Get cozy with 25 books about “home”

Get cozy with 25 books about “home”

Once upon a time, I put one of my favorite Jane Austen quotes on my letter board. “Ah, there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” I had no idea just how true Mr. Woodhouse’s words would feel in the year to come.

Here we are, staying at home more than ever. As we approach the season of short days and chilly weather here in Kentucky, I’m getting ready to lean into the simple comforts of home even more: Daisy curled up at my feet, steaming cups of tea, my favorite candles—and, of course, plenty of good books.

Today we have a FUN list full of books with “house” or “home” in the title. Although this is a slight departure from our typical themed lists, I think you’ll find that these books do feature similar threads of belonging, community, family, history, and what makes a place feel like home.

This collection includes some of my favorite books that I never thought I’d see together in one list, plus a few titles on my TBR. I hope you find a few intriguing titles to add to your stack of books on the nightstand, on the floor, or wherever the books live in your house.

25 books with “house” or “home” in the title

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A Homemade Life

A Homemade Life

Author:
After her father died, Molly Wizenburg didn't know what to do with herself. So she went to Paris, and later, she started a blog. No spoilers here, so let's just say I especially loved hearing about how the internet introduced the author to new, life-changing relationships. This memoir made me laugh, cry, check airfare to Paris, and curse my low carb diet. Completely and utterly charming, accompanied by tasty recipes. More info →
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The Lake House

The Lake House

Author:
One of my favorite Kate Morton novels. In 1933, a young child disappeared without a trace. In 2003, a disgraced young detective stumbles upon the cold case and soon discovers its ties to one of England's oldest and most celebrated mystery writer (think Agatha Christie). I absolutely loved reading a mystery novel about a mystery novelist: the references to the fictional author's writing process and working life were delightfully meta and utterly fascinating. More info →
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Greenglass House

Greenglass House

Author:
Twelve-year-old Milo is looking forward to the Christmas season, mostly because his family’s inn is sure to be relatively quiet. Milo’s plans for relaxation are interrupted when several odd guests arrive to stay at Greenglass House. Each of the eccentric guests has a story to share, and each story has a mysterious connection to the inn’s history. Milo and his friend Meddy invent a role-playing game, casting themselves as daring investigators. When some of the guests have items go missing, Milo and Meddy work together to solve the mystery of the old house. An engaging read for kids and adults alike, and a perfect choice for cozy winter evenings. When you’re finished, pick up the sequel, Ghosts of Greenglass House, also set over the winter holidays. More info →
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At Home in Mitford

At Home in Mitford

Author:
This is the first book in the bestselling Mitford series, and the one that made so many readers fall in love with Father Tim and the town of Mitford. I resisted Mitford for a long time because the premise sounded cheesy. And sure, it would be easy for this story to veer into sappy territory—if it wasn't extremely well done. A story about ordinary lives, (mostly) lovable characters, and the small drama of the everyday. Charming, heartwarming, purely enjoyable. More info →
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The Cider House Rules

The Cider House Rules

Author:
"The Cider House Rules is difficult to define and impossible not to admire." I love that description of this novel from The Daily Telegraph. This coming of age story centers Homer Wells, raised in a Maine orphanage by founder and obstetrician Dr. Wilbur Larch. Homer studies under Larch's tutelage, but the men disagree about performing abortions, bringing two different perspectives to their practice. Homer gets an opportunity to leave and experience the world outside of the orphanage, and we follow his journey throughout the novel. More info →
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Home: A Novel

Home: A Novel

Poignant and lovely. Robinson's novels are some of my favorites to reread (and I have my eye on this beautiful new edition). Part of the Gilead series, this installment Glory Boughton and her brother Jack, who return home around the same time to care for their father and mend their relationship. A quiet, beautifully-written novel about family, loss, healing, and faith. The Gilead novels don't need to be read in order, and many readers actually recommend picking this one up first. More info →
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Housekeeping

Housekeeping

I recently listened to the newly released 40th anniversary edition of Robinson's debut, narrated by Therese Plummer. She calls this tale of two orphaned sisters in Fingerbone, Idaho her version of Moby Dick. The sisters struggle to find their place in the community and with each other after their mother's death. They're first cared for by a string of relatives, one of whom is named Nona. Finally, their eccentric Aunt Sylvie steps in, and comes to "keep house" for them. But Sylvie's odd ways disturb the staid members of their little town, and the misunderstanding threatens the little family's stability. More info →
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The Good House

The Good House

Author:
Audiobook listeners, take note. I could not listen to it fast enough—I folded so much laundry and got the kitchen sparkling clean so I could listen to just one more chapter, over and over again. Hildy Good has lived all her life in the small town of Wendover, Massachusetts. She's 60 years old, divorced, a successful realtor. And she drinks—a lot, and the situation is getting out of control. Only Hildy doesn't see it that way. A quiet drama with terrific, fleshed-out characters and an entertaining, thoroughly untrustworthy narrator. More info →
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Homegoing

Homegoing

Author:
By exploring the stories of two sisters, who met different fates in Ghana more than 200 years ago, Gyasi traces subtle lines of cause and effect through the centuries, illuminating how the deeds of ages past still haunt all of us today. Her debut follows the generations of one family over a period of 250 years, showing the devastating effects of racism from multiple perspectives, in multiple settings. For the first hundred pages I didn't quite grasp what the author was up to, but when it hit me it was powerful. A brilliant concept, beautifully executed. More info →
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Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

I didn't expect to love this, but WOW. This book is fascinating: short, pithy, insightful, and paradigm shifting. A timely examination of history, psychology, and anthropology. Junger shares what we can learn from trobal societies about the importance of belonging, loyalty, and shared meaning. The book focuses on soldiers who have experienced war and built intimate relationships, only to return home and struggle when their tight-knit network is gone. But the concepts and themes apply to civilians as well. More info →
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The House of Spirits

The House of Spirits

Author:
Gorgeous writing, magical realism, forbidden love, and political drama. This Latin-American classic has it all. Fall in love with the Trueba family, from the passionate patriarch Esteban, to the revolutionary granddaughter Alba. History impacts each family member as they navigate tragedy and hope. Powerful female characters shine in this absorbing multigenerational saga. The backstory on this novel: it was rejected numerous times before one Spanish publisher said YES, then it went on to become an instant bestseller. More info →
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At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe

Author:
As a homebody with a healthy dose of wanderlust, I was fascinated by Tsh's around-the-world adventure. With her husband and three kids under ten, Tsh leaves the States behind to travel to China and Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, Croatia and Germany and England and everywhere in between, for nine solid months. I so enjoyed getting to tag along on her family's global adventures, which were nothing at all like I expected—both more strange and more familiar than I had imagined. More info →
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The Round House

The Round House

Author:
A National Book Award winner from "a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life" Louise Erdrich. After his mother is attacked and slips away from the trauma, Joe tries to ease her pain. Unsuccessful and lonely, he is forced to grow up too soon. His father, a tribal judge, seeks justice on another matter but faces obstacles. Tired of being foiled at every turn, Joe and his friends go on a mission for answers. At the Round House, an Ojibwe place of worship, their journey begins. Intricately descriptive, tense, and urgent, Erdrich's novels reveal deeply human truths. More info →
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Jane Austen at Home: A Biography

Jane Austen at Home: A Biography

Author:
Journey to Jane Austen's England with historian Lucy Worsley as she tells the story of Jane's life through the rooms and spaces that shaped the author's worldview. If you enjoy books with a strong sense of place, or imagining exactly where Jane wrote her famous novels, then this biography is for you. Worsely connects Jane's possessions and homes with the author's life, work, and values. More info →
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Home Fire

Home Fire

Author:
This modern retelling of Antigone was long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize and powerfully probes themes of love, political allegiance, and terrorism. I’m not sure I would have realized this was rooted in the Greek myth if I hadn’t been told: Shamsie’s story feels modern, timely, and incredibly relevant to current events. I loved it enough to recommend it to a Scottish bookseller in a delightful episode of What Should I Read Next recorded live in Scotland's national book town, that's Episode 171: "A podcaster, a barrister, and a joiner walk into a bookstore." I was hooked from the first line: “Isma was going to miss her flight.“ More info →
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The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street

Author:
This modern classic is a coming-of-age almost-memoir of a young Latina girl, Esperanza Cordero, who is inventing the woman she will grow up to be. The story unfolds as a series of vignettes—some joyful, some heartbreaking—that draw the reader deep into her Hispanic Chicago neighborhood. Esperanza's observations feel at once highly specific and incredibly universal, as she reflects on growing up on Mango Street, and how she eventually wants to leave. More info →
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Playing House (Uptown Book 1)

Playing House (Uptown Book 1)

Author:
When I found out there was a new novel that featured two urban planners falling in love, you can bet I was all over it: I'm fascinated by urban planning, yet this topic never comes up in fiction! In this short book—just over 100 pages—two professional planners get to know each other by touring homes all over NYC's Uptown. I so enjoy a book that makes me google locations, and this one had me searching for Strivers' Row and Forest Hills Gardens. This was fast and fun. Heads up for open door scenes. More info →
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The Dutch House: A Novel

The Dutch House: A Novel

Author:
One of my favorite books of 2019. I love sibling stories and meaty family sagas, as well as stories told with a reflective, wistful tone. This one delivers on all counts. Cyril Conroy means to surprise his wife with the Dutch House, a grand old mansion outside of Philadelphia. But a symbol of wealth and success for some is a symbol of greed and excess to others—including, crucially, Cyril's wife—and the family falls apart over the purchase. In alternating timelines, we get the whole story, over five decades, from Cyril's son Danny. If you like a character-driven novel that doesn’t sacrifice plot—what I’d call “compulsively readable literary fiction,” this belongs on your TBR. More info →
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Salt Houses

Salt Houses

Author:
Alyn's debut novel follows three generations of a Palestinian family from the Six-Day War of 1967 to 1990 Kuwait to Beirut, Paris, and Boston. The story opens with Alia's wedding, when Alia's mother, Salma, reads her future and sees both turmoil and travel. While she keeps her premonitions secret, they all come true as the family is uprooted by war and loss. A lyrical tale of assimilation and the importance of family. More info →
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The Widow of Rose House

The Widow of Rose House

Author:
Young widow Alva has two priorities: restoring a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion so she can write her interior design book and moving past the death of her abusive husband. Only one problem: the house is haunted and the workers refuse to come near the house. Enter scientist and ghost hunter Sam. Alva can’t afford any complications in her life, nor does she want to risk her heart. But Sam wants nothing more than to prove she deserves her very own happily ever after. As soon as he figures out how to get rid of the ghost, that is. An enjoyable, humorous historical romance set during the Gilded Age. Heads up for a few open door moments. More info →
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The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Author:
In this whimsical fantasy, a 40-year-old career case worker has his life turned upside down by a special assignment. Linus Baker’s job is to ensure the children are safe—or at least he’s convinced himself that the field visits he makes to the orphanages sanctioned by The Department of Magical Youth are crucial to the well-being of these unusual children. But everything changes for Linus when Extremely Upper Management sends him to report on an island orphanage that’s a place of last resort for magical children viewed as misfits by the establishment, as well as their unconventional caretaker. Linus may have always been a company man, but this visit forces him to question everything he thought he knew about the world—and himself. Many readers are going to find this quirky book a delightful surprise. More info →
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The Yellow House: A Memoir

The Yellow House: A Memoir

Author:
In her unique memoir, Broom writes about family, race, and class by noting the intersections of her family's history and the history of New Orleans. An ambitious memoir, Broom covers decades of history with personal stories and meticulously researched details. I'm personally fascinated by the author's writing process and the way it reflects the title and topic of her memoir. Broom says, “I knew when I started collecting evidence, so to speak, that I was trying to find the architecture of the book...I needed to know where the beams were and what was the supporting wall. I literally thought of it as a house because I knew that I was trying to put a lot in it.” More info →
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Anne’s House of Dreams

Anne’s House of Dreams

The fifth book in L.M. Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables series. Our dear Anne girl finally marries her sweetheart, Gilbert Blythe. They move to a sweet little house on Four Winds Harbor, and the story follows the ups and downs in their first few years of marriage. Charming new characters are introduced as the Blythes meet their neighbors, and, as always, Anne's signature imagination shines. Romantic, dreamy, and poignant. A must-read for Montgomery fans. More info →
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Bleak House

Bleak House

Author:
London fog, mystery, romance! This classic Victorian novel has it all (as it should, clocking in at over 900 pages). If you're up for tackling a tome, scholars say that this is Dickens' best work. Known for his social commentary on class, Dickens takes readers from high society to the London slums, with plenty of characters to meet. Break it up in 144 increments with the Serial Reader app for a more digestible reading experience. More info →
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The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth

Author:
A Gilded Age classic set among New York City's high society. Follow the rise and fall of Lily Bart, a young woman trapped by social conventions, a victim both of society and of her own choices. Readers often recommend Wharton in terms of Jane Austen because they both write about women's everyday life: she's been called the new Austen, the anti-Austen, a more sophisticated Austen, a more depressing Austen. Social commentary plus tragedy, and lots of gorgeous historical detail. More info →
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What cozy comforts of home are you leaning on these days? Do you have a “house or home” title to add to this list? I can’t wait to read your comments.

P.S. Grab a blanket, your favorite chair, and 20 books to cozy up with this winter or embrace your homebody status and read one of these short novels straight through in one day.

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84 comments | Comment

84 comments

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    • Kristin says:

      The consistent members of my bookclub are all ladies except one gentleman who attends with his wife. We read pretty widely, and not very many “Women’s bookclub books”. A couple years ago we read the favorite books of each of the members and the gentleman chose a Mitford book! So funny! It truly is a comfort read that appeals to everyone and we all enjoyed it!

  1. Mary says:

    Wonderful list! I just wanted to mention anyone wanting to read the Louise Erdrich, get the audiobook! She is hands down my favorite author/narrator!

    • Terri says:

      Thanks for the suggestion! I have a hard time getting into Erdrich’s books, I’ll definitely give them a try on audio to see if that works better for me.

      • Alicia says:

        I just listed to LaRose, narrated by Louise also, and I agree…not sure I would have liked it had a read it but she narrates her stories well.

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I have always loved House by Tracy Kidder about a family building their first house and all the high points and frustrations. I learned so much from it. Like steps should all be the same height because you will most assuredly trip on the one that is a fraction of an inch higher. I have read it multiple times and I rarely re-read books.

  3. Patricia Franz says:

    Cozy is not a word I associate with House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer’s Journey Home by Mark Richard, but it is the first book I thought of when I saw the theme for today. It was one of the best audiobooks I have ever read. It is Richard’s life story and he didn’t have the easiest life, but it is a compelling tale.

    No Biking in the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene is a great story and very different from the memoir I mentioned above.

  4. Paula says:

    Great list but how did you leave out House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister?!? One of my favorite books this year, the renovation of a dilapidated house in the Pacific Northwest is the charming backdrop for lessons in every arena – family, work, marriage, life. A pure delight.

  5. Sam says:

    If Bleak House is okay, then Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin is, also. It is a coming-of-age story set on the Carolina Coast, with a ghost, a quirky aunt, and way too much alcohol.

  6. Lori says:

    So many great, comforting books on this list. I loved A Homemade Life, The Lake House, all the Mitford books, and Tsh’s At Home in the World. One not on this list is House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister ~ one of my favorites of the year.

  7. I can add one of my all-time favorite novels, HOUSE AND HOME by Kathleen McCleary. Anyone who has ever been faced with selling a beloved house will identify with the main character’s sense of loss and confusion as she grapples with parenting, marriage, friendship and what home really means.

  8. Liz Wall says:

    This is so timely, and I think, your best list ever. Suits the time: post election, during COVID, and heading into the forced inside life that winter brings in my climate. I want to read all of these. Thank you.

  9. Susan says:

    “Open House” by Jane Christmas. Same title, different book, from the one mentioned above. About moving and renovating, and feeling at home where you are. Narrative nonfiction.

  10. Sarah says:

    I love how Madeline L’Engle creates families and homes that I want to be part of. I find myself particularly drawn to the Austin family. The whole series is great, but A Ring of Endless Light is my favorite.

    • Susan V says:

      Sarah, I LOVED Meet the Austins and subsequent books that I read as a child (which was a long time ago – I’m 67!). I liked them better than the Wrinkle in Time series, actually. I think a couple of my granddaughters might be ready for the series – I need to read them again soon! Thanks for bringing up this series!! 🙂

    • Joy B says:

      Her memoirs (Crosswick Journals) set in the family home in the Litchfield hills of Connecticut are wonderful. Circle of Quiet and Two Part Invention are my favorites of the four journals.

    • Machelle H says:

      I totally agree about the homes in Madeline L’Engle’s books. I sometimes check out her books from the library just to find and re-read scenes that describe the home in the Wrinkle in Time series. I now want to read the Austin family series. Thank you!

  11. KT says:

    I thought this would be a cozy home book list but obviously many of these books are not cozy reads. (I’m not complaining! I definitely got some good ideas for my TBR.)
    Books I would add: The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Professor’s House by Willa Cather, and Celia’s House by D.E. Stevenson.

    And already on my TBR includes Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande, and Anywhere but Home by Daniel Speck.

  12. Judy says:

    I just listened to The Dutch House on audible and loved it….by the way, it is narrated by none other than TOM HANKS and he really made all the characters come to life in a way that only Tom Hanks can. Highly recommend listening to this book!

  13. Ellen Roberts Cole says:

    If anyone hasn’t yet read the Mitford Series…I HIGHLY recommend doing the audiobook format! My favorite audiobook series of all time. The narration by John McDonough is fabulous.

  14. Kim says:

    Love these type of lists! I added another book to my toppling TBR list. Since it doesn’t seem like the books here need to be “cozy”, here are a few I would add:
    From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home by Tembi Locke
    Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

  15. Erica says:

    I can’t help but remember the poem “Home” by Edgard Guest whenever house and home are mentioned. My 6th grade teacher, Miss Whiteside (sorry, she could not abide Ms.) gave us a variety of poems to read with the assignment that we were to memorize and recite at least one to the class. I chose this poem https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44313/home-56d2235c059bf and to this day I can still remember and recite most of it.
    Thank you, Miss Whiteside (and other poetry-loving teachers) for bringing books and poetry into young people’s lives.

    • Kathryn says:

      My great-grandmother would recite this poem as she traveled around the world speaking to large and small audiences. It is my FAVORITE poem!

  16. Janet says:

    The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken is very good. A librarian and a giant boy find each other. I read it years ago and still think about it.

  17. Liz says:

    Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher is one of her best novels – a story of the friendship between 2 girls and how their lives develop during WWII, and how they find “home” in their various relationships. A great cozy read!

  18. Liese says:

    I would like to suggest Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck – the character is first a parcel and then the house built on it – throughout the history of Germany (a must read for lovers of urbanism). The English translation doesn’t have ‘house’ in the title, but the original title is ‘Heimsuchung’ (and in Dutch it’s called ‘Huishouden’).

  19. Christine says:

    Such a fun list! For a great non-fiction pick (though it technically doesn’t say “house” in the title), I’d add: “This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live” by Melody Warnick.

    Thanks for always putting such great lists together. Wishing you a cozy week! 🙂

  20. Aimee says:

    Oh man, my absolute favorite book about home of all time isn’t on here! Bill Bryson’s fabulous book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, will change forever how you look at the concept of home.

  21. Judy Gibson says:

    Thank you, Anne for this wonderful list, as others have noted my TBR list has grown. I have read many of them, but there is still lots to discover here!

  22. Jo Yates says:

    I want to read all of them! Also:The Big House: a century in the life of an American summer home;House Thinking: a room-by-room look at how we live by Winifred Gallagher; House Hold: a memoir of place by Ann Peters;Home: a short history of an idea by Witold Rybczynski; Shelter for the Spirit: create your own haven in a hectic world by Victoria Moran.

  23. Brittany says:

    What an incredible compilation of books! Made me want to curl up with tea and a blanket and make my way through the entire list. I reread the Mitford series every other year, it’s a great escape

  24. Beverley Chapman says:

    I recommend The Children’s House by Alice Nelson (who is from my hometown, Perth, Western Australia). Highly readable and current, it covers a number of themes relating to family and belonging. Interestingly, according to my reading log, I read it straight after Home Fire which I loved.

  25. Bev Allen says:

    Isn’t it to good to look at your bookshelves and find some of the books mentioned.
    For me : Bleak House, Anne’s House of Dreams, The House of Spirits and The Lake House.
    Thank you Anne.

  26. LoisAnn says:

    I know I’m late to this party but I need to add a YA book by Cynthia Voigt called Homecoming. It is the first book in a series about the Tillerman family. You will end up wanting to read them all.

    • Emma says:

      I’ve been thinking about this one recently, as it was one of my childhood favourites. Still on my shelf and awaiting a reread. 🙂

    • Deborah says:

      “The Homecoming” is also used for e-book release of novel “Spencer’s Mountain” by Earl Hamner Jr, basis of 1971 film “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” which inspired THE WALTONS TV series with much of the same cast.

  27. Emma says:

    I’ve been in lockdown for most of this year and so home is the last place I want to be, but it worked. My country’s heading into a COVID-free summer! So stay the course up north.

    I’m going to add some oddball suggestions to this list:

    *’Home in the Sky’ by Jeannie Baker, a beautiful collage picture book
    *’Fun Home’ by Alison Bechdel, a memoir in graphic novel form about growing up in the family funeral parlour
    *’The House on the Borderland’ by William Hope Hodgson, classic uncanny horror about a man whose house abuts another dimension
    *’House of Stairs’ by William Sleator, a young adult psychological thriller

  28. What a wonderful list, Anne 🙂
    I loved this book: Somewhere, Home by Nada Awar Jarrar. She is a Lebanese author and these interlinking tales are set around the lives of three women who are are from their native land or returning home. It’s very evocative and poignant and beautifully written.

  29. Susan Erhardt says:

    A Long Way Home by Brierley Saroo, a memoir about a boy who was separated from his mother in an Indian train station at age five. He didn’t know enough to help authorities find his family, and was eventually adopted by Americans. As an adult, he used Google Earth to find his childhood village. Pretty amazing.

  30. Megan says:

    They don’t have “house” or “home” in the title but I have to add “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls; a heartbreakingly beautiful memoir. Also “A Piece of the World” by Christina Baker Kline.

  31. Deborah Martin says:

    Did you know that Karon’s Mitford series was inspired by Miss Read’s Thrush Green and Fairacre books? One of Read’s 30+ novels is “At Home in Thrush Green”.
    Another beloved British book series is named after a house, the Green Knowe books by L. M. Boston. Tho house/home doesn’t appear in actual title of those novels, Boston also wrote non-fiction “Memory in a House” about the ancient manor house she lived in for 50 years which is fictionalized as Green Knowe (BTW, Boston intended 1st GK book for adults, but as she insisted including drawings by her son, it was classed as a children’s book.)
    Fiction by Elizabeth Enright (niece of architect Frank Lloyd Wright) often revolves around structures & how they become homes, their renovation & additions to the families that live in them. One title is “The Four-Story Mistake” (nick-name of an “old new” house). Fits list theme in spirit, I hope!

  32. Louise says:

    I hope I’m not too late to join this conversation. I highly recommend ‘A Good House’ by Bonnie Burnard (1999). It’s a gentle novel about a Canadian family, full of love, and mess, and brokenness, and love, and love.

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