11 Books That Are Perfect to Read Over the Winter

It’s only November, and we’ve already seen the Polar Vortex rear its ugly head. We have another endless, bleak winter ahead of us, there aren’t enough blankets to hide under. However, there might be a bright side. While you’re trying to decide if it’s really worth it to go out into the tundra tonight night, only to spend tons of money on drinks in an outfit less than conducive to warmth, think of your bed. Think of being warm and wrapped up in blankets and maybe just this once send that “I think I’ll stay in tonight” text.

Sure, there are shows to be binge watched on Netflix, but there are also so many books that we would never have the time to read during the rest of the year. Summer, spring, and fall all offer endless possibilities of beaches, festivals, and events. Take the excuse the winter is giving you to stay inside and catch up on all of those titles you swear you’ve been meaning to get to, but never had a chance to. Winter is for staying in and waiting for spring. Like a bear who has to be awake.

Here are some amazing books that are perfect to hunker down with this winter:


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Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, Tartt’s 700+-page novel follows Theo, who traumatically loses his mother at the start of the book. The Goldfinch is the story of art theft, of secrets kept and revisited. There’s friendship, love, loss and eventually, maybe, redemption. The novel is beautifully written, and bursting with gorgeous quotes. It’s a serious coming of age story, so you meet so many people along the way — you end up wishing you knew them yourself.

Perfect for winter because: Part of the book takes place in frigid New York City during the winter months, but part of it takes place in blazing hot Las Vegas, so you can keep warm vicariously through the book.


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The 834-page winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize is a novel that begins the way any good book should: on a dark and stormy night. Walter Moody is a young man who has come to New Zealand in 1866 to make a fortune at work in the goldfields. Upon his arrival, he meets 12 men discussing the series of strange events that have been unfolding. At once a work of historical fiction and a mysterious thriller, The Luminaries has something for everyone, and will keep your turning the pages on more than one cold night.

Perfect for winter because: The opener sets the perfect mood for winter: light some candles and bundle up, reveling in the fact that you’re safe and warm, and not outside in freezing mid-19th century New Zealand.


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At 624 pages, The Bone Clocks is short in comparison to the first two books on the list, but no less engrossing. Holly Sykes is 15 years old when she storms out of her house after a fight with her mother, never guessing what life had in store for her. Out on her own, Holly is contacted by voices she knew as a child as “the radio people.” Holly turns out to be receptive to psychic activity, and has caught the attention of a group of dangerous mystics. Travelling through time as Holly’s family tries to cope with and understand her disappearance, The Bone Clocks is an unputdownable novel, and one of the best books released in 2014.

Perfect for winter because: Spanning decades of Holly’s life and those of the people she meets, The Bone Clocks is the perfect book to get completely lost in for a few hours while the snow falls outside your window.


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Published in 1997, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of Murakami’s best-loved books. A newly unemployed man, Toru Okada, is on a quest to find his wife’s missing cat. She tells him the cat is symbolic of their relationship. Determined to find the cat and stop yet another rift from forming between them, Toru stumbles on secrets and characters he never knew existed in his quiet Tokyo suburb. A psychic prostitute, a morbid 16-year-old girl, and a war veteran are just a few of the many characters that make up this 607-page work.

Perfect for winter because: What better time to get lost in a long, twisty mystery like this one than a cold winter day, when you have nothing more to do than unravel it?


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A 531-page work of historical fiction, All the Light We Cannot See is a fantastic read. Doerr tells the story of Marie Laure, a young girl living in Paris with her father, who goes blind at the age of six. When German troops come to occupy Paris, Marie Laure and her father find safety in the small town of Saint Malo, where she comes to meet Werner. Werner is an orphan, a master at fixing and understanding radios, and member of the Hitler youth. Set against the brutality of World War II, All the Light We Cannot See is about finding the light and beauty where there seems to only be darkness.

Perfect for winter because: The love these characters have for each other, and the positive outlook they manage to maintain in the darkest of situations, will thaw even the coldest of people.


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