Curl up next to the fire with the best winter books. Discover all the best books to read in winter – from winter thrillers to holiday romances.
Everyone has heard of summer books and beach reads, but what exactly are winter books?
Let’s be honest, labels like “beach reads” and “winter reads” are highly subjective. However, when I think about what books to read in winter, I do notice a trend. I want a great book to cuddle up with next to the fire.
You can take the winter books prompt and go in lots of different directions. Of course, there are book winter itself, full of snow or Alaskan frontiers.
You could gravitate toward cozy winter books with holiday romance books, which tend to make the best Christmas reads, or lighthearted mysteries. Or you could embrace your New Year’s Resolutions with helpful nonfiction reads to help you reach your goals.
Honestly, when it comes to winter books for adults, the sky’s the limit. As long as it feels like a winter book to you, then it counts!
For a few ideas, here are some of my favorite winter books to recommend.
Best Winter Books
In medieval Russia, Vasya and her family live in the far north, where winter lasts most of the year. She loves to hear tales of spirits who live that protect their home from evil, especially of the Frost Demon. When Vasya’s mother dies and her father remarries, her stepmother forbids the pagan practices, the weakened household spirits cannot protect them from a growing evil. Beautifully blending folklore with an unforgettable atmosphere, you’ll be completely drawn into this imaginative historical fantasy series.
One of the best winter books is Eowyn Ivey’s modern classic, The Snow Child. In 1920, Jack and Mabel are struggling to homestead Alaska. When the first snowflakes fall, they build a small child out of snow. The next morning their snowman is gone, replaced by a little girl named Faina who lives in the woods with only a fox as a friend.
At an exclusive French ski resort, the shareholders of the up-and-coming social media company Snoop must decide on an offer of a billion-dollar sale. One person doesn’t make it back to the lodge after skiing, and things go from bad to worse when an avalanche hits threatening them all. Would someone be willing to resort to murder to get their way? The perfect winter book to bring along on your next ski trip, One by One is an unputdownable thriller.
A recently returned Vietnam War POW, Ernt Allbright decides to move his family to the Alaskan frontier. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers and just what Ernt needs. But when the harsh Alaskan winter approaches and Ernt’s mental state begins to deteriorate, his wife and daughter must fight to survive. A captivating, stay-up-all-night novel that is a favorite among book club books to read in winter.
One of the ultimate winter books is Fredrick Backman’s powerful Beartown. In the small town of Beartown, the junior ice hockey team competes in an old ice rink by the lake. With a shot of winning the national semi-finals, a group of young teenage boys finds the town’s hopes and dreams fall on their shoulders. When a violent act leaves a girl traumatized, the town is thrown into turmoil. As accusations fly around town, each individual must make decisions that could define them forever.
C. S. Lewis
Of the classic winter books you could read, you don’t want to forget C. S. Lewis’s children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia. In the first book, the four Pevensie siblings are evacuated to the English countryside during the Blitz. During a game of hide and seek, Lucy Pevensie finds a magical opening in a wardrobe that leads to Narnia – a land of perpetual winter where there is no Christmas.
Thrilling Winter Novels
Having taken time off from her job as a detective, Elin Warner agrees to attend a celebration of her estranged brother’s engagement. At a minimalist Swiss five-star hotel that used to be a sanatorium, Elin immediately feels on edge. When her brother’s fiance disappears and a storm shuts off access to the remote hotel, all the guests begin to panic and Elin must use all her skills to find out what is going on.
After winning a trip to a remote Scotland getaway for the weekend, Adam and Amelia try one last-ditch effort to save their marriage. Amelia is tired of Adam putting his work as a screenwriter before her and Adam is just tired of Amelia. As things start to unravel and their past is revealed through secret anniversary letters Adam has never read, you find that someone is lying and someone doesn’t want them to end happily ever after.
In this classic World War II thriller, a team of British commandos is tasked with breaching the heart of Nazi intelligence in an isolated alpine castle only accessible by aerial gondola. Originally told they are to rescue one of their own, the group soon learns their mission is much more complicated. As team members begin dying off one by one, the margin for success in this impossible mission just got even thinner in this unputdownable read.
Don’t thrillers just make the perfect winter books? In case you happened to miss this series, J. K. Rowling hits her stride in her mystery series about Cormoran Strike. An Iraqi war vet with a prosthetic leg, Strike decides to set up a private investigation agency. His first big break: the suicide of supermodel Lulu Landry on a cold winter night. With the help of his temp secretary Robin, the gruff Strike makes an interesting main character, and the mystery itself doesn’t disappoint in this fun winter thriller.
In 1908, Sara Harrison Shea was found brutally murdered in the cornfield behind her house just months after her daughter’s tragic death. In the present day living in Sara’s former farmhouse, nineteen-year-old Ruthie comes home one night to find her mother has vanished. Now Ruthie finds she might be the only one capable of keeping history from repeating itself. McMahon’s modern-day ghost story is a chilling reminder that the dead never truly leave us.
Journalist Cecily Wong has given up everything to join famous mountaineer Charles McVeigh on his record-breaking climb of Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world. When a climber dies in a freak accident, Cecily worries the expedition might have to turn back. Then a second climber dies, and Cecily realizes she’s trapped high in the mountains with a killer.
It’s love at first sight for Laurie when she sees a man at a bus stop one snowy day in December. Having missed their chance, Laurie searches for him for a year before finally meeting him – as her best friend’s new boyfriend. Josie Silver’s novels give you a nuanced approach to how complicated love is for realistically flawed people. I devoured this holiday romance in a day, and I can’t recommend it enough.
When Minnie meets Quinn at a New Year’s Eve party, it’s clear they have nothing in common except being born at the same time in the same hospital. Quinn is a privileged party boy who has been handed everything in life while Minnie is a hard worker struggling with the realities of life. As they keep encountering each other over the next year, they realize maybe their differences make them fit together better.
After a whirlwind one-night romance ends in heartbreak and she losses her dream job, Ellie Oliver is left adrift in Portland, Oregon. Working at a coffee shop, Ellie is stunned when the shop’s landlord has a crazy drunken idea: if they get married, he will get his inheritance and her financial problems will be fixed. Except when they visit his family for the holidays, Ellie finds that his sister happens to be the one that got away, forcing Ellie to choose between love and security.
With her love life in shatters, Maelyn Jones is devastated to find this will be her last Christmas spent with her family at the snowy Utah cabin. As she drives away, a car crash sends her into a time loop to relive the same Christmas vacation over and over again. Now she must figure out how to end the time loop so she can live happily ever after. A lighthearted winter romance book with a Groundhog Day premise perfect for your winter reading list.
When Charlie, a celebrity chef with a hit reality baking show, loses her ability to taste and smell, she hatches a plan to swap places with her twin sister to finish out the season. Cass could use a break from her small mountain bakery and from her ex who won’t accept they are through. Will a holiday swap be a recipe for disaster or just what they need to find love?
New Year’s Resolutions
If you want to find success in your career or your life, you need to establish solid habits. In Atomic Habits, Clear outlines in detail the steps you can take to build good habits and break bad ones. With excellent insights and workable tips, Clear’s methodology will allow you to design your habits to improve your life. Instead of trying to improve your self-discipline, learn how to build correct habits in this must-read book.
When it comes to developing habits, BJ Fogg urges you to go small. Think flossing one tooth or doing two pushups. While these don’t seem like much, Fogg explains how motivation and ability are key to successful habits and teaches tried and true methods to form desirable habits and break undesirable books.
Are you tired of being a “hot mess” mom, spending your days drowning in overwhelm? Forget the stark white empty walls, Casazza teaches a family-oriented approach to minimalism that shows you how to reclaim the joy in motherhood and make your home work for you. Declutter like a Mother does a great job conveying the why of decluttering for families, explaining the benefits to both mothers and children.
Lindsay Kite & Lexie Kite
Instead of making a goal to lose weight, why not focus on your body image issues? An eye-opening examination of how are beauty-obsessed world has failed generations of women. Although body positivity has helped some women, body image issues will not go away until we realize that you are not defined by your body. In one of the top life changing books for women, the Kite sisters show how deeply ingrained objectification of women is in our society and in our own minds and help you discover that you are more than a body.
If you want to be savvy with money, you need to make your money work for you. Dave Ramsey’s book is the best starting point to get you thinking about finances. His book clearly explains the dangers of debt – especially credit card debt – and is a great how-to guide to get you out of debt and ready to be financially free.
Cozy Winter Reads
If you are looking for nonfiction winter books, Katherine May’s series of essays about recovering when life knocks you down might be just what you need. Having her husband fell ill, her son lost his way, and her own medical problems forced her to leave her job, May understand how it feels to be dislocated. In her essays, May ponders on the cyclical nature of life and how hardship can transform into a new season.
Left behind when a worldwide crisis strikes Earth, aging astronomer Augustine finds himself all alone in an Artic observatory with only a forgotten little girl for company. Having run from responsibility all his life, Augie struggles to adapt to caring for Iris while being completely cut off from the world. Meanwhile, a group of astronauts returning from a mission to Jupiter are frightened when all communication with Earth ceases. Slow and enveloping with a focus more on feelings than plot, Good Morning, Midnight is a literary look at the desperate need for connection in a post-apocalyptic world.
On the remote San Piedro Island in the Puget Sound, Japanese American Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with the murder of a local fisherman found mysteriously drowned. During the trial, San Piedro is forced to reconcile with its dark past, an entire community of Japanese Americans forced into exile during World War II.
In 1888 on an unseasonably warm January day, a blizzard blew into the Dakotas catching hundreds of homesteaders unaware. With school just letting out, schoolteachers were forced to decide whether to keep the children and risk freezing in the schoolhouse or send them home and risk them getting lost. Raina and Gerda Olsen, both schoolteachers, make opposite decisions. One is regarded as a hero and the other is ostracized.
Recently diagnosed with a severe case of cancer, Greg Tyler is set to fight with everything he has. However, he can’t help wondering what will happen to Freddie and their daughter if he doesn’t survive. Meanwhile, in their small town of Wharton, Connecticut, others are facing addiction, betrayal, and loneliness. As the stories of the townspeople intertwine, A Little Hope is a literary look at the trials we all face and the power of small moments of connection.
After killing two locals who terrorized his family, Davy Land fled town, knowing justice would not go his way. Quickly, Davy’s family follows him, trudging across the frozen Badlands of the Dakotas. Jeremiah Land, a deeply religious man known to work miracles, leans on his faith and he sets out with his asthmatic son Reuben and young daughter Swede to find Davy in lands unknown.
What Book Do You Like to Read in Winter?
What books do you consider winter books? What are your favorite winter books to read? As always, let me know in the comments!
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