One of the things that I hate about being so distant from the rest of the world over here in Australia is that the rest of the world is enjoying their summer and going to the beach and we’re stuck down here, lamenting about our winter. While I do love winter — the hot chocolates, reading inside on a rainy day, wearing big scarfs and warm coats — it’s often hard to get into the wintery mood while there are summery books being released and talked about everywhere else.
Take My True Love Gave to Me for example, a festive season anthology all about Christmas and winter and all the other holidays that take place around that time. I mean, it’s a little bit hard to know when to read this book because I want to read it in December to get me in the mood for the festive season, but it’s difficult to read about baking gingerbread men while it snows outside when it’s 40 degrees outside where I live. But if I read it in the Australian winter, then I get all excited about the festive season six months before it actually comes around! You see my dilemma?
So instead of crying about how lonely is it to live on an island in the middle of nowhere, where it takes a whole day on a plane to fly to America or Britain, I’m going to share some of my favourite wintery reads with you! If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where it’s winter around June and July, these are some of the books you can pick up to get in the mood for the colder time of the year! If it’s summer where you live, ha! You’ll have to wait six more months until you can see the first snow fall or the nights get darker earlier. I guess that’s a curse or a blessing, depending on whether you’re a summer or a winter person.
I feel like reading thrillers in winter is a thousand times scarier than reading them in summer, where the sun doesn’t set until 9pm. I absolutely love curling up on the couch with a good thriller when it’s dark outside and rain can be heard pattering steadily down. There’s nothing quite like reading a book that makes your heart pound and have your fears increased by the howling of the wind outside, the branches of the trees by your window scratching the glass. If you enjoy these types of books, you should definitely pick up Black — there’s a forest chase-scene that will make you want to sleep with your lights on.
Set in a place called Verity, I image the setting to always be cold, the sun always setting late in the afternoon. As This Savage Song is quite a dark novel, filled with monsters and soul-stealing, it’s the perfect book to read when it’s pitch black outside. You never know what demons could be lurking outside your window. It’s fast-paces and will leave your heart racing, and it’s the kind of book that should be read with a cup of tea nearby that you will happen to forget all about because of the intensity of the narrative.
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
I mean, just look at that cover and tell me it isn’t the perfect winter read. While I haven’t read this one yet, as it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I imagine that it will be filled with snowy plains and cloaks and frostbitten roses. I definitely want to read this book before winter is over, and I’m sure I’ll need some cookies and a cup of chai on hand. Maybe a teapot.
Have you ever felt cold just by reading about someone in the snow, or watching a movie set outside during winter? Somehow, I can’t help but want to wrap a blanket around myself when I’m presented with snow, be it fictional or not. This novel follows two young women who want to go hiking for a weekend but get caught in a blizzard (or similar) and have to find a cabin to wait out the storm. As a thriller set in the snow, it couldn’t be a more perfect read for winter.
It’s a while since I read this book, but if I recall correctly, it’s set in winter. There’s something so magical about winter in big cities — the way everyone walks around wrapped in big coats, warmth wafts from shops every time someone exits, and snow lines the streets. It’s my dream to experience something like that, something I’ve read so much about and seen so many times on TV. My only experiences with snow have been on mountains in Australia, and I so wish to experience a true New York or London winter. And being about grief, this is the kind of book you’ll want to read while bundled in your duvet.
This one is another creepy novel, and there’s elements that will make you question whether what the characters are experiencing are actually happening. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer definitely isn’t a beach-read — you’ll want to be inside reading while a storm is raging outside and you’re safe inside, protected from the elements and the monsters that might lurk around your neighbourhood.
This mystery / crime novel will make you want to devour it all in one sitting. Complete with characters who you aren’t sure you can 100% trust and a narrative that will only slowly reveal all the details to you, it’s perfect for a cold night you’re spending alone indoors. Like the other mysterious and thrilling books on this list, this book is one that you won’t want to put down, even when you’re sure the sounds of the branches scratching your windows and dogs howling sound almost like there’s someone out there. Maybe there is…
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are you favourite kind of novels to read in winter? Do you read books according to the season? I’d love to know!