Winter is coming. Whether it feels like it yet or not in your neck of the woods, the coldest season is nearly here. How will you prepare for the winter? How about stocking up on these excellent winter reads? All ten books on this list make for a perfect fireside companion. Grab yourself a cozy blanket, a mug of hot cocoa, and one of the books from this list, and let the winter reading begin.
It's a cold, snowy New Year's Eve night when Irene Steele receives a devastating phone call: her husband, away on business, has been killed in a helicopter crash. To find out what happened to her husband, Irene travels with her sons to the Caribbean island of St. John. There, she discovers her husband has been leading a secret life, and that's only the beginning of the mysteries Irene unravels in her search for the truth. This is the perfect winter read for someone looking to trade cold weather for beaches, drama, and intrigue.
by Daniel Mason
In this heartfelt historical fiction novel, young Lucius is a medical student in Vienna when World War I breaks out. Although Lucius has never worked directly with patients, he is eager to serve his country and enlists in the Austrian Medical Corps. What Lucius discovers about the war in the harsh winter landscape of the Carpathian Mountains is much more gruesome than he anticipated.
Looking for a novel about the holidays featuring a family with more drama than yours? You've found it in this book. This is the first in Hilderbrand's Winter Street series, which follows the Quinn Family, owners of The Winter Street Inn in Nantucket. As the family comes together for the holidays, they will be forced to get through their fair share of drama. Think secret love affairs, unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, and much more.
by Janet Fitch
This sweeping historical novel set in Russia in 1916 is well researched and worth the read. This is a coming of age story about a young girl named Marina Makarova. When we meet her in St. Petersburg in 1916, she is a young idealistic poet living a life of privilege. But she soon gets swept up in the revolution and leaves her life of luxury to become a Bolshevik spy. As Marina witnesses her country transforming, she too grows and changes.
by Jody Shields
This novel is a historical mystery set in the Russian outpost of Kharbin, in Manchuria and based on a true story. One dangerously cold winter, people begin mysteriously dying, and what's more mysterious is the fact that several of the bodies are disappearing before they can be identified. The Baron, the city's medical commissioner, is determined to discover the cause of this plague. But can he stop it before it spreads?
by Eowyn Ivey
In this wintery retelling of a Russian fairy tale, set in Alaska in 1920, a childless couple named Jack and Mabel build a daughter out of snow. The next morning their snow creation is gone, and a little girl named Faina is there in its place. Jack and Mabel take in the young girl and treat her as if she were their own daughter. But what is Faina really? Is she real, or simply a fairy tale?
Every winter, Evan looks forward to being reunited with his childhood friend Lucy, his childhood friend who moved away after her parents' divorce. The only problem is Lucy is no longer the girl he grew up with. She seems hardened and changed, and Evan is determined to find the old Lucy underneath this new tough exterior, even if it means jeopardizing their friendship. This young adult novel features beautiful wintery illustrations throughout to really help set the scene.
Set in 1700s Sweden, this historical thriller tells the story of a Finnish family escaping to a new settlement in Sweden in the hopes of forgetting past traumas. But as the seasons change and "wolf winter" begins, the family, along with the rest of the settlers, has to endure the harshness of a winter-long darkness. This harsh weather forces everyone to work together, but who can they trust?
Rounding off this list is one final fairy tale retelling, this one a reimagining of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. Kai and Ginny have been best friends for as long as they can remember, but now that they're seventeen, that friendship is beginning to blossom into something more. That is, until one day when Kai runs off with a strange and beautiful girl named Mora. But Ginny refuses to give up on her love that easily. She goes after Kai and Mora and finds herself lost in a world filled with monsters and thieves and a harsh winter that is perhaps more powerful than love.
Happy winter, everyone. Grab one or all of these books, and stay warm.