Winter Reading List

Snowflake background by Petr Kratochvil
Snowflake background by Petr Kratochvil

Winter. The dim days of earth's sabbath are before you. You will be housebound, chilly beneath your blanket. You will sip hot beverages and warm your hands up at the gas stove. You will catch the cold and spread it on to your friends. You will be bored, and perhaps lonely. But you will have books. A good book on a winter's day will make your heart warm, your imagination alive, and your afternoons better than boring. Here is a reading list of five books worth looking into if you need some ideas.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

The winter season (that is, in the Northern Hemisphere) is kicked off by the celebration of Christmas. There is plethora of Christmas fiction out there, but this book is truly worth reading.

Skipping Christmas is a very funny story about a couple who decides to skip Christmas altogether. They shun Christmas trees, decorations, and parties, and instead they plan on spending their holidays floating away on a Caribbean cruise. Little do they realize how difficult it really is to skip Christmas, and in the process of avoiding the holidays, they learn a little bit of what Christmas is about. John Grisham's Skipping Christmas was made into a film titled “Christmas with the Kranks.”

 

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

One of my favorite literary Christmases is in this book. It starts on page one. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are discussing what they will buy for themselves for Christmas, only to remember all the things they could give to their selfless mother.

Little Women is one of the most beloved books of all time. The four March sisters struggle through poverty, missing their father, and the harsh realities of life as they grow up in the sometimes frigid New England. Louisa May Alcott based much of this story on events and people in her own life.

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Unless you live in a tropical climate like I do, a cold mainland winter is the only time of year to read this book. The book’s setting is very gray and cold. Even I, living in eternal summer, could feel the chilliness that seeps out of this book.

The Road is a very powerful tale about a father and his son on a journey of survival through post-apocalyptic America. Together they face harsh weather, loneliness, hopelessness, and the basest form of inhumanity. McCarthy’s writing style is very concise, and every little word counts. It is no wonder that this novel won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Washington Square by Henry James

If you want to read something sad and lonely this winter, read this book. It is not necessarily winter-like, but I always think of wet, cold afternoons when I think about this story. Catherine is one of the most unique heroines in English literature.

Washington Square tells the story of Catherine Sloper, an heiress whose only worldly charm is her money. She is not sociable, she is not pretty, but she has a good heart. When Morris Townsend starts paying his attentions to her, Catherine’s father is strongly opposed to their attachment. Catherine stands firm however, but the point remains undecided: Is Morris after Catherine or is he just after her money?

Washington Square by Henry James
Washington Square by Henry James

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

This thirteen-book children's series is well worth the reading, even for adults. All the books are humorously depressing and very entertaining. Perfect for a dull, chilly afternoon.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the wanderings of the Baudelaire orphans who are always attempting to escape from Count Olaf and his evil plans to steal their family inheritance. Snicket is a unique author whose love of books, words, and the ridiculous aspects of life becomes very evident in his writing.

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket - Book the First in A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket - Book the First in A Series of Unfortunate Events

More by this Author


Comments 34 comments

Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

Ah, yes, those sabbath-season evenings. I just had one tonight, curled up with North and South by Gaskell, a pet bird on my knee singing to me, and a bit of a sickness passed on a friend as an excuse for reading. And once again you've given me more delicious-sounding books that I have never heard of to add to my endless list. Brava!

P.S. When life gives me snow, I play in it!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Sounds like a lovely evening! Sometimes it takes feeling a bit under-the-weather to give you a good excuse to read a good book. I have a little cold myself (yes, we do get those in the tropics) and I want to go curl up and read Nicholas Nickleby.

P.S. When life won't give me snow, I write about it ;)


E. Nicolson profile image

E. Nicolson 6 years ago

Sounds like a great list, and being I live further north -- probably ideal. It's been years since I've read Little Women so I should revisit the girls. I have The Road sitting on my shelf, just waiting for some attention. Thanks for the nudge!


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

By the way, I forgot to mention it was snowing as I was chipping away at my winter reading list. I appreciate your ability to revel in something you don't have in just as acute a way as if you had it (meaning: snow!).


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

E. Nicolson, thanks for reading! Definitely read The Road when you get a chance; it's not hard to read.

Jane, enjoy the snow for me! I'm over my withdrawal pains :) I still miss the snow, but I'm a little more used to going without. It's been a couple of years since I've been in a winter snowstorm.


MK Efflandt 6 years ago

Rose, I like your list. The Road sounds like a must-read. I have not read it but will pick it up very soon and put it on my pile of books to read. Hope you find more books that take you to a different climate mentally!

Food for thought: I bet that at least 75% of the people in the 32 states experiencing sub-freezing temps today would LOVE to be in your flip-flops today!! I know I would!!! Have some Shave Ice at JoJo's for me!! I dearly miss it!!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for reading, MK! Yes, The Road is well worth reading. I don't always get into modern fiction, but this book surprised me.

Well, I would consider trading places, for maybe a day :) The weather right now is sunny, gold-blue, and very warm. I had to take down the Christmas lights today, and I was dodging spiders and wasps. Feels like summer! JoJo's sounds good right now.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Rose West-

Nothing on earth beats curling up with a good book-especially when it snows-I love Little Women,and read it again last year after a long gap.

Great list of books.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, yes The Road sounds right up my street.. if you see what I mean! you are so lucky living in a hot climate. at the moment, we have 12" of snow and it's freezing! so I am going to bed in a minute with Stephen King.... thanks for the good book ideas. cheers Nell


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

itakins, so Little Women is enjoyed all the way in Ireland! That's really cool! It is such a great story.

Hi Nell Rose, oh my, so much snow! I'm still praying for snow in Hawaii...you never know! A cool breeze just came by so I had to pull on my sweatshirt.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Cuddling up with a book is one of life's greatest pleasures...in any season! :)


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Very true, Feline Prophet. Even in the season of eternal summer.


Nicks 6 years ago

Indeed, what could possibly be better than curling up before a blazing fire with an engrossing book?


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for reading, Nicks. Yes, a blazing fire on a cold winter's night. Sounds good to me!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

There is nothing better than curling up with a good book. Love your selections. I haven't read The Road as of yet, looks like I'll have to go out and get a copy. Thanks.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals, I'm glad you like the books I picked! The Road is definitely worth it. Thanks for reading!


geekchick profile image

geekchick 6 years ago

I read Skipping Christmas this past December. It's great for a winter's evening!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi geekchick, Skipping Christmas is really easy to read and very entertaining! Thanks for stopping by.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

This brought back memories, Little Women was a book I read as a child I think I liked it because I had no sisters and so was curious about a family of sisters. I just might re-read this some time. I am going to look at the summer list and bookmark it for ideas. Thank you.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

2uesday, Little Women is a great book! I liked the idea of a lot of sisters too ... it seemed like so much fun :) Louisa May Alcott wrote a few sequels to Little Women; those are fun as well.


Kendall H. profile image

Kendall H. 6 years ago from Northern CA

I remember reading Washington Square and feeling so sorry Catherine. Neither her father nor suitor made life easy for her. I thought she should have just packed up and moved away from them both. Thanks for the hub!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan Author

You're very welcome, Kendall! The story of Washington Square still haunts my thoughts. Catherine is one of the most fascinating heroines I have ever read. Thanks for your comment!


SUSIE405 profile image

SUSIE405 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

Some of these sound pretty depressing. Are there any feel good novels for winter?


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Susie405, Skipping Christmas is a very lighthearted book if you're looking for something along that line. Also, besides Little Women, Louisa May Alcott wrote more feel-good Christmas stories - check out "The Quiet Little Woman" and "Kate's Choice".


parrster profile image

parrster 5 years ago from Oz

I watched xmas with the kranks and was unaware that grisham was the author. I just read his latest novel, confession. great read, he truly is a master storyteller. enjoyed your hub, thanks


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi parrster, Skipping Christmas isn't your typical Grisham, but still a great read! Thanks for coming by!


kmcmichael profile image

kmcmichael 5 years ago from Athens, Georgia

Great list! I really want to read Washington Square.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago

Great selection of reads. Classics are always favored. Thank you for a reminder of books I would like to reread and an introduction to new books for a "to read" list.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

kmcmichael, Washington Square is definitely my favorite Henry James novel - great book for a cold day!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

mecheshier, thanks for coming by! I hope you enjoy catching up on some great reading :)


Anaya M. Baker profile image

Anaya M. Baker 5 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for the book list! The Road is currently sitting on my "to read" shelf, maybe I'll bump it up a few spaces! And grab a blanket when I do...


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Anaya, The Road is definitely a must read! It is rather dark however, so be prepared. Let me know what you think of it!


Anaya M. Baker profile image

Anaya M. Baker 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Rose! I haven't gotten to The Road yet, but I did just finish Blood Meridian, my first foray into Cormac McCarthy territory. Gruesome but amazing, and I absolutely can't wait to read the road now!


Rose West profile image

Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hello again, Anaya! I haven't read Blood Meridian - but I would like to sometime. McCarthy is such a powerful writer, isn't he?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working