Goodreads Members Suggest: Favorite Winter Reads

Posted by Sharon on December 1, 2020


This year, we've all got more reason than usual to hunker down inside during the coldest months. Thankfully, those teetering WTR stacks can keep us company.

And if you need help adding yet more books to your Want to Read shelf, your fellow Goodreads members are here to help!

We asked our trusty followers on Twitter and Facebook what books they like to turn to in the winter season. Some readers prefer snuggling up with steamy romances, while others prefer blood-chilling thrillers. And nearly all respondents agreed that hefty classics, fiction set in snowy vistas, and cozy mysteries never go amiss. Check out their suggestions below!
 
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Comments Showing 1-50 of 56 (56 new)


message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric Bruce My best discovery this year was The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar . Written in 2018 , but totally unknown to me , this book is the most complete one I've read in years . Each page was a new joy - in many instances each paragraph - and I already plan to re-read it in 2021. Quite superb, Ms Gowar !


message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Har-even I was engrossed by John Ashdown-Hill's 'The Last Days of Richard III and the fate of his DNA'. Mesmerising stuff. But why go all the way from the 15th to the 21st century to find the mitochondrial DNA now we have the skeleton complete with teeth? Why not exhume King Edward IV? Because The Queen says we can't, that's why; no digging up royal remains.
Second choice: James Pope-Hennessy's 'The Quest for Queen Mary'. Bonkers royal reminiscences and eye-opening revelations: who knew Queen Mary nurtured a hatred for ivy and dragged it off walls wherever she could?
Third choice, 'The Complete Mapp & Lucia' by E.F. Benson is a wonderful rich read. You actually grow to admire that snobbish and narcissistic Lucia. She is the stuff of which leaders are made.

Comments by new member Patricia Har-Even


message 3: by Luiz Fernando (new)

Luiz Fernando The Shadow of the Wind is such a great read! It impacted me enormously the first time I read it, and it's a story I will never forget. It's that kind of book that stays in your mind weeks, months after you finish reading it; the last thing you think about before you finally fall asleep.

“Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart.”
- Carlos Ruiz Zafón "The Shadow of the Wind"


message 4: by Martin (new)

Martin McDonald Winter reads for me are undoubtedly The Lord of the Rings, which I'm reading now, Harry Potter, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Anna Karenina. No particular reason - they just all feel wintry to me.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica The Starless Sea


message 6: by Connie (new)

Connie Sandlin The complete (up to now) Outlander series, including the novellas and side stories, by Diana Gabaldon. So rich, there is always something new the reader discovers even when re-reading.


The Marvelous Ms. Kaia A great series to read in the winter would be the Keepers in the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, or Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens. The first makes isn’t a wintery book, but it is perfect for a long snowy break. The second, however, is a bit more cozy. You’ll find yourself in Cambridge, and no holiday is complete without Murder!


message 8: by Bdrake (new)

Bdrake Can't let this go by without mentioning The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and The Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia MacLean. Both are fabulous.
You can't go wrong with Louise Penny - start with Still Life.
Barbara D


message 9: by Martha (new)

Martha B. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
This book and the reading experience stand out in my memory after 20 years. I have since re-read it and most of Proulx's other novels, but that winter when I first read Shipping News, it was special . It was a very cold winter here in western NY and reading about the house on the ice and the waves and the bitter cold and quirky characters in a small town in Newfoundland, while under my electric blanket was a lovely indulgence in every way; sensory, literary and imaginary.


message 10: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I am into historical fiction right now. The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr had me hooked from page one. The Essex Serpent was a surprise that I really enjoyed. Right now I am reading The Lost Book of Friends, which is interesting.


message 11: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Several suggestions:
#1. A Time for Mercy - John Grisham - classic Grisham and a pleasure to read.

#2. Anthony Horowitz' mysteries. Well crafted and classic in the style of Agatha Christie. The Moonflower Murders is his most recent - a plus is that it is two books in one. But read The Magpie murders first because one character is carried through to this one. His others: The House of Silk, The Word is Murder and The Sentence is Death. All great reads.

#3. Writers and Lovers by Lily King - I loved this book.


message 12: by PA Rebecca (new)

PA Rebecca The Book of Two Ways, Jodi Picoult, All the Devils are Here, Louise Penny, and A Time for Mercy, John Grisham. Sometimes there are sentences that you encounter that make you stop. In the book of two ways, "Maybe the miracle isn't where we wind up, but that we get there at all." In All the Devils are here, ". . . Hell is the truth seen too late." A Time for Mercy takes place in 1985 without the internet and cell phones! Imagine that!


message 13: by Sue (last edited Dec 01, 2020 08:54AM) (new)

Sue Kimmet I have loved the Miss Fortune series by Jana DeLeon. Not only are these great fun, but they are very well written, a very pleasant surprise! I look forward to more from Jana DeLeon. I also love anything by Louise Penny, and her latest certainly lived up to my expectations. She's another author who writes very well, which is really important to me!


message 14: by Martin (new)

Martin Whitfield The two topics this month were winter and mystery.
I combine them with a recommendation for
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...
by Dorothy Sayers.
An Interwar cosy who/howdunit with plenty of Norfolk snow and campanology.


message 15: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Any books by Rhys Bowen


message 16: by Dena (new)

Dena Bdrake wrote: "Can't let this go by without mentioning The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and The Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia MacLean. Both are fabulous.
You can't go wrong with Louise Penny - s..."

We're on the same page ; ) I'm reading Winspear's "This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing" now.


message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol Luiz Fernando wrote: "The Shadow of the Wind is such a great read! It impacted me enormously the first time I read it, and it's a story I will never forget. It's that kind of book that stays in your mind weeks, months a..."

I bought this book a number of years ago because the title "The Shadow of the Wind" caught my attention. If the title is that good, the story must be good. Very few books have earned the right to be included in My Little Library, a collection of my all-time favorite books, as this one did. I still think about it. And amazing author, a profound story.


message 18: by Linda (new)

Linda A favorite this year has been The Once And Future Witches by Alix Harrow. A magical book with such lovely writing.


message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol The Autobiography of Santa Claus, as told to Jeff Guinn (author).

I read this book every December. It is a light, heartwarming story of a very real boy named Nicholas, born 280 A.D., and how he became known as Saint Nicholas.

From the book: "You were right to believe in me [Santa Claus]."


mary cosmah johnson I took a break from reading on my kindle, checked out a great book from my local library. Reading a real book is like nothing i can describe. I love the feel of the hardback, turning the pages.
My book was by one of my favs, Luanne Rice. "The last day". Great reading, altho i am not a fan of mysteries. Ms. Rice is a great writer. Read most of hers,loved them all.
This one tho, it was really good, and then it seemed to trush into the ending. I have seen this in other writers. My opinion is time wise, it had to end. So while story was great, ending was hurried but a real good surprise. My rating would be a big 😊👑


message 21: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Ingber Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Woman in the Window, by A. J. Finn


message 22: by Margaret (new)

Margaret L. *All* of the Poldark books! I read them one after the other, devouring them like potato chips. I've been a voracious reader for most of my life, and I don't remember *ever* feeling so totally transported to another time and place. Now that I know how the story ends, I look forward to re-reading them one day at a slower pace.


message 23: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Tyers My very favourite winter read is ‘Mystery in White’ by J Jefferson Farjeon. Recently republished as a British Library Crime Classic this is a terrific yarn with well drawn characters and scenes. You can feel the cold and hear the soft crunch underfoot as the stranded passengers make their way through the ever deepening snow. A real joy and perfect for this time of year.


message 24: by Carol (new)

Carol I have only read The Autobiography..." Didn't know this was a trilogy. I like this author, so I probably will like his other two Christmas books. Thank you for sharing that information!


message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Gazca I always read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, since it's set during the Y2K phenomenon. Rainbow Rowell is my happy place, and this book gives me the warm and cozie vibes every time. ♥


message 26: by Joan (new)

Joan Anything by Tana French. She’s a terrific mystery/ detective writer.


message 27: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Cripe I will be reading "A Message in A Bottle"by Nicholas Sparks O ne of favs I seem to keep up on his writing


message 28: by Lynn (new)

Lynn mary cosmah johnson wrote: "I took a break from reading on my kindle, checked out a great book from my local library. Reading a real book is like nothing i can describe. I love the feel of the hardback, turning the pages.
My ..."


Reading a real book is a pleasure all its own. :-)


message 29: by Diane (new)

Diane Connie wrote: "The complete (up to now) Outlander series, including the novellas and side stories, by Diana Gabaldon. So rich, there is always something new the reader discovers even when re-reading."

Connie wrote: "The complete (up to now) Outlander series, including the novellas and side stories, by Diana Gabaldon. So rich, there is always something new the reader discovers even when re-reading."
Agree! Love the series and have been waiting, waiting, waiting for the next one!!


message 30: by Dena (new)

Dena Gulf Coast wrote: "Love the series and have been waiting, waiting, waiting for the next one!! "
I expect I'll get thrashed - but IMHO, the TV series was not a good thing for book readers- especially older folks who've been reading since the series started. Some of us may have to imagine an ending for ourselves because we may not live long enough for Herself to finish. She seems to be enthralled with her own stardom, Comic Con appearances & all the time the show takes away from book writing. Ah, well.


message 31: by Diane (new)

Diane Dena wrote: "Gulf Coast wrote: "Love the series and have been waiting, waiting, waiting for the next one!! "
I expect I'll get thrashed - but IMHO, the TV series was not a good thing for book readers- especial..."

I too am one of the "older" readers😉 so I totally bet where you are coming from. I liked the first show season, but then the show went way off course for me and I quit watching. From what I have read, she is about finished with the book. I am hoping for a fairly early 2021 release. I just hope "the powers that be" don't decide to wait until the start of the next show season to release BEES!


message 32: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Robinson The Little Book of Hygge and The Little Book of Lykke, both by Meik Wiking... Both comfort reads for winter, methinks!


message 33: by Pen&Quill (new)

Pen&Quill  Read I'd have to say the best cozy winter reads I know are Kate Milford greenglass house series. And Roseanna M. White's the reluctant duchess. Also Robin McKinley's Beauty! Ooo and the wolf Wilder by Kathrine Rundell, definitely! And the storybound duilogy is a fun fast paste MG fantasy novel with themes like Harry Potter and classic fairy tales.


message 34: by Eva (new)

Eva Children of Blood and Bone sound very interesting. I will most probably look further into that book.
Did anyone here read this book already? Is it worth reading?


message 35: by Ernie (new)

Ernie Brill the best book i read this year was George Abrahams Birth a collection of poems about contemporary Palestine both the country and the exile.I would also a HIGHLY recommend Charles johnson's Dr. king's refrigerator and other bedtime storiess, a collection that ishighly etertaining and extraoridinarily imaginative and intelligent.


message 36: by Osusume (new)

Osusume Books There's nothing better than curling up with a soothing Japanese book on a cosy winter's night, tea in hand.

Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto have to be my favourites.

See our blog: The Healing Power of Japanese Literature for what makes Japanese authors so special ... https://osusumebooks.com/blogs/news/p...


message 37: by Guin (new)

Guin Bdrake wrote: "Can't let this go by without mentioning The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear and The Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia MacLean. Both are fabulous.
You can't go wrong with Louise Penny - s..."


The Marvelous Ms. Kaia wrote: "A great series to read in the winter would be the Keepers in the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, or Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens. The first makes isn’t a wintery book, but it is perfect .

Yes, I totally agree both are very good series!



message 38: by Sophie (new)

Sophie A great winter book is „A castle in the clouds“ by Kerstin Gier! Trust me on that one


message 39: by Hilcia (new)

Hilcia The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
Lord of the Rings trilogy [I read this trilogy in an almost yearly basis at the end of the year]
Northern Lights by Nora Roberts [set in Alaska]


message 40: by Hilcia (new)

Hilcia Adding: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.


message 41: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Eva wrote: "Children of Blood and Bone sound very interesting. I will most probably look further into that book.
Did anyone here read this book already? Is it worth reading?"


I liked it a lot.


message 42: by Krystie (new)

Krystie Herndon Haven't read the latest No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book, by Alexander McCall Smith? WHAT, you haven't ready ANY of the 21 delightful installments of that series? Then grab your favorite winter beverage, check some out of your local library (if it's open), or borrow from a friend or family member, or listen on audiotape, or however you want, and get cracking!


message 43: by Joy (new)

Joy "Housekeeping" is one of my favorite indie films! How did I not know it was a book? Now I HAVE to read it, because, of course, the book's always better.


message 44: by Joann (new)

Joann M TEMPTATION AND DENIAL by author ADAM NICKE is a wonderful love story, a must read. THE VEIL by author RICHARD D ROWLAND i just started to read, so far its really good. i recommend these 2 books.


message 45: by kell_xavi (new)

kell_xavi Looking forward to getting into Moon of the Crusted Snow!

I have three suggestions for very atmospherically wintery books, all shorter ones:

Small Beauty: a trans woman grieves in a small town

Ethan Frome: deeply melancholy love triangle

The Blizzard: quaint surrealism in a blizzard


message 46: by Penny (new)

Penny "Virgil Wander" by Leif Enger ... not a prepossessing title, but a superb book. And awesome winter.


message 47: by Ari (new)

Ari Someone before recommended Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, I'd say definitely AND also Landlines because it is 100% a Christmas book! :)


message 48: by Sarina Soren (new)

Sarina Soren Ooh I have Elatsoe checked out from the library! Can’t wait to read it!


message 49: by Samir (new)

Samir Ahmed I am thinking to read some good murder mystery like the murder on orient express


your neighborhood friendly book python :D The Marvelous Ms. Kaia wrote: "A great series to read in the winter would be the Keepers in the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, or Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens. The first makes isn’t a wintery book, but it is perfect ..."

I love Keeper of the Lost Cities <3


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