5 Wintry Books To Read When It’s Too Cold To Go Outside

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Michelle Regalado

Staff Writer

Michelle Regalado is a New York-based digital writer and editor. When she's not hunting down her next must-read book (recommendations are welcome!) or writing about all things pop culture, you can probably find her drinking iced coffee and hanging out with her dog, Lola. Follow her on Twitter: @mar8289

Though the holidays may have come and gone, winter is still far from over—which means it’s the perfect time to stay inside and hunker down with a good book. Luckily, there are plenty of seasonally appropriate options to choose from. These wintry books (from murder mysteries to sweet romance) make great reads any time of year, but they’re even better when consumed indoors against an icy cold backdrop. So forget about braving the winds or snow—just grab a blanket and start reading!

5 wintry books to read when it's too cold to go outside. book lists | wintry books | wintry reads | books to read in the cold

Winter People book coverWinter People by Jennifer McMahon

Settle down on the couch with a warm blanket and this literary thriller set in the small town of West Hall, Vermont, which is known for its ghostly secrets and mysterious disappearances. Several decades after a woman and her daughter both vanished from a farmhouse, 19-year-old Ruthie and her mom, Alice, move into the same house—only for Alice to go missing as well. As Ruthie searches for her mom, the question arises: Is history repeating itself? Part mystery, part ghost story, this book is perfect for those who enjoy spooky reads, especially against the backdrop of a cold wintery day.

In the Midst of Winter coverIn The Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

In this New York Times bestseller, a Brooklyn snowstorm causes a car accident that brings together three very different people. The trio embarks on a journey that reveals each of their past, spanning from the Chile and Brazil of 40 years ago to present day New York. If you like sweeping stories that move between timelines, this could be the perfect winter-themed book for you.

The Snow Child book coverThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 

Winter can sometimes bring new hope, as proven in this 2012 novel from Eowyn Ivey. Set in 1920s Alaska, the book follows the story of Jack and Mabel, a childless couple whose marriage is starting to falter. But when a small, blonde-haired girl suddenly emerges from the woods shortly after the first snowfall, their lives are forever changed.

An Unwanted Guest coverAn Unwanted Guest by Shari LaPena

The weather outside is definitely frightful in upstate New York, where An Unwanted Guest takes place. When the power goes out in a Catskills lodge, the guests get ready to brave out the storm together—until bodies start turning up, that is. Mystery fans will get serious Agatha Christie vibes from this latest entry from the author of The Couple Next Door.

One Day in December book coverOne Day in December by Josie Silver

If you’re already missing Hallmark’s annual lineup of holiday movies, worry not: You can get your winter-themed romance fix with this charming novel from Josie Silver. As the title suggests, it all starts one snowy day in December when Laurie spots a man through a bus window and instantly falls in love. But the magical moment is cut short when the bus abruptly drives away, leaving her without a clue as to who the man is. A year later, she finally meets him again—when he’s introduced to her as her best friend’s boyfriend. What follows is a moving, decade-long journey that proves love at first sight isn’t as easy as it sounds.