10 Winter Must-Reads

No matter if Summer is your favorite season, or Winter, or everything in between, we all love to snuggle under a blanket by the fire and read a good book while sipping hot cocoa (just don’t spill it on the book!).

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Chances are, you already have a set list of books that are great for those chilly evenings, but in case you don’t, here’s a list compiled from TAG members, their siblings, and lists from Goodreads (links here). Books are numbered in order that I put them on the list, meaning when they came to mind/others told me about them/I found them on Goodreads.

Titles are hyperlinked to the Flower Mound Public Library’s website, so if you’re interested in the book, check it out!

1. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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As soon as the weather starts turning from Sultry Summer to Algid Autumn, I get the urge to read this book again. It’s one of my favorites; I just love how cozy it is!

Grace has werewolves in her backyard, but they’re not the werewolves you’re thinking of. Some people probably think that this is the werewolf equivalent to what Meyers did with vampires, but I promise you, it’s not. It’s a love story wonderfully told with real emotion that makes me cry every single time, and it discusses true friendship, love between families, all that jazz. Everything about this book just SCREAMS “put a blanket on and read me by the fire”, and is a must for everyone’s winter book list.

2. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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I love this book, not only because it’s another one of those books that makes me cry, but because it’s historic fiction–more to the point, it’s about the forgotten holocaust. Remember how Stalin killed way more of his own people than Hitler did? No? Well now you’ll never forget.

This is a narrative of a young Lithuanian girl, Lina, who is taken with her mother and her brother, Jonas, while their father is away. They have 20 minutes to pack their belongings before they’re on a car headed for the train station. It follows them and the people in their train car throughout their journey trying to survive the harsh winters of Siberia and the Arctic Circle, and all the while, Lina is drawing their story on whatever pieces of paper she can find, hoping her sketches will reach her father so he will know they’re alright.

Be warned, though: the subject matter is rather grim, and it may be hard to read at times.

3. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

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It should be said that I haven’t actually read this book. I can say this much, though: John Green and Lauren Myracle have written good stuff, and I’m familiar with Maureen Johnson’s name, if anything.

From Goodreads: “Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.” (source)

4. Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

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Another book that I haven’t read, but I do remember picking this up in Barnes and Noble and reading the summary. That was probably one of the days my mom said that phrase I hate so much: “Narrow it down to two.”

In this mixture of romance, adventure, and a little bit of dystopia (someone please correct me if I’m wrong; I just read the summary on Goodreads), Natasha Kestal is a blackjack dealer in the frozen city of New Vegas, and she wants out. She’s heard rumors of a place called “the Blue” where the sun shines and the water isn’t solid, but to get there, she must trek through danger. So, naturally, she goes for it with a few mercenaries led by runner Ryan Wesson. And, naturally, she and Wes start getting closer–perhaps dangerously close?

This book is another cuddle book, and I can’t wait until I get to it on my to-read list!

5. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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This has been on my to-read list for an unholy amount of time OTL. So since I haven’t read it, I’m going to quote what Heather said:

“Dash and Lilly ‘meet’ by leaving dares for each other in a book. But will a completely paper relationship be enough for them? (The answer is no). It’s terribly sweet and romantic, and if you’re a fan of their other books, this is def one to add.”

6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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*Rihanna’s “I Want You to Stay” plays in the background* *Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” plays afterwards*

Chances are you saw the movie, or you’ve read it, or you’ve done both, or you’ve done neither and want to do both (me). This is uber high on my to-read shelf, mainly because of the movie, but regardless, it’s up there. I love the idea of it: choosing between family and passion, and actually I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it. Friends of mine who have read it say it’s beautifully presented, so make sure it’s high up on your Winter Book List! (Also what is it with most of these books being emotional and making me cry?)

7. Night by Elie Wiesel

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*Takes deep breath*

This is a hard read. Like, harder-than-The-Kite-Runner hard, which is hard. It’s about Elie and his experience in Auschwitz and Buchenwald with his father, and how he comes to hate humanity, and not in the this-person-said-twilight-is-better-than-harry-potter way, either. If you’re looking for something you can read in one sitting, look further. Chances are you’ll have to walk away from this at least a dozen times and go hug your mom or something. Definitely on my “Ow My Heart” shelf on Goodreads.

8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (this title is also available for a free read on Goodreads)

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Again, stealing the words from Heather’s mouth:

Little Women has all of the winter and Christmas scenes. Amy falling through the ice (and ending up with [SPOILER], WTH?). It’s a nice, cozy, up by the fire kind of read.”

Adding to that, from what I know of it, if you liked Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, you’ll love this. The real question, however, is “Can it make me squeal from the cute as much as I did with PandP?”

9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (this title is also available for a free read on Goodreads)

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Okay, this just goes without saying.

10. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

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If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about when I say OH MY GOD THIS IS FANTASTIC. It’s a longer read, sure, racking up a total of 748 pages in my edition (beat that, NaNo writers :P) .

Peter Lake is a mechanic and an orphan, and he decides to rob a mansion on the Upper West Side of New York City. Though he thinks the house is empty, he discovers the daughter of the owner, who is dying. Thus begins their love story, and his desperate attempt to stop time and bring back the dead.

It’s got “Winter” in the title; why wouldn’t you read it during Winter?

That wraps it up for 10 Winter Must-Reads! If you have any feedback, or want to let others know of books that weren’t in this list, be sure to leave a comment!

Happy reading!

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