We are quickly exiting autumn and coming up on winter, and I am so ready for cold evenings with the fireplace on and a good book! My favorite books to read in front of the fire are ones that suck me in to the story quickly and won’t let go, but still manage to have an ending that feels truly resolved. As much as I love horror, that doesn’t tend to be my go-to for the season – instead, I prefer romances, or mysteries with a good ending, or feel-good historical fiction. This week’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt from That Artsy Reader Girl is cozy reads, so here are 10 books that I would recommend for a cold winter night with a soft blanket.
1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I won’t pretend that Outlander is a light read – there is plenty of violence and hard emotions in this one, but the romance between Claire and Jaime still always brings me back, and I think it makes a great winter read.
2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
This is certainly a book of my childhood, but I love to re-read this one (as well as the rest of the series) when I need a feel-good story.
3. Circe by Madeline Miller
This is definitely a long read, but if you haven’t read it yet I would strongly recommend it. I love Circe as a main character – she is intelligent, fiercely independent, and constantly underestimated by those around her.
4. Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chen
This is another book about an underestimated, undervalued character – Pride and Prejudice has long been one of my favorite books, and while I admit that I never much cared for Mary as a character in that one, I love this re-imagining of her.
5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
The older I get, the more I sympathize with Bernadette, who has experienced a profound change in her life course after becoming a mother, and is desperate to feel like herself again. The book’s humor buried in a relatively realistic narrative makes for a great cozy read.
6. The Library of Legends by Janie Chang
This one didn’t make as many waves as it deserved, but I love this for a cozy read. It’s a historical fiction novel about a group of students travelling through China in 1937 when Japan was bombing cities, but woven in to the real historical backdrop are mystical creatures from Chinese mythology. It manages to have a good ending, even with the bombings, and the mixture of history plus fantasy makes it a great read for this time of year.
7. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This book is certainly heavier than most of the others, but the rich fantasy world of this novel along with memorable characters and a compelling plot make this a great pick for winter. Bonus: it also has a positive but unexpected ending.
8. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Back to more standard romance for me, but I love this book so much. The main character, Eve, struggles with so much that I also do (namely ADHD and autism), and the romance is one that you can certainly root for.
9. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
This is another incredible fantasy for those that prefer escapism for their winter reads. This book managed to master the balance between multi-dimensional characters, fantastic worldbuilding, and diversity, raising the bar for me at least for all fantasy that I read after it.
10. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
This one manages to be a romance and a fantasy and a historical fiction all in one. I loved Addie as a character, and enjoyed watching the twists and turns of her very long life. This one makes a great cozy read if you’re looking for urban fantasy.