With lazier days and more time indoors to escape the cold (yes, it’s been chilly even here in the tropics), this holiday season comes with the distinct advantage of having more time to spend with cosy books. And what better time to sit by your fireplace in your most comfortable pajamas and just indulge in a feel-good novel while sipping on a hot cocoa?
Whatever your mood and literary appetite – and including classic novels, wintry mysteries and books set in winter – here are some of the best winter reads to enjoy as the weather turns colder.
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
If you need an escape to a wintry dreamland at a remote mountain hot spring, read Snow Country. This masterpiece of a Japanese literature classic tells the love affair of a country geisha with a Tokyo gentleman. It’s ultimately about doomed romance, but you’ll also uncover desolate beauty and a story for the ages under the thick falling snow. Kinokuniya
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
One of the most famous Agatha Christie mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express has all the wintry feel with snowstorms, a luxury train running through snowy landscapes and a devious murderer aboard. Kinokuniya
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Folk tales, snow-capped forests and magic in the depths of winter at the edge of the Russian wilderness. The Bear and the Nightingale is a coming-of-age story in true fairy-tale tradition. A perfect read in winter, especially on the restful days around Christmas with a glass of mulled wine. Kinokuniya
Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin
Winter in Sokcho is an intense short novel set during the winter in the Korean coastal town of Sokcho and follows a young woman working at a run-down hotel. There’s a strange charm about the seaside town in winter, freezing and almost devoid of tourists. Kinokuniya
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
If you’re a fan of Charles Dickens, you won’t be disappointed by this historic fictional tale of what happens to him after he writes A Christmas Carol. Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Dickens’ life and clever winks to his work, Mr. Dickens and His Carol takes you on an adventure following Dickens in a Scrooge-like journey. Amazon
Winter by Ali Smith
Winter, the second book in the Seasonal Quartet series, is set not just in winter but around Christmas. It’s a quiet, focused story about a family riven by conflicting moral visions, which come to a head during a particularly ghastly Christmas gathering. Kinokuniya
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Beartown is about a small hockey town in northern Sweden with a big dream. Now adapted to an HBO series, it’s one of the most engrossing books set in winter about community, loyalty and the responsibilities of friendship. Kinokuniya