It is the time of year that many of us enjoy reading winter books, and I am sharing some of the best books for winter reading.
I love to read books set in the season featured in the book. During the summer, I am not usually in the mood for a book set in a cold place, and during the winter, I don’t enjoy reading a book set in a tropical location.
This time of year, many people are longing for spring, but the reality is that for most of us, there are several weeks, if not longer, of winter left.
During December, I often turn towards holiday books, but during the rest of winter, I love to read books set during the winter months and in colder weather.
If you are like me and love to read winter books during the colder months of the year then this list of best books for winter reading is for you.
The list includes fiction and nonfiction. As always, this list only contains books that we have read.
Winter Fiction Books
Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel. The story of a group of Jews who escaped the ghettos and hid and lived in the forests during WWII.
Much of this book takes place in winter, or at least colder weather, so it makes a great winter read for those who enjoy WWII historical fiction.
The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. Set in Ukraine during Hitler’s invasion, this WWII book is a great read. It was one of my favorite books in 2022.
It is based on a real-life female sniper during WWII since it is set in Ukraine it is perfect for winter reading.
Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. This is the perfect winter read. I read this in December and it ended up being one of my top reads of 2023.
The Frozen River is based on the real life midwife Martha Ballard who lived in Maine in 1789. This book takes place of the course of one winter so it makes a great winter read.
Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher. First published in 2000, this book has become a winter classic for many people. I have heard some people say that they read this every year.
This is a slow, quiet novel set in Scotland. But it is not dull. It is about life and death, marriage and divorce, and the overall ups and downs of everyday life.
I now have a goal to read all of Rosamund Pilcher’s books.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This WWII historical fiction book is set in Lithuania and Siberia. Lina, the main character’s life, is changed forever when the Soviet Secret Police take her and her family from their home.
This is considered a young adult book, but it is a book that adults will enjoy, too. Since most of the book is set in Siberia, it makes for a great winter read.
Still Life by Louise Penny. This is a recent read for me. Yes, it took me years to pick up a Louise Penny book. This book is set in Quebec during the colder months of the year.
Many people think of this one for fall reading. It is a good fall read, but it also makes a good winter read. If you love mysteries and have not read Louise Penny, it is time to pick it up. As you read on in the series there are quite a few that are set in the winter.
The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd. This is an excellent book for fans of Downton Abbey. It is a WWI book set during the holidays in England.
Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan. A brother and sister are on a quest to find out where Narnia came from. I read this in December and enjoyed it.
It is set during the holidays, but I think it would be a good read for any time in winter.
The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff. This historical fiction WWII book was published in 2014. It is set in winter, which is perfect for this time of year.
Winter Nonfiction Books
Empire of Ice and Stone by Buddy Levy. I have mentioned this book multiple times over the last year. There is a reason for that. This book is so good. I think it is the perfect nonfiction winter read.
Empire of Ice and Stone is the story of the Karluk and its voyage between Alaska and Siberia in 1913. It is a story of leadership, survival, and more.
If you love adventure stories this is a great one.
The White Darkness by David Grann. This book is about Henry Worsley and his fascination with polar exploration.
It shares his journey across Antarctica. As usual, David Grann does a great job drawing you into the story.
The Children’s Blizzard by David Lakin. Have you ever heard of The Children’s Blizzard or The School Children’s Blizzard?
The Children’s Blizzard is the real-life account of winter on the Dakota prairies during 1888 when over two hundred people died in a blizzard. It is now known as The Children’s Blizzard because most of those who died were school children.
Endurance by Alfred Lansing. Published in 1959, this book about Antarctica is considered a classic nonfiction book.
I read this book years ago when my father-in-law highly recommended it. If you have not read this one, it is a great read. I think it is time for me to reread it.
The Ghost Ships of Archangel by William Geroux. Grace enjoyed this book about an Arctic voyage during WWII.
If you love little-known WWII stories, you will probably enjoy this one.