Today we’re talking about books I think you should pick up this winter. For me, cold weather is perfect for curling up with a cozy blanket, a cup of cocoa, and a good book. I especially like books set in a cold environment or epic fantasy in the winter. And, of course I had to add my favorite classic to the list.
»» Greenglass House by Kate Milford
This is a heartwarming middle grade story set at an Inn during winter break. Though 12 year old Milo is expecting to spend the break relaxing with his parents, on the first night of vacation, the door bell just keeps ringing. There are unexpected guests each with their own strange stories and a mystery to be solved.
“Nobody said it had to be a story with an ending all neatly tied up like some ridiculous fairy tale. This story’s true, and true stories don’t have endings, because things just keep going.”
»» The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The Winternight trilogy is one of my favorites of all time. It is a dark, historical fantasy set in Russia and full of magic. This series has a wonderfully atmospheric setting, a brooding frost demon, and a strong female protagonist who refuses to be confined by the expectations of her gender.
“Wild birds die in cages.”
»» The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I mean, could I have a list without including my favorite book of all time? I think not. The Night Circus is a beautifully written story of Celia, Marco, and a circus that serves as the medium for a magical competition. It is the perfect story to loose yourself in while cozied up by the fire.
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
»» Dead Voices by Katherine Arden
This is a chilling middle grade book set at a haunted resort during a snow storm. Do you even need to know more?
“I believe in memory. I believe in remembering someone you love so well that it becomes kind of like a ghost. You remember someone so hard that it feels like they’re in the next room, just around the corner, that they could walk in any minute.”
»» Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
It’s a classic. It’s Jane Austen. Dr. Darcy is the original brooding love interest who turns out to be a cinnamon roll.
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
»» Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s writing is genuinely lovely.
Gods of Jade and Shadow is a gorgeous, #ownvoices historical fantasy set during the Jazz Age and inspired by Mexican Folklore. And Casiopea has become one of my favorite characters in literature.
“Casiopea was a realist, but her youth made it impossible to remain rooted to the earth every second of the day. Once in a while she sneaked a line of poetry into her heart, or memorized the name of a star.”
»» Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
This is another atmospheric book set during the winter following 3 strong female characters who are tired of dealing with men’s bullshit. Novik’s writing is so good, and I loved seeing how these stories were woven together.
“But I had not known that I was strong enough to do any of those things until they were over and I had done them. I had to do the work first, not knowing.”
»» Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
It doesn’t get more epic than Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series. So if you haven’t spent time in this fantastic world yet, this winter is the perfect time to pick up this story and listen to Fitz tell you his tale. Also, Nighteyes4Ever.
“It doesn’t have to be that bad,’ Chade said quietly. ‘Most prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too.”
»» Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Elantris is Brandon Sanderson’s first published novel, and although you can tell that his writing has improved over the last 10 years. I still find this to be a fantastically plotted story. And, I loved the characters.
“To live is to have worries and uncertainties. Keep them inside, and they will destroy you for certain–leaving behind a person so callused that emotion can find no root in his heart.”
»» An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
This is a brutal, intensive YA Fantasy series that won my heart almost immediately. And I’m anxiously awaiting a publication date for the 4th book. The world building in this book is wonderful – and if you like a good angsty romance you’ve got to try this. Sabaa Tahir isn’t nice to her characters, and she makes no apologies for it.
“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength.”
I hope you get a chance to pick up one of these wonderful books this winter, and maybe even find a new favorite. If you’re already read and loved any of these, let me know!
Happy Reading ♥