Best Books, Fiction & Literature, Nonfiction

The 16 Best Books for Cold Winter Nights

“What are the best winter books?” We looked at 23 articles and 217 different books in an attempt to answer that very question. Below you will find our results of the 16 best winter books of all-time. Click here to see the methodology used.

The Type of Intro Paragraph That can be Found in a Best Books to Read in Winter Listicle

As the dark night hours stretch longer and the weather gets colder, now is the best time of year to curl up inside and stay warm with a good book. Take a look at our winter book list and stock up like a bear with food so you can hibernate the winter away in the best possible way. Below is a list we created from looking at 23 winter themed lists, over 215 books.

Types of things you will find in the winter book lists:

  • Multivolume fantasy series
  • Donna Tartt
  • A mix of black and white imagery
  • The phrases “keep warm” and “curl up”
  • Mentions of the other seasons
  • Snow
The Top 16 Books to Read in Winter

Lists consulted: 23
Unique books listed:  217 (See full list below ranked items)

16.) Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Appears On: 2 Lists
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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin


15.) Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert


14.) Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Stranger in the Woods- A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams II, Jean Stoick


13.) The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey


12.)The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Snowy Day (Peter #1) by Ezra Jack Keats


11.) The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Vacationers by Emma Straub


10.) The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins


9.) The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Dark is Rising (The Dark Is Rising #2) by Susan Cooper


8.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘ by Stieg Larsson

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy #1) by Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland


7.) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


6.) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Appears On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman


5.) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn more about title

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


4.) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn more about title

The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle #4) by Ursula K. Le Guin


3.) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Appears On: 3 Lists
Learn more about title

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter #1-7) by J.K. Rowling


2.) The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

Appears On: 4 Lists
Learn more about title

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #1) by C.S. Lewis


1.) The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Appears On: 5 Lists
Learn more about title

The Secret History by Donna Tartt


The 201 Other Books That Appear on The Best Winter Reading Lists
  • 12 Kinds of Ice, by Ellen Bryan Obed
  • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Foll
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • A Perfect Day, by Carin Berger,
  • A Season in Hell Rimbaud
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett (Feiwel & Friends)
  • Already Dead Denis Johnson
  • Amateur Night at the Bubblegum Kittikat: A Memoir—Victoria Fedden
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner
  • Anna Kerenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Artful
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson
  • Austerlitz W. G. Sebald
  • Autobiography of Red Anne Carson
  • Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife—Peggy Vincent.
  • Baby Penguins Everywhere!, by Melissa Guion,
  • Become a Better You
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai
    Undercity—Katherine Boo
  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler (Simon Pulse)
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson (Top Shelf)
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens,
  • Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  • by Heinrich Harrer
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Chaos Walking Series—Patrick Ness
  • Charley’s First Night, by Amny Hest, and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
  • Chicken soup for the Couple’s Soul
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Cold Snap, by Eileen Spinelli, and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
  • Coming Clean: A Memoir—Kimberly Rae Miller
  • Crescent—Diana Abu-Jaber.
  • Dad is Fat—Jim Gaffigan
  • Damn You, Autocorrect! Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn’t
    Mean to Send—Jillian Madison
  • Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants—
    Malcolm Gladwell
  • Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
  • Deerskin
  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passions and Purpose—Tony
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • East of Eden John Steinbeck
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India
    and Indonesia
  • Eating Dirt by Charlotte Gill
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
  • Fall of Giants’ by Ken Follett
  • Far From You by Lisa Schroeder (Simon Pulse)
  • Frankenstein
  • Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston (Putnam)
  • George Washington’s Secret Six – Brian Kilmeade
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Haunted Houses by Lynne Tillman
  • Her Fearful Symmetry’ by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Hild Nicola Griffith
  • Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
  • Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris
  • Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure—Sarah MacDonald
  • Home for Christmas Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  • How to Cook Everything—Mark Bittman.
  • Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason
  • If It’s Snowy and You Know It by Kim Norman
  • In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods Matt Bell
  • Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Labyrinths Jorge Luis Borges
  • Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Kids Counting Money, by Emily Jenkins
    and G. Brian Karas
  • Life of Pi—Yann Martel
  • Light Boxes” by Shane Jones
  • Love in the time of Cholera (MTI)
  • Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne (HarperTeen)
  • Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara (Simon & Schuster)
  • Mating Norman Rush
  • Memory, Thorn and Sorrow
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Miracle and Other Christmas Stories Connie Willis’
  • Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi: My Humble Quest to Heal My
    Colitis, Calm My ADD and Find the Key to Happiness—Brian Leaf.
  • Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
  • Moby-Dick
  • My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  • “My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally
    Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan,
    Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kiersten
  • Native Speaker Chang-Rae Lee
  • Nigerians in Space by Deji Olukotun
  • Nine Stories” by J.D. Salinger
  • North to the Night: A Spiritual Odyssey in the Arctic” by Alvah Simon
  • Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  • Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole, by Stan & Jan Berenstain
  • Olive Kitteridge’ by Elizabeth Strout
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude—Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Polar Bear Morning, by Lauren Thompson, and illustrated by Stephen
  • Possession by AS Byatt
  • Red Sled by Lita Judge
  • Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish
  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  • Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Henry Holt & Co.)
  • Sharp Objects: A Novel—Gillian Flynn
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)
  • Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert
  • Snow-Walker by Catherine Fisher (Greenwillow)
  • Snowdrops by AD Miller
  • Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner
  • Still Alice ­– Lisa Genova
  • Stone Cold
  • Stoner John Williams
  • Swords Against Death
  • Swordspoint
  • Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by
    Jonas Jonasson
  • The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: a Novel of Snow and Courage, by
    Chris Kurtz
  • The Archivist by Martha Cooley
  • The Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Visited and
    Never Will by Judith Schalansky
  • The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson (Greenwillow)
  • The Bull and The Spear
  • The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Complete Short Stories Flannery O’Connor
  • The daring book for girls
  • The Darkest Roomby Johan Theorin
  • The Darkness
  • The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
  • The End of Power” by Moises Naim
  • The Fig Eater by Jody Shields
  • The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
  • The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (Delacorte)
  • The Girl on the Train By Paula Hawkins
  • The Gone-Away World Nick Harkaway
  • The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
  • The Imperfectionists’ by Tom Rachman
  • The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic
    Adventure,by Martin W. Sandler
  • The Interestings Meg Wolitzer
  • The Invisible Bridge Julie Orringer
  • The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel
  • The Karla Trilogy
  • The Lake District Murder by John Bude
  • The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Magician’s Lie By Greer Macallister
  • The Magicians—Lev Grossman
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
  • The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Road Cormac McCarthy
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  • The Season of Migration By Nellie Hermann
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • THE SHIPPING NEWS by Annie Proulx
  • The Signature of All Things—Elizabeth Gilbert.
  • The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle’ by David Wroblewski
  • The Terror” by Dan Simmons
  • The Thirteenth Tale’ by Diane Setterfield
  • The Time of the Dark, The Walls of Air and The Armies of Daylight
  • The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan (Knopf)
  • The Twelve Days of Winter by Deborah Lee Rose
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  • The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson (HarperTeen)
  • The Warlord of Mars
  • The Waves Virginia Woolf
  • The White Darkness
  • The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
  • The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith,
    Strength and the Power of Family—Josh Hanagarne
  • Tinkers Paul Harding
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  • Towering by Alex Flinn (HarperTeen)
  • Trapped by Michael Northrop (Scholastic)
  • Troubles J.G. Farrell
  • Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
  • Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (HarperTeen)
  • Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (HarperCollins)
  • Vampyre
  • Waiting for the Barbarians J.M. Coetzee
  • Watson’s Choice by Gladys Mitchell
  • What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions”
    by Randall Munroe
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed
  • Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Winter Duty
  • Winter Poems by Barbara Rogasky, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
  • Winter: Five Windows on the Season Adam Gopnik
  • Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett (HarperTeen)
  • Wolf of the Steppes
  • You: On A Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management


Article Sources Arranged by Publish Date