I adore all of the changing seasons here in the Northeast and usually get excited about the weather turning cold and the first snowfall. However, even I often get cabin fever as the depth of winter hits. My favorite way to beat the winter blues is to curl up with a blanket and a few cozy books to read.
The best cozy books to read in winter dive into snowy settings or feature chilling stories. I love cozy books that take place in Alaska or are set during winter. This is also the perfect time of year to get a bit scared with eerie stories and gothic suspense!
Take advantage of these early sunsets and freezing weather by spending an evening with one of these cozy wintry reads.
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Cozy Books to Read in Winter
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
You may have heard of Ivey’s more popular first novel, The Snow Child (which I’d also highly recommend), but her second book is also worth a read. This story is told in alternating perspectives during 1885 between a pregnant wife and her husband who is leading an expedition to explore the Alaskan wilderness.
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The world outside your windows may look just like Narnia during winter, but hopefully you won’t encounter the wolves or the White Witch. This children’s classic is absolutely a delight to read with your kids or enjoy yourself as an adult.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The author just released a new novel, but I’d recommend this gothic suspense tale instead. A reclusive author who’s famous for her twelve mesmerizing stories is finally releasing the thirteenth, the truth about her life. Another gothic suspense I’d recommend as a cozy book to read during winter is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier!
Selected Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost
Robert Frost’s poems are beautiful and thoughtful, yet still accessible for those of us who rarely (or never, like me) read poetry. Stopping By The Woods on a Snowy Evening is a classic for this time of year.
Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
I came across this book in December, but didn’t get around to reading it before Christmas. It takes place during the holiday season, so it’s a great holiday read if you can find it! This is the first book in an excellent series about a cozy Nantucket inn and the family who owns it. There’s lots of drama but also heartwarming resolutions.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
As the Starks say, “Winter is Coming!” These lengthy tomes are quite an undertaking, but the series is masterful and loaded with intrigue, shocking plot twists, and cunning characters. While the TV adaptation is stellar (or at least the first few seasons), the depth and nuance of the books is unparalleled.
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones is constantly making new resolutions to better herself, and her successes and failures and restarts fit right right in during January. I’m always up for a reread of this modern day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Plus, the movie is just as much fun!
The Shining by Stephen King
Avoid the movie and go straight to the book with this one! When Jack Torrance and his family move into the Overlook Hotel for the winter, they think they’ll have the place to themselves for the season. However, they discover sinister forces while they’re cooped up together and Jack slowly falls victim to their temptations.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Another novel set in Alaska that features the human struggle against brutal winters. I couldn’t put down this wintry read. A husband and wife and their daughter move to Alaska and attempt to forge a life there. However, both the cruelty of nature and increasingly terrifying moods of the husband seem out to destroy them. If you want another lighter read set in Alaska, check out my review of The Simple Wild, a contemporary romance!
What are your favorite cozy books to read during winter?