9 Cheerful Books to Chase Away the Winter Blues

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Courtney Rodgers


Courtney has been reading and collecting books almost as long as she's been alive. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Creative Writing. Courtney has been writing with Book Riot since 2019, and is a Bibliologist with TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. She's currently brainstorming for her next creative project. You can follow her on Instagram.

The short days and gloomy weather of winter can lead to the winter blues, and for some people, seasonal affective disorder. Winter is my favorite season, but the long nights and bleak weather can feel a bit gloomy. If I’m having a rough day, I like to take a quick walk around the park, listening to a funny audiobook. The combination of exercise, sunshine, and a few belly laughs energizes me and helps me refocus for the rest of the day. 

Every season is the best season to be a bookworm, but wintertime feels especially pertinent. People are on their “I want to read more” resolution game, and the weather is usually gross outside. Boost your mood with books! Get that summertime feeling without splashing out on expensive plane tickets to the other side of the world, read a book that you might save for a sunny day. The books that make you smile and laugh and feel like you’re full of sunshine shouldn’t be reserved for summertime. I’m a firm believer that you can read a Shakespearean tragedy on the beach and a joke book in the middle of a blizzard. Light a pretty candle, buy an ice cream cone, play some ABBA — we’re chasing the winter blues away with these books!

cover of Sophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club

Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim

If you’re a foodie, Roselle Lim’s whimsical, romantic novels are a treat! Her latest, Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club, sees a young matchmaker teaming up with a circle of elderly gentlemen to boost her clientele. With the help of her new friends, Sophie is able to stand up for herself, and build a successful business. 

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna book cover

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

This cozy, witchy romance was made for winter days. Social media witch Mika is commissioned to teach three young witches at Nowhere House, a grand old house full of secrets and interesting people. Jamie, the librarian, has his own opinions about Mika and her portable koi pond, but that doesn’t stop Mika from being her charming, irresistible self. You’ll love this book if you like magic, found families, and opposites attract romance. 

Legends and Lattes Book Cover

Legends And Lattes by Travis Baldree

You know those icy cold days where you just want to curl up on the sofa with a stack of books, three blankets, and the biggest coffee mug you own? This book is for that kind of day. Cozy and comforting in the best way, this slice of life fantasy focuses on Viv, a newly retired warrior orc. Viv’s dream of opening a quiet coffee shop have become a reality, and as she befriends her neighbors and regulars, she settles into her slower pace of life. Make yourself a latte and settle in. 

I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee cover

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

Set in the shimmering world of K-Pop, this YA romcom is a fun, quick read. Sixteen-year-old Skye Shin knows she’s an incredible dancer and singer and ready to take the K-Pop world by a storm. When Skye nails an audition for a reality competition show, it’s finally her chance to shine as a plus-sized singer and dancer. Skye can handle the critics, but her main competition, Henry, is also her biggest crush. Bright and hopeful, this book will inspire you to dance the winter blues away. 

cover of Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

This is a Holiday/Christmas romance, but I’m in the camp of cold weather = magical Christmastime feelings. Failed influencer Bettie is squatting in an abandoned cabin before the holidays when she drunkenly plays “All I Want For Christmas Is You” backwards. This conjures a Holiday Spirit, Hall. Hall is a magical being with clumsy genie-like powers, and a handsome, wholesome visage. Bettie decides to bring Hall to her family’s Christmas celebration as her faux beau. Everything goes perfectly, obviously. This book is bonkers and it is so much fun. 

Check Please Cover

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Hockey’s a winter sport, right? This graphic novel series is a good mix of adorable and funny, with a heavy dollop of himbo. Follow Eric “Bitty” Bittle through his college adventures playing on his university hockey team. Let yourself get lost in Bitty’s world for a bit, as he meets new friends, updates his social media followers, and bakes pastries. 

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming Book Cover

That Time I Got Drunk And Saved A Demon by Kimberly Lemming

Escapist fantasy romance can be hilarious, too. Cinnamon, a spice farmer who just wants a calm life, goes out for a few drinks. Cin’s night out turns out to be more than she bargained for when she ends up helping a demon hell-bent on saving his people from an evil goddess. Adventurous, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, this book is sure to bring a smile to your face.  

the girl from the sea cover

The Girl From The Sea by Molly Knox Osterag

Remember those endless days playing mermaid in the swimming pool? Recapture that feeling with this sweet graphic novel. Fifteen-year-old Morgan can’t wait to leave her island home and take her secrets with her. When Morgan nearly drowns, she’s rescued by the beautiful and mysterious Keltie. As the girls grow closer, other secrets threaten to surface. This lovely graphic novel touches on important topics while maintaining a lighthearted tone. 

the cover of A Psalm for the Wild-Built

A Psalm for the Wild Built by Becky Chambers

This book wants you to sit down, have a cup of tea, and chat for a while. Set in an optimistic future world, where humans care for the planet, A Psalm for the Wild Built is a gentle exploration of life. Dex, a traveling tea monk, meets Mosscap, a robot. Long ago, robots gained sentience and walked away. Mosscap has come to see how the humans are doing. This little book is Dex and Mosscap’s in-depth conversation, full of observations and beauty. 

Winter is hibernation season. It’s time to live your Pooh Bear dreams. Long naps, big books, and lots of snacks. I’m all about that hobbit lifestyle and enjoying the down time. However, if you need more excitement this winter, try crafting your way through the winter or some books for winter training motivation. Southern Hemisphere folks, maybe it’s time for a beach read? Wherever you are in the world, remember that seasons come and go, but a cheerful book is perfect for any time of year.