Winter Reading

17 Winter Books to Cozy Up With by the Fireplace

Whether it’s snowing outside your window or not, these wintery books that will give you all the vibes.

Last Updated on December 24, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

As the colder weather sweeps in, and as the temperature drops and the snow starts to fall, there’s no better way to spend a cozy evening than curling up with a good book by the fireplace.  Or maybe you live in a warmer climate, and you want to be transported to a wintery-themed setting.   Either way, we’ve got you covered with our list of some must-read winter books that are perfect to add to your reading list if you haven’t read them already!  Whether you’re looking for a heartwarming story or a spine-tingling thriller, there is something for everyone on this list.

These page-turners will transport you to different worlds, ignite your imagination, and provide the perfect escape from the winter chill.  From timeless classics to newly released gems, there’s something for everyone on this list.  So grab a blanket, brew a cup of hot cocoa, and get ready to embark on a literary journey that will keep you entertained throughout the frosty season.

Join us as we explore captivating stories, unforgettable characters, and enchanting settings that will make winter reading a truly magical experience.  So make sure to add these compelling reads to your winter reading list and prepare to be captivated as you snuggle up with these great wintery books!

Time for some Winter Reading

Winter Books To Add To Your Reading List

Winter is the perfect season to lose oneself in stories that evoke a sense of warmth, wonder, and adventure, providing a much-needed escape from the cold outside.  So without further ado, here are some books that we believe encapsulate the spirit of winter reading perfectly.

  • The Bones of the Story by Carol Goodman
  • The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  • The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  • A Winter in New York by Josie Silver
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
  • Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
  • Reasonable Adults by Robin Lefler
  • A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Bones of the Story by Carol Goodman

The Bones of the Story by Carol Goodman

A gripping locked-room mystery unfolds as a group of former classmates reunite on their college campus. With a murderer among them, their pasts gradually reveal a deadly truth. As the stormy weekend progresses, eerie parallels between their chilling horror stories and real-life deaths emerge. With the crimes of the past resurfacing, they must confront their dark secrets before it’s too late. Will they survive the weekend to uncover the shocking secret from twenty-five years ago?


The Bones of the Story is one of the books in The 2023 Summer Reading Guide.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

Inspired by the life of Martha Ballard, a courageous 18th-century midwife, The Frozen River is a gripping historical mystery set in Maine, 1789. When a man is found dead in the frozen Kennebec River, Martha is called to determine the cause of death. As she unravels the truth, her diary becomes the center of a scandal, forcing her to confront her loyalties. This clever and subversive novel explores justice, women’s voices, and the enduring legacy of an unsung heroine.


The Frozen River is one of the books in our Winter Reading Guide and the Good Morning America Book Club pick for December 2023.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.



Beartown by Fredrik Backman

This is a story about a town and a game, but even more about loyalty, commitment, and the responsibilities of friendship; the people we disappoint even though we love them; and the decisions we make every day that come to define us.


Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden is one woman’s sweeping, heartbreaking story of love, loss, and redemption. At once an epic love story set in World War II Russia and an intimate portrait of contemporary mothers and daughters poised at the crossroads of their lives, it explores the heartbreak of war, the cost of survival and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart — he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone — but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.


A Winter in New York by Josie Silver

A Winter in New York by Josie Silver

In this captivating novel by the New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December, a young chef discovers a secret family recipe that may hold the key to the love and fulfillment she’s been seeking. As Iris embarks on a new life in New York, she stumbles upon a gelateria that could be connected to her mother’s past. With the shop in danger of closing, Iris offers her culinary skills to recreate the unique gelato flavor, leading her on a journey of love, family, and self-discovery. But when hidden secrets come to light, Iris must confront the consequences that threaten everything she’s built in her newfound life.


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake. Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Levin, a man striving to find contentment and meaning to his life.


The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck

The Winter Orphans by Kristin Beck

This poignant and triumphant novel tells the incredible true story of children who courageously escaped the Nazis by braving dangerous wintry mountain passes in France. Set in 1942, the story follows Jewish refugee Ella Rosenthal and her sister Hanni as they seek refuge in a derelict castle overseen by the Swiss Red Cross. With the help of Swiss volunteers Rösli Näf and Anne-Marie Piguet, they embark on a perilous journey to smuggle the children out of France, facing unrelenting danger and risking everything for a chance at a better future.


Misery by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.


In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

A sweeping novel that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil.


Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds

Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds

A sixteen-year-old girl embarks on a mission to find the perfect boyfriend during Hanukkah. Her plan involves her great-uncle’s assistant, Isaac, but there’s just one problem – she’s terrible at flirting. Enter Tyler, her former crush and nemesis, who offers to teach her how to win Isaac over in exchange for career connections. However, as they spend more time together, Shira begins to see a different side of Tyler. Amidst snowy adventures and heartfelt moments, Shira must trust her heart to find the true romance that will bring her happiness.


The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil. Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.


An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one.  And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.


Reasonable Adults by Robin Lefler

Reasonable Adults by Robin Lefler

A newly single marketing executive takes a chance on a winter job at an exclusive artists’ retreat in Canada, only to find herself overwhelmed. This sharply written debut novel combines deep soul searching, propitious romance, and a snowy setting as the protagonist navigates the next phase of her life in unexpected ways. With wit and heart, Reasonable Adults explores the crossroads we all face and the detours that lead us where we need to go.


A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire

As he explores themes of class, isolation, family, and the dangerous yearning to be saved by a power greater than ourselves, Gregory Maguire conjures a haunting, beautiful tale of magical realism that illuminates one young woman’s heartbreak and hope as she begins the inevitable journey to adulthood.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A story about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.


Frequently Asked Questions about Winter Books

Where can I chill and read a book?

There are numerous ideal places to settle down with a book during the winter season.  If you’re staying indoors, a cozy nook by the fireside with a comfy chair and a soft blanket can be the perfect spot.  Alternatively, consider creating a reading corner in your bedroom with plenty of cushions, a reading lamp, and a warm quilt.  For those who don’t mind braving the cold, a quiet café with a view of the falling snow can be a magical place to lose yourself in a novel.  Public libraries also offer a peaceful ambience for winter reading.  Lastly, if you prefer the online world, there are virtual reading rooms and book clubs where you can read and discuss your favorite books with other literature enthusiasts.  Remember, the important thing about winter reading is to find a place where you feel relaxed and comfortable.

What is the best time to read books?

The best time to read books largely depends on individual preferences and daily routines.  However, many people, myself included find the early mornings an optimal time for reading, as it’s typically quieter and allows for uninterrupted focus.  Others prefer reading during the evening, as a way to unwind and relax before bedtime.  Winter evenings are particularly appealing for reading, with the cozy ambiance created by dim lighting and the soft crackle of a fireplace.  Ultimately, the best time for winter reading – or reading at any time of year – is whenever you can create a tranquil space and dedicate time to immerse yourself in the pages of a book.

Does reading a book calm you down?

Yes, reading a book can indeed calm you down.  Neuroscientists have discovered that when we indulge in the act of reading, our heart rate slows down, and our muscles relax.  This state of calm can be achieved just six minutes into reading!  Not only is it a great escape from day-to-day pressures, but it also transports us into a different world, allowing for a temporary respite from our current realities.  Particularly in winter, when the outside world is cold and dark, the act of winter reading, nestled in a cozy corner with a good book, can act as a comforting balm, alleviating stress and promoting relaxation.

Is Jane Eyre a winter book?

Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte, is not typically categorized as a “winter book” in the sense that it specifically revolves around winter or has a plot heavily influenced by it.  However, with its atmospheric descriptions of the English countryside and intense, emotional plot, it can certainly be a great choice for a winter read.  The gothic elements, the brooding Mr. Rochester, and the strong-willed Jane herself all combine to create a narrative that can be thoroughly enjoyed on a cold winter’s evening.  Therefore, while it may not be a ‘winter book’ in the traditional sense, its immersive plot and evocative settings make it a fitting choice for your winter reading list.

What do you think about these winter books to cozy up with?

Have you read any books from this list?  What are your favorite winter books?  What winter books would you add to the list?  Let’s talk all about winter reading in the comments.


Winter Books to Cozy Up With

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  1. Jill says:

    I think I knew this, but it was just confirmed for me. I like books about winter. I’ve read 4 of these, I’m currently reading 1 more, I have 3 of them sitting in my tbr pile next to my bed and added 1 more to my tbr list last week. I need more winter book suggestions.

    • Victoria Wood says:

      I’m thrilled to hear this Jill, isn’t it just wonderful when you’ve found exactly what works for you?! We’ll be sure to curate more winter-themed books and bring another list this year. Happy reading!

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