My 2018 Top Winter Reads

When I think of winter reading, I picture snuggling up with a cup of tea and a cosy book. But this is not a cosy book reading list! Some of my favourite winter reads are books that are best enjoyed with the weather outside is grizzly and inhospitable. Sure, some of them are snuggly books, but others aren’t so friendly. What are your favourite books to read in winter?

My 2018 Top Winter Reads


For Adult Readers

Blankets by Craig Thompson

25179PUBLISHER: Top Shelf Productions
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2003
GENRE: Adult Graphic Novel
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Goodreads blurb: Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.

Blankets is the perfect Winter read for you if… you love graphic novels; you like coming-of-age stories; you are interested in stories that explore faith and religion.

What to read next:

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel Read My ReviewAdd on Goodreads

The Shining by Stephen King

51OfyciTeVL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
RELEASE DATE: July 1, 1980
GENRE: Adult Fiction, Horror, Thriller
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Goodreads blurb: Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

The Shining is the perfect Winter read for you if… you like classic horror; you like multiple narrators; you want to be on the edge of your seat; you want a believable and complicated villain.

What to read next:

Slade House by David Mitchell Read My ReviewAdd on Goodreads

Calypso by David Sedaris

9781408707821PUBLISHER: Little, Brown
RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2018
GENRE: Memoir, Humour
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Goodreads blurb: With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

Calypso is the perfect Winter read for you if… you want something to read during your work commute; you like short memoirs that will make you laugh and cringe.

What to read next:

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson Add on Goodreads

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller… by Italo Calvino

51BO-yrpq2L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_PUBLISHER: Vintage Classics
GENRE: Adult Magical Realism, Modern Classic
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Goodreads blurb: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration–“when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded.” Italo Calvino’s novel is in one sense a comedy in which the two protagonists, the Reader and the Other Reader, ultimately end up married, having almost finished If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. In another, it is a tragedy, a reflection on the difficulties of writing and the solitary nature of reading.

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller is the perfect Winter read for you if… you like reading modern classics; you are interested in meta, experimental fiction; you want a blend of multiple genres; you want to be surprised.

What to read next:

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Add on Goodreads
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez | Add on Goodreads

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

9780307455291-ukPUBLISHER: Knopf
RELEASE DATE: September 26, 2006
GENRE: Apocalyptic Fiction 
Read My Review | Add on Goodreads

Goodreads blurb: A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Road is the perfect Winter read for you if… you like apocalyptic fiction; you enjoy literary fiction; you want to read a strong father/son relationship; you want an emotionally-demanding read.

What to read next:

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood Add on Goodreads
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks | Add on Goodreads

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

Layout 1PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
RELEASE DATE: June 17, 2013
GENRE: Contemporary Adult Fiction
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Goodreads blurb: Eimear McBride’s debut tells, with astonishing insight and in brutal detail, the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist.

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is the perfect Winter read for you if… you are interested in experimental fiction; you love lyrical writing or spoken word poetry; you want a well-developed female narrator; you are not daunted by challenging topics such as abuse and terminal illness.

What to read next:

My Hundred Lovers by Susan Johnson Read My Review Add on Goodreads
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath | Add on Goodreads


For YA Readers

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fbcdc2baea889a58b2e104feca731649PUBLISHER: St Martin’s Press
RELEASE DATE: September 10, 2013
GENRE: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
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Goodreads blurb: CATH IS A SIMON SNOW FAN. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan… But for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath that she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Fangirl is the perfect Winter read for you if… you are an introvert; you are interested in reading a strong sister relationship; you love contemporary YA with a romantic twist; you want fantastic dialogue and character conflict.

What to read next:

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Add on Goodreads
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour Read My Review | Add on Goodreads

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

28243032 (1)PUBLISHER: Dutton Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
Read My Review | Add on Goodreads

Goodreads blurb: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

We Are Okay is the perfect Winter read for you if… you want a sad and sweet read that will leave you in a reflective mood; you are interested in well-written girl/girl friendships; you want a strong female protagonist; you love poetry and strong imagery.

What to read next:

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King Add on Goodreads

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

51A99teA6iL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf
GENRE: Young Adult Historical Fiction
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Goodreads blurb: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still. By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

The Book Thief is the perfect Winter read for you if…. you are interested in experimental fiction; you love historical fiction; you want characters you can invest in and fall in love with; you want a story that will involve all your emotions.

What to read next:

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Add on Goodreads
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein | Add on Goodreads


For Junior Readers

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

9780747594802PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
RELEASE DATE: September 30, 2008
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy, Adventure
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Goodreads blurb: Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…

The Graveyard Book is the perfect Winter read for you if… you like paranormal fantasy; you want a rollicking adventure; you want a cast of kooky characters.

What to read next:

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones Add on Goodreads
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting | Add on Goodreads

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

9780734418074PUBLISHER: Hachette Australia
RELEASE DATE: October 31, 2017
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy, Adventure
Read My Review | Add on Goodreads

Goodreads blurb: Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Nevermoor is the perfect Winter read for you if… you want a strong female protagonist; you want to be taken on a magical journey; you want to read a strong character arc.

What to read next:

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani Add on Goodreads
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill | Add on Goodreads

Withering-By-Sea by Judith Rossell

RELEASE DATE: November 2014
GENRE: Middle Grade Historical Fantasy, Mystery
Read My Review | Add on Goodreads

Goodreads blurb: High on a cliff above the gloomy coastal town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful Aunts. But one night, Stella sees something she shouldn’t have… Something that will set in motion and adventure more terrifying and more wonderful than she could ever have hoped for…

Withering-By-Sea is the perfect Winter read for you if… you like Victorian mysteries; you want to be taken on an adventure; you like a touch of fantasy.

What to read next:

Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall Add on Goodreads
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry | Add on Goodreads

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

9780007323128PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
RELEASE DATE: October 16, 1950
GENRE: Classic Literature, Middle Grade Fantasy
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Goodreads blurb: NARNIA…the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy…the place where the adventure begins. Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the perfect Winter read for you if… you love classic children’s literature; you want a battle between good and evil; you enjoy high fantasy; you want an enchanting adventure.

What to read next:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Add on Goodreads
The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit | Add on Goodreads


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