16 Books to Cozy Up with This Winter
Persuasion

Persuasion

Pride and Prejudice should be read in the spring; Emma in the summer. But Persuasion is for colder months. Don't bother starting at the beginning with Austen's earlier, brighter works. Go straight to her sixth and final published novel. This the last novel Austen completed before her death, and it’s darker and more serious in tone than her earlier works. With its themes of love, regret, and fidelity, this is my favorite Austen novel—at least some of the time. More info →
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The Snow Child: A Novel

The Snow Child: A Novel

$9.99$2.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)
It's Alaska, 1920, the night of the first snowfall, which inspires s typically serious couple to indulge in a bit of silliness: they build a child out of snow, just for fun. In the morning, the snow child is gone, but, in a way eerily mirrors a much-loved fairy tale, the couple spies a young girl they've never seen before running through the trees. I loved this magic-infused story about love, loss, and the wildness of nature. More info →
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The Dry

The Dry

"You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral." Federal Agent Aaron Falk is summoned home with these words after his best friend Luke dies in a heartbreaking murder-suicide, turning the gun on himself after killing his wife and 6-year-old son. Falk obeys—but he can't believe his best friend could have done such a thing, and so he starts digging, dragging long-buried secrets back to the surface. The setting is the drought-ravaged Australian Outback, and the brittleness and heat are almost palpable. If you're a mystery lover currently blanketed in snow, this might be the perfect escapist pick—plus the small town setting feels as claustrophobic as you might if you were snowed in. More info →
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Peace Like a River

Peace Like a River

$9.99$1.33
A tragedy, a romance, a coming of age story, set in the deep North Dakota winter. I had to be talked into reading this novel because the description didn't grab me, but now it's one of my favorites. File under fathers and sons, tight-knit communities, and outlaws. Book club highlight: the miracles that happen in the novel, and that happen (or not) in our everyday lives. A beautiful, mesmerizing book for fans of Wendell Berry, Marilynne Robinson, and Amor Towles. More info →
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Winter’s Tale

Winter’s Tale

I first encountered this novel, set in a frozen, slightly unreal NYC, when a dear friend got married and chose a passage for for a reading in the ceremony. ("Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be ...") OF COURSE I had to read it. This is a polarizing book: readers love it or hate it, and when readers say (as they often do) that it's unlike anything they've ever read, they're not messing around. It's packed with symbolism, depth, and beautiful writing: only you can know if that means you should snatch it up quick or run away. More info →
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

$11.99$1.99Audiobook: 7.49 (Whispersync)
This novel told in letters is sweet and sunny, even though it's set during a dark period of history. The action unfolds on the British island of Guernsey (and you'll want to book your trip immediately). A testament to the power of literature, but a love story at heart. (Hot tip: the audiobook is fantastic.) More info →
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The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel

The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel

In this reimagined fairy tale, set in medieval Russa amongst snowy landscapes and magical forests, a young girl with a special gift attempts to save her family from the evil lurking in the woods. This fantasy is well-suited for fans of books I love—Naomi Novik's Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, and anything Neil Gaiman. Two more books complete the Winternight trilogy: The Girl in the Tower and The Winter of the Witch, due out in January 2019. More info →
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Greenglass House

Greenglass House

It's holiday vacation at the smuggler's inn Greenglass House, and Milo finds himself with a mystery to unravel. The guest bell rings. And again. And again. Until Milo's home is bursting with strange guests, each one with a story connected to the old house. While I couldn't help but wonder if the author was tipping her hat to The Phantom Tollbooth, the story reminded me of The Mysterious Benedict Society. An engaging read for kids and adults alike, and a perfect choice for cozy winter evenings. (Psst—listen to me describe this book on Episode 106 of What Should I Read Next.) More info →
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In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter

In Allende's new release, a traffic accident caused by a horrible Brooklyn snowstorm gets the ball rolling, bringing three very different people together to carry out a common mission. As they travel together through the frozen landscape, each character's story is revealed, as Allende takes us from present day New York City to recent events in Guatemala to forty years ago in Chile and Brazil. Not my favorite Allende, but she sure makes you want to know what happens next. More info →
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The Little House Collection

The Little House Collection

Winter is the perfect time to get lost in this great series, in which the scrappy Ingalls family struggles to build a life on the American frontier. These 9 books tell the story of Laura Ingalls’ childhood and coming of age on the American frontier. Follow the Ingalls family as they move from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to the Kansas prairie, from a creekside dugout in Minnesota to the shores of Silver Lake, South Dakota. They battle the elements, kill the occasional bear, and establish a cozy domestic haven wherever "home" happens to be that year. Sometimes they struggle for their very survival. You'll wish you could pull up a chair by the fire while Pa plays his fiddle. Welcoming and homey. (The audio cds by Cherry Jones are completely wonderful.) More info →
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Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars

This lyrical and heartbreaking first novel is set in an isolated, snow-covered Washington State island town in the 1950s, where a Japanese man stands trial for murdering a white fisherman. The trial brings the town's painful history and many citizen's long-submerged sense of guilt and shame sharply to the surface; Guterson skillfully unfolds both the history of the town and that of two star-crossed lovers layer by layer. More info →
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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

It was supposed to be the perfect crime. But an avalanche stops the Orient Express in its tracks just before a passenger is found murdered in his berth, foiling the perpetrator's getaway, and trapping 13 potential suspects—each with an airtight alibi—in the train car with Inspector Hercule Poirot. If you've seen the movie, take note: Branagh changes Christie's ending. Hot tip: Dan Stevens's audio narration is fantastic. More info →
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Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

$12.99
This groundbreaking classic was downright scandalous in its day—and it hasn’t lost much of its shock value in the intervening 160+ years. Heathcliff is every bit as much the abominable scoundrel now as he was then, and the English moors are every bit as creepy. Read it once, and decide whether you love it or hate it. (And if you do both, you’re in good company.) The gloomy landscape and gothic feel make this a perfect read for the gloomy season. More info →
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Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

$8.99$2.99
In this quiet novel (sometimes categorized as a romance, but don't let that scare you off), five individuals, each dealing with their own painful personal tragedy, are unexpectedly brought together during the Christmas season in the Scottish countryside—though they've decided not to celebrate the holiday; it's too painful this year. But redemption is found in surprising places, and in the midst of so much loss, love and redemption emerge. This book was a delightful surprise; I enjoyed it so much. More info →
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Winter Garden

Winter Garden

$24.614.95 (Audible Daily Deal)
Many of you call this your favorite Hannah novel—and that's saying something, considering this is from the author of The Nightingale. This is the story of two estranged sisters and their mysterious mother, whose personality and past the daughters have never understood. As the story flips back and forth in time between present-day Washington State and Stalin's Leningrad, the daughters begin to understand their mother's past, and why she carefully concealed it from her daughters. Slow to start, but worth sticking it out. More info →
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All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

$13.99
A captivating story, well-told. The characters in this war novel are fascinating and altogether unexpected, and the book’s setting couldn’t be lovelier: much of the action takes place in Saint-Malo, France, a unique walled port city on the English Channel. It doesn't feel overlong: its 500+ pages give Doerr plenty of room to build a believable world, and give his characters depth and feeling. An intelligent, detailed, literary novel that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. More info →
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