Top Ten Cottagecore Reads
Cottagecore, much like Dark Academia and Hygge, has come into its own recently. With life in lockdown meaning that many of us have been trying to transform ours houses into havens, cottagecore is all about cosy self-care and relaxation.
Picture yourself in a cottage, with a roaring fire, blankets, and hot chocolate. Kind of like Kate Winslet’s place in The Holiday. These are the books that you would have on your shelf or your coffee table. You would read on a lazy Sunday afternoon with the dog or the cat at the other end of the sofa, with freshly baked bread cooling in the kitchen.
I think of Cottagecore reads as relaxing and/or minimalist, back-to-nature reads.
I read Anne of Green Gables a year or so ago and it’s so descriptive and imaginative. Set within the confines of a child’s over-imaginative mind, it’s relaxing and all about seeing the beauty in everything from nature to friends, enemies to hardships.
Another read about nature is The Secret Garden. This story was my first ever classic and it’s beautiful. Mary is brought to Misthwaite Manor after her parents die of cholera and she discovers a secret garden, which she helps to bring back to life. Much like Anne of Green Gables, this story focuses on the innocence of childhood and the stunning vistas of a spring landscape.
Whenever I think of cottagecore I imagine myself reading Jane Austen with a blanket, for some reason. Having read all of her completed novels, it’s clear to see why they’re classic reads to this day. They’re comfort reads with realistic characters, wittiness, and genuine heartwarming romance.
Tuck Everlasting is a very American children’s story, but it has an adult message. The Tuck family are immortal, having drunk waters from a sacred spring. Winnie Foster discovers the spring on her family land and has to decide whether to keep or share the secret, and whether or not to drink from the waters and join the Tucks on their journey herself. It’s a sweet story about growing up and befriending people that are different from you, regardless of class or age.
Is there a more Spring/Summer story than that of A Midsummer Night’s Dream? This is my favourite Shakespeare, hands-down. Yes, the story is confusing at first but it is hilarious and the characters are wonderful. From the terrible players to the stricken lovers. I adore this story.
If fairytales and magic worlds are more your thing, then Ella Enchanted is a great read. Again, a more American take on the classic fairytales, this story follows a girl called Ella who was cursed as a child to always be obedient. She may have to do whatever tells her to, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her own mind.
If like me, you love the change from Winter to Spring then The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is for you. This story is another classic children’s story about the Pevensie children who are evacuated from the war and end up in the magical world of Narnia. There is a lot of religious rhetoric, but if you look past it there’s a simply gorgeous cottagecore story as its heart.
For those readers that prefer non-fiction to fiction, The Year of Less is a great read. Cait Flanders decided to not spend any money, unless absolutely necessary – with strict rules! – for one year. All in an effort to save and pay off debts. The story about how she did it is surprisingly gripping. Also inspiring! Great if you’re wanting to try minimalism this Spring/Summer.
I can’t wait to get out of lockdown and travel up to the Lake District so I can spend some time looking out at gorgeous landscapes from cosy B&B cottage. Whilst I’m up there, I will be visiting Hill Top Farm and learning more about Beatrix Potter and her charming novels.
And finally, for those looking for more creative non-fiction Elizabeth and her German Garden. This fiction/non-fiction story is the adult version of The Secret Garden for me. It’s all about the love of nature and the relaxation and majesty a well-looked after and blooming garden can bring a person.
What is your favourite cottagecore read? Let me know in the comments below.