Top 5: Getting in the winter spirit

One of the many reasons why I love Thanksgiving is that, in my mind, it’s really the start of winter coziness. Despite the fact that I’m always grumbling by February, I really do love this season.

far north
From Vanishing Cultures: Far North

But we’ve had a weirdly warm fall thus far here in NYC, which has forced me to turn to books to get myself in the winter spirit. Here are my top 5 books that get me in the mood for the snow and slush ahead— and of course, all of them are best enjoyed in pajamas, with a warm cup of hot chocolate in hand:

1. Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories by Simon Van Buoy. Though not all of these stories take place in cold climates, there’s something about the gentle, patient storytelling that feels like watching snowflakes pile up from the comfort of a warm house.

2. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. Proulx’s depiction of winter on the coast of Newfoundland is unbearably cold and dark, but magical in a way that makes you want to see it for yourself.

3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Everything that happens here is more dramatic because of the stark white landscapes of rural Sweden where it all takes place. Plus, once you read the first one you’ll be hooked, and mysteries are great winter reading!

4. On Thin Ice: Breakdowns, Whiteouts, and Survival on the World’s Deadliest Roads by Hugh Rowland. Okay, yes, I do on occasion watch Ice Road Truckers. I’ll admit it. But Hugh’s stories of wolverines and blizzards in the frozen tundra of Northern Canada and Alaska are jaw-droppingly crazy…and make anything above -60 degrees seem mild.

5. “Stopping By Woods on a Snowing Evening,” by Robert Frost. Not a book, I know, but the perfect poem to get you in the mood for the long, cold months ahead.

Looking for books for young readers to welcome winter? Here’s what I recommend:

Vanishing Cultures: Far North Vanishing Cultures: Far North, by Jan Reynolds. It’s always winter when you live at the top of the world!When This World Was New

When This World Was New, by D. H. Figueredo, illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez. What does it feel like to see snow for the very first time?

What are your favorite books to get you in the mood for winter?

6 thoughts on “Top 5: Getting in the winter spirit”

  1. Yummy winter books:
    Paulo Coelho’s Brida
    C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
    Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver
    Jean-Luc Fromental’s 365 Penguins

  2. Little Women, even though only the first few chapters are winter.
    Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
    Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
    The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
    The Polar Express
    and I’ll second the Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe

  3. Ohh, yes, Shiver. I actually read it during the summer, largely on the over-air conditioned subways, and every time I returned to the muggy aboveground world it was such a shock that it wasn’t winter!

  4. Let’s see… Eifelheim, Princess Academy, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Dark is Rising, The Riddle… I’m sure I could come up with more, but that’s a good five, so I’ll stop.

  5. Little Women, even though only the first few chapters are winter. Two Old Women by Velma Wallis Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig The Polar Express and I’ll second the Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe

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