10 Rainy Day Reads

These books are the perfect complement to the next dreary day.


We need very few excuses to stay inside and read all day. A full 24 hours curled up in bed with a book—or anywhere with a blanket, really—is the always the ideal. And yet, life requires us to part with our libraries and the comforts of home...unless a bit of rain comes along. Suddenly, us bibliophiles have an excuse to stay indoors all weekend, and keep a book open on our laps. Look below to get reading recommendations that'll make your lazy, rainy days even better.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë

Nothing suits your rainy day better than the bleak landscape of northern England. After growing up with her cruel aunt and getting an education, the titular Jane begins working as a governess at the estate of Edward Rochester—where love, agony, and long-kept secrets are finally unveiled.

Read this book if your ideal rainy day read includes orphans, hints of the supernatural, and brooding romantic heroes.

A Room with a View

A Room with a View

By E. M. Forster

A Room with a View is another European love story, but it's also an insightful critique of life at the turn of the century. Nature plays as integral a role as its human characters, so it's a perfect way to celebrate the pitter-patter of rain against your windows.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes coming of age stories, romance, secrets, and Italy.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

By Frances Hodgson Burnett

Revisit a childhood classic! Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel follows a young girl as she tries to unravel the mystery of a beautiful garden.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes magic, nostalgia, and childhood friendships.


The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

By Ernest Hemingway

Featuring stories such as “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” this collection is not only a thorough taste of Hemingway's brilliance, but it's big enough to keep you occupied all day long. It's huge—over 50 stories huge!

Read this book if your ideal rainy day read includes adventure, lots of places for tea breaks, and exotic travels.


A Little Life

By Hanya Yanagihara

Disclaimer: This one is a tearjerker. The story follows the lives of four young men who meet in college and grow old in New York City. Their enduring friendship sees them through addiction, love, loss, and suffering. A Little Life won the Kirkus Prize, and it'll win (and break) your heart.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes moving depictions of friendship, dark subject matter, and tears.


And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie

Every rainy day needs a spooky mystery. Better yet, a spooky mystery set in an even spookier location. On the island of Devon, eight strangers meet at a hotel, all invited for different reasons—a work opportunity, a relaxing vacation, etc. But when the group members start to drop like flies, the remaining guests have no time to network or relax—they have to find the killer.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes goosebumps, an ensemble cast, and murder.


The Waves

By Virginia Woolf

This Woolf classic is beautifully composed. Written in soliloquies from six perspectives, it draws parallels between the events of a single day and the movements of the sea. It's a moody book great for wet weather, as it evokes the hypnotic sound of rushing water.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes a meandering pace, beautiful language, tons of water imagery, and an experimental narrative structure.


Leaves of Grass

By Walt Whitman

Why not spend the day reading poetry and sharpening your mind? With his profound musings on philosophy, nature, and humanity, Walt Whitman is a fantastic choice.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes spiritual sentiments and transcendental revelations.


Sometimes a Great Notion

By Ken Kesey

Lush with descriptions of the Oregon landscape—a place where there are plenty of rainy days—Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion is politically-charged book about the dramas within a family of loggers. It's just as powerful as his more famous novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Read this one if your ideal rainy day read includes beautiful northwestern scenery, writing from the Beat generation, and a political punch.


House of Leaves

By Mark Z. Danielewski

In this eerie book, a blind man, an apprentice at a tattoo shop, and mad woman's spirit narrate the going's-on of a house that continuously grows new hallways. The story has a unique structure, containing footnotes within the footnotes and pages of just a few words.

Read this one if your rainy day read includes strange phenomenon and unreliable narrators.

This post originally appeared on The Reading Room. 

Featured photo: Todd Diemer/Unsplash