Would you believe I’ve never actually done a proper round-up of books to read in winter? And I call myself a bookworm! Shockingly poor form there! My apologies! Let me rectify that right now!
Sure, there are shows to be binge watched on Netflix, but there are also so many books that you would never have the time to read during the rest of the year. Summer, spring, and fall all offer endless possibilities of beaches, festivals, and events. Winter is for staying in and waiting for spring. And I’ve got the perfect list to get you started!
The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern
We’ve been falling in love with It’s A Wonderful Life for generations but did you know that it was originally a short story? Unable at first to find a publisher for his evocative tale about a man named George Pratt who ponders suicide until he receives an opportunity to see what the world would be like without him, Stern ultimately published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his 1943 Christmas card. One of those 200 cards found its way into the hands of Frank Capra, who shared it with Jimmy Stewart, and the film that resulted became the holiday tradition we cherish today.
Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkein
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.
They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.
A classic tradition that I can’t wait to carry on!
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Yes, I know it also made the film list but c’mon! It’s a classic! I can’t think of anything better than being curled up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate (marshmallows non negotiable) and being surrounded by Aslan and Co!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I know, I know, another classic. But it’s called a classic for a reason. Plus following Scrooge’s journey is bound to make you feel thankful that you don’t have to be haunted by ghosts! Also – on that note – anyone else wanting to see the movie, The Man Who Invented Christmas?
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies. Now penniless and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned, abused, and forced to work as a servant.
I don’t know what it is about winter but it somehow seems the perfect time to (re) read A Little Princess. And the film – kills me every time!
Christmas in Eternity Springs by Emily March
After a devastating betrayal, Claire Branham packs up the pieces of her life, along with a twenty-million-dollar secret, and moves to Eternity Springs. She opens a specialty shop—Forever Christmas—and, with the help of a surprise romance with the town’s sexy new handyman, Claire’s heart begins to heal. Until her past comes knocking…
Jax Lancaster never questioned the need to abandon his career as a Navy submariner in order to care for his young son in the wake of his ex-wife’s death. Desperate to help with this loss, Jax straps on a tool belt to give Nicholas the one thing he wants: A life in Eternity Springs. What Jax never expected to find a second chance at love with a fascinating woman for whom Christmas has become a business. But when the truth about Claire threatens their newfound happiness, can Jax prove to her that in Eternity Springs, the spirit of Christmas is real. . .and will last a lifetime?
I read this for the first time last Christmas and I will be re-reading it this year! Light reading, perfect for snuggles by the fire!
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him.
The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights…
Don’t let the film (The Golden Compass) put you off – the book is excellent reading!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
I’ll be honest – I haven’t read this yet. But I want to! And I’m holding off starting the series before I’ve at least read the first book.
The MacGregor Brides: Christmas Fairytales by Nora Roberts
Daniel MacGregor is the clan patriarch. He’s powerful, rich – and determined to see his three career-minded granddaughters married. So he carefully chooses three unsuspecting men, men he considers worthy, and sets his plans in motion!
But Laura, Gwen and Julia aren’t about to let their busybody grandfather have it all his own way.
I don’t know if it’s the cover or what, but there is something about this book that screams Christmas – and it’s a favourite every year!
In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Clare Fergusson, St. Alban’s new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Millers Kill, New York. She is not just a “lady,” she’s a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody’s fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town’s police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who’s also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby’s mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Millers Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other—and murder…
Nothing quite like heavy snow and cold-blooded murder to get your blood going!
What will you be curling up and reading this year? I want to hear everything on your reading list!