect for cozy nights at home. This book will make you reflect on how much we take our world for granted. It makes you think about what you would do if everything suddenly changed, and makes you feel thankful for what you have. It's beautiful!

Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

This is a classic domestic thriller, and it is so masterfully done. Daphne du Maurier writes suspense so well. Rebecca is the best testament to her skill and I absolutely love it! The main character of this book remains anonymous throughout the story, so the reader really feels as if they're taking on her role. You feel her every emotion as she falls hopelessly in love with Maxim de Winter, moves to Manderley, and struggles against the feeling of competition against the haunting presence of Mr. de Winter's late wife, Rebecca. The pacing of this book is slow and careful, but ends in a whirlwind that will leave you frantically turning the pages to see what will happen next. This book is a treasure fit for this golden time of year.

The Seven Realms Series - Cinda Williams Chima

Since it is also the best time of year to begin a sweeping series that will last you through all the cold months of winter, I had to include one on this list. This is an incredible 4 part series and is without a doubt the best Young Adult fantasy series I've ever read. You become so attached to the characters (especially Han) as they develop through each of the books. The world is unique, the magic is interesting, and the writing is poignant. This has all the fantasy tropes I love: a street thief with a hidden secret, close friendships, a magic school, and so much more. This series is just wonderful!

I hope that you were able to find something from this list to begin this promising time of reading strong!

What are some books you love to read during a transitional time between seasons?


  1. Thanks for the recs!! Your posts are always so aesthetic. <33 I really want to read Murder on the Orient Express and Seven Realms!

    1. Thanks dear! I do hope you pick those books up! I'd love to hear what you think about them!

  2. I have never really considered reading based on the seasons. Honestly, I just read whatever sounds good at the moment, but it’s an interesting concept all the same.
    I read Station Eleven a couple years ago, and LOVED it. Such an interesting story!

    you've got me in a reading mood, now.

    1. I don't read by the season all the time (I just finished a summer-y book the other day), but I do find it does affect my reading a bit. But overall I'm just a mood reader, so I get just picking up whatever whenever.
      Station Eleven is so good! The author has a new book coming out soon and I'm so hyped for it!
      I hope you get to read a bunch in December!