If the weather outside is frightful, you’ll want to be reading these books

As we transition from autumn into winter, our habits change. The days are shorter, necessitating a shift in outdoor activities, and compelling us to rearrange our lives inside as well, to accommodate the darker, colder days without falling prey to a sense of fatigue or desolation. But there is something delicious about a long, inky black night when you are watching it descend from the warmth of your living room; something utterly cozy about a bright, snowy day when experienced from the safety of your couch, a steaming cup of hot chocolate nearby. These moments may be rare, thanks to a little distraction called real life, but they are as relaxing as a summer day spent lounging by a pool when they do happen. And, like that relaxing pool day, the key to really enjoying a quiet winter’s moment is having the right reading material at hand. The perfect book will make the cold feel refreshing, the darkness feel protective and the long nights like a gift—all the more time to sit and read, after all.

 

For the horror reader:

shiningThe Shining — Stephen King

The Shining has to be read in the winter—the desolation of the Overlook Hotel and the terrifying things that happen there are simply better imagined on a dreary, dark day. If you’re a horror fan, there is no better book to read when the weather outside is frightful, whether you’re reading this classic for the first or the fiftieth time.

 

 

 

 

 

For the women’s literature reader:

bridgetBridget Jones’s Diary — Helen Fielding

Classic chick-lit at its best, Bridget is an especially good read when the wintery weather hits for two fantastic reasons: one is that it’s good to laugh when it’s dismal outside, and two is the epic rom-com ending just wouldn’t be the same if it took place during any other season.

 

 

 

 

 

For the literary fiction reader:

midwivesMidwives — Chris Bohjalian

On a treacherous winter night, a midwife rushes to the aid of her laboring patient. When the night does not end as anyone planned, lives are changed in unexpected ways. Told from the perspective of the midwife’s daughter, Connie, it leads us through the quiet turmoil that plays out in matters of life and death in rural Vermont.

 

 

 

 

 

For the historical fiction reader:

snowchildThe Snow Child — Eowyn Ivey

This gorgeous, evocative story features a couple, a miraculous occurrence, and a snowy 1930’s Alaskan forest that acts as true as a living character. With fairy-tale qualities, the tale of the Snow Child and the couple who finds her is as ever-changing as the weather at this time of year—sometimes beautifully cozy but often brutally lonely.

 

 

 

 

 

For the classic fiction reader:

annaAnna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy

Admit it—you skipped this one when it was assigned at school, didn’t you? Well, there’s no better time to (re)discover Tolstoy’s classic doomed love story, set against the backdrop of an unforgiving Russian winter, than during the long winter months. At nearly 1,000 pages, you might need the entire winter just to get through it, but I promise, it’ll be worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

    Karen Green

    Karen Green is a freelance writer and big city ex-pat now living in rural Ontario. She writes for numerous print and online publications, and considers her library card to be one of her most valuable possessions.

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