Read a book with cottagecore vibes.

June 1, 2021

Cottagecore, also known as farmcore or countrycore, is an aesthetic that values a rural, simple vibe, harmony with nature, nostalgia, caring for others, and traditional activities such as baking, writing letters, and gardening.

This list is part of the 2021 Adult Summer Reading program.

children running in a garden
All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small

James Herriot

The stories of a young veterinarian making his way in the rugged English countryside—and of the people and animals he met along the way.

In the rolling dales of Yorkshire, a simple, rural region of northern England, a young veterinarian from Sunderland joins a new practice. A stranger in a strange land, he must quickly learn the odd dialect and humorous ways of the locals, master outdated equipment, and do his best to mend, treat, and heal pets and livestock alike.

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

L. M. Montgomery

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Back to basics

Back to Basics
A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills

Abigail R. Gehring

This lavishly illustrated primer invites readers to develop healthier, more environmentally friendly, and self-sufficient living skills that are less reliant on technology, in a resource that shares step-by-step instructions for such capabilities as raising chickens, making cheese, and building a log cabin.

Braiding Sweetgrass

Braiding Sweetgrass

Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers.

In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as “the younger brothers of creation.” As she explores these themes she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.

Canning & Preserving With Ashley English

Canning & Preserving With Ashley English
All You Need to Know to Make Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Chutneys & More

Ashley English

Yes, you CAN! More and more people have discovered what grandma always knew: canning and preserving supplies you with wholesome, tasty treats year round.

Complete book of home preserving

Complete Book of Home Preserving
400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today

Judi Kingry

Features four hundred recipes for salsas, savory sauces, chutneys, pickles, relishes, jams, jellies, and fruit spreads, including instructions for beginners and tips for experienced cooks.

Easy cottage style

Easy Cottage Style
Comfortable Interiors for Country Living

Liz Bauwens, Alexandra Campbell

Country Style is associated with simple, natural comforts—the warm glow of a winter fire of floral fabrics swaying in a cool summer breeze at an open window. As Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell show, these are features that can be recreated in all types of home.

Entangled Life

Entangled Life
How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

Merlin Sheldrake

Living at the border between life and non-life, fungi help create soil, enmesh roots and link plants together, and drive many long-standing human fascinations: from yeasts that cause bread to rise and orchestrate the fermentation of sugar into alcohol; to psychedelic fungi; to the mold that produces penicillin and revolutionized modern medicine. And we can partner with fungi to heal the damage we’ve done to the planet. Fungi are already being used to make sustainable building materials and wearable leather, digest pollutants, and grow food from renewable sources.

Merlin Sheldrake’s revelatory introduction to this world will show us how fungi, and our relationships with them, are more astonishing than we could have imagined. Bringing to light science’s latest discoveries and ingeniously parsing the varieties and behaviors of the fungi themselves, he points us toward the fundamental questions about the nature of intelligence and identity this massively diverse, little understood kingdom provokes

How to Be a Good Creature

How to Be a Good Creature

Sy Montgomery

A naturalist and adventurer discusses the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals who have profoundly affected her, exploring themes of learning to become empathetic, creating families, coping with loss, and the otherness and sameness of people and animals.

How to sew a button

How to Sew a Button
And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew

Erin Bried

Waste not, want not with this guide to saving money, taking heart, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Practical and empowering, How to Sew a Button collects the treasured wisdom of nanas, bubbies, and grandmas from all across the country-as well as modern-day experts-and shares more than one hundred step-by-step essential tips for cooking, cleaning, gardening, and entertaining, including how to: polish your image by shining your own shoes; grow your own vegetables (and stash your bounty for the winter); sweeten your day by making your own jam; use baking soda and vinegar to clean your house without toxic chemicals; feel beautiful by perfecting your posture; roll your own piecrust and find a slice of heaven; fold a fitted sheet to crisp perfection; waltz without stepping on any toes.

Complete with helpful illustrations and brimming with nostalgic charm.

Life in the garden

Life in the Garden

Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively takes up her key themes of time and memory, and her lifelong passions for art, literature, and gardening in this philosophical and poetic memoir.

From the courtyards of her childhood home in Cairo to a family cottage in Somerset, to her own gardens in Oxford and London, Lively conducts an expert tour, taking us from Eden to Sissinghurst and into her own backyard, traversing the lives of writers like Virginia Woolf and Philip Larkin while imparting her own sly and spare wisdom.

The little book of cottagecore

The Little Book of Cottagecore
Traditional Skills for a Simpler Life

Emily Kent

Returning to the simpler life has never been easier. If you’re craving the aroma of freshly baked bread, spending more time in nature, or seeing the sunlight filtering through homemade curtains, then cottagecore is for you!

The Little Book of Cottagecore helps you make simple living a reality with delightful cottagecore activities you can enjoy no matter where you live. Whether you’re interested in baking pies from scratch, basic sewing and cross stitch, gardening, beekeeping, or making candles and soaps, this book is full of fun, hands-on activities that make it easy and enjoyable to unplug from modern life.

The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge
Danish Secrets to Happy Living

Meik Wiking

The Danes are famously the happiest people in the world, and hygge is a cornerstone of their way of life. Hygge (pronounce Hoo-ga) loosely translates as a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on the sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. It is about gratitude and savoring the simple pleasures in life. In short, it is the pursuit of everyday happiness.

From picking the right lighting to organizing a Hygge get-together to dressing hygge, Wiking shows you how to experience more joy and contentment the Danish way.

Mastering bread

Mastering Bread
The Art and Practice of Handmade Sourdough, Yeasted Bread, and Pastry

Marc Vetri

From a master of the artisan bread movement comes a comprehensive guide to making incredible bread at home, featuring more than 80 delicious recipes.

Mending Matters

Mending Matters
Stitch, Patch and Repair Your Favorite Denim and More

Katrina Rodabaugh

Mending Matters includes more than 20 hands-on projects that showcase current trends in visible mending that are edgy, modern, and bold—but draw on traditional stitching. It does all this through just four very simple mending techniques: exterior patches, interior patches, slow stitches, darning, and weaving.

In addition, the book addresses the way mending leads to a more mindful relationship to fashion and to overall well-being. Katrina Rodabaugh explores mending as a metaphor for appreciating our own naturally flawed selves, and she examines the ways in which mending teaches us new skills, self-reliance, and confidence, all gained from making things with our own hands.

Mini Farming

Mini Farming
Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

Brett Markham

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre—and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require.

Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started. Because self-sufficiency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered.

Murder at the Vicarage

Murder at the Vicarage

Agatha Christie

When Colonel Protheroe is found dead from a single gun shot wound to the head, none of his neighbors in the village of St. Mary Mead is much surprised. So many people wished this local official would say farewell, if not quite so permanently. With suspects abound and the local police symied it is up to Miss Jane Marple to root out the killer.

The nourished kitchen

The Nourished Kitchen
Farm-To-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle

Jennifer McGruther

A traditional foods diet celebrates unrefined, whole, and natural foods while avoiding modern, refined ones; it also seeks to prepare them in the same manner as our ancestors, prior to the industrialization of food. This cookbook offers a beautifully illustrated treatment of this nutrient-dense cooking style, with wholesome time-tested recipes including restorative bone broths, revitalizing kombuchas and tonics, and hearty and economical bean and lentil dishes.

Beyond recipes, The Nourished Kitchen also addresses the larger issues of how modern convenience food bypasses traditional culinary wisdom and the critical importance of how food is sourced and prepared for optimal nutrition.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Ten-year old Mary come to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and mysteries of a locked garden.

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd

Lily Owens, a girl transformed by the power and divinity of the female spirit, into the canon of modern-day heroines. Lily and her fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother” escape the racism of their hometown and find refuge with an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, whose world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna is mesmerizing.

The Story Sisters

The Story Sisters

Alice Hoffman

Elv, Claire, and Meg are the Story Sisters, and each has a fate she must meet alone. One on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing.

The Stranger in the Woods

The Stranger in the Woods

Michael Finkel

Documents the true story of a man who endured a hardscrabble, isolated existence in a tent in the Maine woods, never speaking with others and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins, for 27 years, in a portrait that illuminates the survival means he developed and the reasons behind his solitary life.


Life in the Woods

Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau’s classic account of his experiment in simple living and his communion with the natural world at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, is accompanied by beautiful wood engravings by an award-winning artist, in a special 150th anniversary edition of the classic work.

World of wonders

World of Wonders
In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home, but no matter where she was transplanted she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance. The axoloti teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, she found that this was the way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.