We Suggest: Our Favorite Cozy Fantasy

December chill is setting in and, with it, presents the perfect opportunity to curl up with a good book.

We asked our staff to recommend their favorite cozy fantasy novels, perfect for keeping warm on a blustery, cold day.

What is Cozy Fantasy?

Cozy fantasy can be a hard genre to pin down; like describing a fictional novel as a thriller, “cozy” points to the novel’s mood. Books under the “cozy fantasy” umbrella often center on community or relationships, are more slice-of-life, or evoke a sense of comfort or warmth. They’re paired well with snacks and a warm beverage of your choice.

Cozy Fantasy Suggestions

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

“The story is about Lucy, who enters a competition given by a reclusive children’s author, Jack Masterson. Jack holds a contest at his home on Clock Island where four lucky contestants will compete to win the only copy he has of his new book. This is a whimsical novel and includes a mastermind similar to Willy Wonka with a few plot twists.”

– Amelia Norton, information services assistant, Carrico/Fort Thomas Branch

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Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen

“This graphic novel follows an anthropomorphic garlic bulb as she goes on an adventure to confront the mysterious vampire who moved into a nearby castle. The illustrations are charming and the story expertly fosters empathy for Garlic as she faces her anxieties. I’ve never wanted to hug a vegetable more!”

– Katherine Sallee, adult/teen services librarian, Carrico/Fort Thomas Branch

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

“The descriptions throughout the book make me want to be there alongside Bilbo and the dwarves. The food, in particular, is very well described; I get hungry every time I read it. Sure, there are parts of the story that aren’t cozy, but that makes you appreciate the times when it is. From the Shire to Beorn’s Cabin and all the way to the Lonely Mountain, Middle-Earth sounds like a very cozy place. And who wouldn’t want to live in a hobbit hole?”

– Chay Rust, patron services supervisor, Carrico/Fort Thomas Branch

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Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

“This book is incredibly cozy, from the descriptions of nature and all the fantastical creatures to the way the author describes the food. Emily is a Cambridge professor who is creating an encyclopedia of all known faeries; she has a trip planned to observe a type that has never been documented in academic literature: The Hidden Ones.”

– Morgan Lockard-Ellis, branch manager, Carrico/Fort Thomas Branch

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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

“A graduate student in Vermont finds a mysterious book hidden in the library stacks. As he reads, he uncovers a series of clues that lead him to a masquerade ball, a group of rather interesting characters, and a world of books and their guardians buried deep beneath our own. This book is full of stories within stories all expertly woven together, and every page felt like being wrapped up in a warm blanket while drinking a big mug of Mexican hot chocolate.”

– Stephanie Daugherty, patron services assistant, Newport Branch

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