12 Winter Books for Adults (+35 more suggestions)

There is nothing better than curling up under a cozy blanket and reading a book while the snow is falling outside. This list of winter books encompasses all different genres, all perfect for a wintry read. If you’d like a printable copy of this winter book list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!


winter books

12 Winter Books for Adults

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
No one does a suspenseful mystery like Agatha Christie and this one, where the famous Orient Express is stopped by a snowdrift and a millionaire riding aboard turns up dead, it becomes clear that the murderer is another one of the passengers.



The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
I blew through 400 pages in three days. Set in the 1970s, it’s the story of a teenage girl who moves to Alaska with her mom and her recently-released POW dad who fought in Vietnam and is convinced that Alaska will give him the new start he needs. Spanning more than a decade of Leni’s life, she gets a front row seat to her father’s inability to handle the darkness that falls over Alaska and the darkness that he’s fighting within himself. I couldn’t put this one down. Be warned that you’ll want your tissues for this one. (Full review here)


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
I really enjoyed the December book from the 2023 Everyday Reading Book Club. This one is set in Alaska in the 1920s, following a couple who has recently arrived trying to make it as homesteaders. It’s pretty bleak for them until they find a little girl, Faina, who lives alone in the forest.



James HerriotJames Herriot Series by James Herriot
You cannot go wrong with a James Herriot book, a country vet in England who spends his days caring for farm animals and house pets after WWI. These books are sweet and funny and just right for snuggling up with (bonus: watch the very excellent PBS Masterpiece series after you’re done!).



Rock Paper ScissorsRock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
This twisty thriller was just at the edge of my creepy tolerance and I loved every second of this story of a couple who win a weekend away in Scotland and hope a change of scenery will save their crumbling marriage. But when they arrive at the church-turned-hotel and find it empty, it’s clear that there is more to this trip than meets the eye. How did they win this trip, anyway? With jumping timelines, the twist in this one completely surprised me.


Winter GardenWinter Garden by Kristin Hannah
I was so into this book when I read it for the 2022 Everyday Reading Book Club. It’s the perfect wintery historical fiction title for when the weather is cold! Two estranged sisters are brought together again when their beloved father is dying. Their Russian mother has never been warm, but their father makes her promise to tell their daughters a story she began years earlier about a love story that spanned sixty years.


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik BackmanA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This book has been WILDLY popular, and it has even been made into TWO movies. I liked the older main character, all the relationship building, and the unfolding storyline where you don’t know what’s coming but you’re in for the ride.


Little WomenLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
In 1994, when the Winona Ryder and Christian Bale version of Little Women came out, my mom told me that if I read the book, she’d take me to see the movie. I read the book in a few days and loved every second of it (I went on to read Little Men and Jo’s Boys a bunch of times too). An all-time classic, it’s just so good!



One by OneOne by One by Ruth Ware
I really got into Ruth Ware’s books in late 2023! Her books are all mystery/thrillers and this one is about a tech startup that hosts an executive retreat at a chalet in the Alps. Things are tense when they get there (some of the team wants to take a buyout while others want to keep going until they can cash out with a public IPO) and only get worse as the weather takes a dangerous turn and an avalanche traps them all in the chalet. And then when people start dying? Well. . . now things are really getting intense. This is the first of her books that really gave me the creeps but I loved it.

The Long WinterThe Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I grew up on these books (I lived in Wisconsin until I was almost 7 and we went to the rebuilt Little House in the Big Woods which I still remember very clearly) and waited my whole life to have children of my own to read them to. In this snowy sixth book of the series Laura and her family face a brutal blizzard that cuts the town off from supplies. As food stores begin to run dangerously low, will anyone brave the conditions and save the town?


EnduranceEndurance by Alfred Lansing
If you need some great non-fiction, this story is mind-boggling (and extra fun since the Endurance -the ship – was just recently found more than a hundred years after it sank). This is one of those stories where truth is stranger than fiction and it’s perfect for a couples read!



Frozen RiverThe Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
I am in the middle of reading this historical mystery, and I think it is so fitting as I look out at the frozen world outside my window. It follows the diary of Martha Ballard, an 18th century midwife, as she seeks justice after a body is found in the frozen Kennebec River.




I asked for winter books suggestions on Instagram and there were so many good title recommendations – here are some of them if you’re looking for even more ideas (I haven’t read any of these!).

Small things like theseSmall Things Like These by Keegan Claire
If you are looking for a quick read, this novella comes in around 125 pages. In an economically depressed Irish town set in the winter of 1985, an ordinary man discovers a horrible secret about his community. Will he risk his family’s security to do what he knows is right? 



Encyclopaedia of FairiesEmily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
If you are a fantasy lover, this adventure fantasy novel, with a hint of romance is for you! Professor Emily Wilde is an expert on the world of faeries and she’s working on completing her encyclopedia about them. She travels to a remote Scandinavian village filled with unwelcoming townsfolk, and her biggest rival Bambleby. Will she be able to work with Bambleby to find the faeries? Or will the two researchers cause the faeries to put the entire village in danger?

Once upon a wardrobeOnce Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
With the perfect mix of fantasy and history, this novel shares a look at the life of C.S. Lewis (the man behind The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), all while following an amazing bond between a sister and her brother.



New York New Year New YouNew York, New Year, New You by Rachel Bloome
What could be more magical than New York City in the winter? This New Year’s Eve romantic comedy brings all the warm cozy feels, and a heavy dose of self-discovery, as Quincy moves to a new city, tries new things – like French cooking, and takes a chance at love. 


Eight perfect hoursEight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
After two strangers spend one evening together under a chance encounter during a blizzard, they think they will never see each other again. But you better believe, that will not be the case in this winter rom-com. (This one is included on Kindle Unlimited.)


winter solstice bookWinter Solstice by Rosmunde Pilcher
Every time I ask for suggestions for Christmas books, this book gets recommended. Although it is set at Christmas, I have heard it is very winter cozy. I’m hoping this is the year I finally get to read it! It follows five different characters and it’s over 400 pages, so I better get moving on this one!


The SanitoriumThe Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
If you are on something of a mystery kick this is one that I think you will want to pick up. A lavish hotel in the Swiss Alps, with an unnerving past, hosts an engagement party where everyone begins to vanish. I have been meaning to pick it up myself!



In the PinesIn the Pines by Grace Elizabeth Hale
Historian Grace Hale knew of the family legend involving her grandfather, but didn’t really know what happened. As she investigates the story of her grandfather, the sheriff who prevented a lynch mob from killing a Black man accused of raping a white woman, in southern Mississippi, everything she thought she knew would be upended.


Legends and LattesLegends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
This one has often been described as cozy fantasy. It’s a Dungeon and Dragons-style fantasy universe, where a former bounty hunter hangs up their sword and starts up a coffee shop. 



The little book of hyggeThe Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
The Little Book of Hygge, sets out to explore the Danish phenomenon ‘hygge’ – what it is and how you can achieve it in your own life. It’s written by Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, a person who knows about hygge very well.


EastEast by Edith Pattou
East is a lovely read. It is a retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, but if you aren’t familiar with that, it simplified my life to think of it as a Beauty and the Beast spin-off. (Full review here)



The quilters apprenticeThe Elm Creek Quilts Series by Jennifer Chivarreni
You do not need to be a quilter to enjoy this 22 book series. Sarah is going through some major life changes when she befriends master quilter, Sylvia. Together they open up a quilters’ retreat at Sylvia’s family estate, Elm Creek Manor.



Wintering by Katherine May
There is no better time than now to read this book about rest and restoration – especially if life feels a little heavy and hard. 




A week in winterA Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
During one week in the winter, a group of people meet at a lovely Irish inn. The owner, Chicky, built her inn from the ground up – after buying an old house in the West of Ireland and converting it into what it is today. Little vignettes about employees and first visitors of the inn are told throughout. This one is a very cozy and lighthearted read. 


Once upon a riverOnce Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
I loved Setterfield’s novel, The Thirteenth Tale, during October, and this one looks like the perfect addition to a yard full of snow and a cozy blanket. On the night of winter solstice, a wounded stranger shows up at an old inn by the Thames River. In his arms he carries a dead child, but a few hours later, against all odds, the child stirs. What follows is a tale of magic, hope, love, and redemption.


a winter in new yorkA Winter in New York by Josie Silver
This one is a gamble because while her first book, One Day in December, was WILDLY popular and a massive best seller, it was not a win for me at all. So it’s possible I’m just setting myself up for misery with book 2, but I’m willing to give her a second chance (and then quit the book quickly if it’s no good).


TishaTisha by Robert Specht
In this 1920s biographical memoir, Anne Hobbs, a young school teacher, finds herself living in a small Alaskan mining town. Life gets turned on its head when she not only befriends the local Native Americans, but she falls in love with one.



ShiverShiver by Allie Reynolds
Suspense, murder, mystery? Count me in! An invitation arrives to reunite old snowboarding friends at a resort in the French Alps. But, the trip turns menacing, an old friends’ disappearance is brought up, and they realize they don’t even know who invited them there in the first place.


A Blizzard of Polar BearsA Blizzard of Polar Bears by Alice Henderson
When wildlife biologist Alex Carter begins a research project studying polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, she didn’t realize her life would be in as much danger as the bears she is researching.



The Winter SeaThe Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
This historical romance novel bounces back and forth between a current day author, Carrie, trying to write a historical novel about the Jacobite Uprising in 1708 and the pages of her written novel.



These Silent WoodsThese Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant
A devoted father, Cooper, has gone to great lengths to protect his now-eight-year-old daughter Finch. He lives off-grid in the cabin of his best friend Jake, deep in the Appalachian Mountains. Every year, Jakes comes with supplies, but this year…he doesn’t show. Finch’s growing curiosity, and Cooper’s hidden secrets, start to threaten their way of life. 


I let you goI Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Jenna Gray’s world is scarred with a tragic accident, causing her to flee to a small cottage on the Welsh coast. As soon as happiness seems like it could be a reality in her life, her past always finds a way to make an appearance.



The Snow CollectorsThe Snow Collectors by Tina May Hall
After the deaths of her parents and sister, Henna moves to a little village where it is always snowing. While she is out walking one day, she discovers the body of a young woman. Without even knowing it, she is thrown into an age-old mystery involving an Arctic expedition which disappeared in 1845.


Light on SnowLight on Snow by Anita Shreve
Nicky and her father move to an isolated home after an accident took the lives of Nicky’s mother and baby sister. After two years of living with grief and wanting life to get back to normal, Nicky and her father make a discovery in the snow that turn their lives upside down.


the bear and the nightingaleThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Winternight Trilogy)
This one is often described as a Russian fairytale, so think fantasy, but set in medieval Russia. A young girl with hidden powers, her evil stepmother trying to take over the village – this one truly fits the bill for a Russian fairytale.



BeartownBeartown by Fredrik Backman
I mentioned that I hadn’t read this one and I got a massive number of comments saying, “YOU MUST READ IT. IT’S MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME.” So it feels like one I need to dive into. 



Alaskan wild mysteryAlaskan Wild Mystery Series by Paige Shelton
This series is set in the outskirts of Alaska, after Beth Rivers, a mystery writer, escapes a crazed fan. As Beth tries to adjust to life in Alaska, she begins to investigate the death of a local girl, and she wonders just how safe she really is in Benedict, Alaska.


The Wolf WilderThe Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Although this is a middle grade historical fiction, it sets the perfect mood for a great winter read. It’s 1917 – St. Petersburg, Russia. Feo and her mother are wolf wilders. They “untame” wolves that were kept as fashionable pets by Russian aristocracy. But when one of their wild wolves attacks the czar’s horses, Feo’s mother is taken by the Russian Army. It’s up to Feo, her wolves, and some new friends to save her.

Five Tuesdays in WinterFive Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King
This is a collection of 10 profound short stories all about everyday and ordinary personal relationships – all revolving around the theme of love. This sounds like the perfect winter read especially as we get closer to Valentine’s Day.



The Hunting PartyThe Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
A group of old college friends gets snowed in at a hunting lodge. One friend ends up dead, and one friend is the killer. Sounds like the perfect suspenseful murder mystery set in the snow.



A Season for second chancesA Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss
With grown kids out of the house and a 26-year marriage that recently ended, Annie takes a winter guardian position in a seaside home. All the townsfolk welcome her with open arms, except for the nephew of the seaside house homeowner. He has plans for the house that he cannot take care of while she is currently staying in the house. For Annie this truly will be a season for second chances. 

Mrs. MikeMrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman and Nancy Freedman
This novel follows the fictionalized account of the real-life Katherine Mary O’Fallon Flannigan. In 1907, at age 16, she was sent from Boston to Calgary to recover from illness. While there Kathy marries her husband and shares in the many experiences that were common in Northern Canada in the early 1900s. It was a life where doctors were not close by, natural disasters and plague wiped out families, childbirth was dangerous, and people really did rely on each other for survival.

Winter SistersWinter Sisters by Robin Oliveira
This historical mystery is a follow-up novel to My Name is Mary Sutter, but it can be read as a stand alone. It is 1879, in Albany, NY and a family with two young daughters set off for work and school. But when a terrible blizzard hits, everyone is stranded. As people begin to dig out of the snow, they find the father and mother died in the snowstorm, and the two daughters are missing. Warning: There is dark content revolving around what happens to the two daughters.

The Simple WildThe Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
This is a true tale of romance and heart. Calla is from the bustling city and while trying to reconnect with her estranged father, she falls for a pilot out of Alaska. Will she make it back to the city or will she forever stay in the rugged landscape of Alaska?


Mean StreakMean Streak by Sandra Brown
Dr. Emory Charbonneau is a successful doctor and marathon runner. On a training run through the North Carolina mountains, Emory falls during her run and is rescued by a local mountain man. He refuses to tell Emory his name or take her back to town, but the more time Emory spends with him, the more questions she has, and an attraction to him she can’t explain. 


WinterboundWinterbound by Margery Williams Bianco
The author of The Velveteen Rabbit writes a captivating Depression-era novel  about four city kids alone in an unheated country farmhouse, while their parents are away. With each others help, will they make it through a cold country winter?



The Tourist AttractionThe Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
I often get recommended Sarah Morgenthaler’s rom-com books during the holidays. I haven’t read one yet, but this one with a small town Alaskan backdrop and vacation romance, looks cute to cozy up with during the winter. Graham is an irritable, Alaska native who runs a local tourist-y diner. Zoey is a tourist who has been saving up for this Alaska trip for years. And…Graham and Zoey have an instant connection.

Never LieNever Lie by Freida McFadden
A young couple is trapped at an old manor while house shopping when a blizzard hits. The manor used to belong to a psychiatrist, Dr. Adrienne Hale, who died four years earlier. The wife stumbles upon old recordings of Dr. Hale’s sessions and the events of her death slowly start to unravel.



And if you’d like a printable copy of this winter book list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!


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One Comment

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale is my favorite book series. I reread it a couple of years ago when it was cold and snowy outside and I enjoyed it even more. It was a perfect winter read!

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