I absolutely love this time of the year, and especially reading during this time of the year. A good thunderstorm makes me want to curl up and read a book, sure. But a freaking snowstorm? Grab the blankets, crank up the fire (we have a gas fire, you actually do crank it up), give me my TBR pile, and a mug of hot chocolate and don't disturb me until the snow melts. No, I don't want to build a snowman (I'm lying, I also want to build a snowman, I can do both!!).
The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
Published Year: 1950
Genre: YA Fantasy
"When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century."
Any of the Narnia books would qualify for me because they're all so tightly related to one another, but this one specifically is so associated with Winter/Christmas for me that I always want to read it this time of year. I wish I could say I was consistent enough for it to be a tradition to actually read it every year, but I'm not and it isn't. But if you are, I would highly recommend adding this one to your lineup if it isn't already in it!
Shiver (#1 of 3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published Year: 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy
"For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.
Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever."
Because Winter the season is so pivotal to this series, all three books would fit this theme, but again as with the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Shiver is particularly wintery for me. Something about it (possibly the cover) holds an especially winter read spot on my calendar. I love this series. MS's writing style is so unique and even though this might sound like a cliche and you might be feeling burnt out on paranormal creatures (can't really blame you but) give this series one last shot in these winter months!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published Year: 1843
"With A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens created a modern fairy tale and shaped our ideas of Christmas. The tale of the solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of the season by a series of ghostly visitors and given a second chance, was conjured up by Dickens during one of his London night walks, who "wept and laughed" as he composed it. Taken to readers' hearts for its humour, compassion and message of redemption, it remains its best-loved book."
A classic on my list! Confession time: I haven't actually read this one, (yet, but it's normal of me to include a TBR!! right??). I really, really want to read this one, I love all of the adaptations of it. I have it downloaded on my kindle app, but I just haven't gotten to it yet. I have a feeling about this winter season. This is the season, guys. I can feel it.
East by Edith Pattou
Published Year: 2003
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
"Rose has always been different. Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. Her superstitious mother keeps the unusual circumstances of Rose's birth a secret, hoping to prevent her adventurous daughter from leaving home... but she can't suppress Rose's true nature forever.
So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks teenage Rose to come away with it - in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family - she readily agrees.
Rose travels on the bear's broad back to a distant and empty castle, where she is nightly joined by a mysterious stranger. In discovering his identity, she loses her heart-- and finds her purpose-- and realizes her journey has only just begun."
You know I had to have a fairy tale retelling in here and this one is about as wintery as they come. I also really, really like this one. It's also really rare. Anyway, I definitely really enjoy reading this one when it's cold outside, and if you're in the mood for a (discrete) fairy tale retelling, pick this one up!
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Published Year: 1937
"Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to be asleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance...
Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon..."
I love this book so much. I'm not really sure why I consider it a winter read, maybe the first time I read it was in the winter and now it's an association thing. I did find it on several winter lists so it's not just me! If you haven't read this one and are daunted by the LOTR, I would definitely recommend reading this one. It's easier to get into than LOTR, but it's definitely a good segue into Tolkien's style (which is fantastic, btw). Also, love Martin Freeman. The end.