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Last Updated on December 15, 2023 by Jella Erhard

Welcome to our winter book list where you’ll find our favorite winter-themed fantasy and fiction books that will take you to the most strange and wonderful places.

From cozy books for winter, snowy mysteries, and fantasy books set in winter to winter-themed YA books you’ll find here all kinds of winter novels and book series for adults and young adult readers.

We’re also huge fans of themed coloring books so we added two beautiful winter coloring books that are perfect for adults and kids as well. You can explore adventurous classics, new fantasy tales, and romance stories that are perfect books to cozy up with this winter.

RELATED: Delicious Fiction Books For Foodies

You just have to grab a hot cocoa or tea and enjoy the warmth of the most beautiful Christmas books and winter reads that can be enjoyed with the whole family.

So if you’re not sure what to read while there is snowing outside check out some of these beautiful stories from the US, England, Russia, Germany, Canada, and beyond.

If you love beguiling fantasy books and novels from around the world or love to discover new diverse writers and stories you should check out our other book lists in our online book nook.

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Books For Winter

24. Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Holiday Romance Novel, New York Christmas Story, Family Ties and Love

Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews - cozy winter book

Get Your Copy HERE

Publication Date: September 2023
Genres: Romance, Holiday, Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis:

Mary Kay Andrews’ Bright Lights, Big Christmas is like a cup of hot cocoa for the soul. Meet Kerry Tolliver, ditching her family’s Christmas tree farm in North Carolina for the big, shiny apple that is New York City.

She’s helping her brother sell trees in Greenwich Village, living out of a vintage camper – talk about a holiday adventure!

Manhattan’s full of surprises for Kerry, from quirky locals to twinkling lights. But hold on to your Santa hats, because an elderly neighbor pulls a vanishing act, and Kerry’s on the case, mixing her country know-how with her new city savvy.

And then there’s Patrick, a single dad with a son who’s all about dragons. Cue the mistletoe, because sparks fly faster than Santa’s sleigh. This novella’s got it all: family feels, laugh-out-loud moments, and a dose of Christmas magic.

23. The Twelve Days of Murder by Andreina Cordani

Highland Murder Mystery, Christmas Masquerade Thriller, University Friends Secret

The Twelve Days of Murder by Andreina Cordani - winter thriller novel

Get Your Copy HERE

Publication Date: November 2023
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Synopsis:

Andreina Cordani’s The Twelve Days of Murder is a real head-scratcher set in the Scottish Highlands. Picture this: a group of uni friends who used to play detective in the Masquerade Murder Society.

Flashback to a Christmas party twelve years ago where one of them pulls a Houdini and vanishes. Fast forward to now, they’re throwing another masquerade, all decked out in “Twelve Days of Christmas” get-ups. But, ho-ho-hold up! Someone ends up dead, and it’s not part of the game.

Enter Charley, our not-so-glam actress who’s more outsider than insider. She’s threading her way through a tangle of secrets and lies, trying to crack a mystery that’s as twisted as a candy cane.

It’s a wild mix of who-dunnit and festive frights, perfect for anyone who likes their mysteries with a side of holiday cheer and old friends with skeletons in their closets.

22. Snowed In by Catherine Walsh

Snowed In by Catherine Walsh - romantic winter books

Get Your Copy HERE
Publishing Date: November 2023

SYNOPSIS:

Snowed In by Catherine Walsh is your go-to winter read for a blend of laughs and love. It’s a story about Megan, the infamous runaway bride of her small town, and Christian, who’s tired of being the family’s lone wolf every Christmas.

They meet in a Dublin pub and, voila, a plan is born: fake date each other to dodge the holiday drama. They even seal the deal on a wine-stained napkin. Cue the chaos: family shenanigans, old flames, and a whole lot of emotions stir up their pretend romance.

Add a snowed-in cabin to the mix, and you’ve got more than just a holiday fling.

This book is a rom-com lover’s dream, perfect for cozying up on chilly nights. If you’re a fan of heartwarming, funny tales with a sprinkle of Christmas magic, Snowed In should be next on your list.

21. The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan

The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan - modern winter books

Get Your Copy HERE
Published: September 2023

SYNOPSIS:

Ding-ding! Welcome to the Maple Sugar Inn, the winter wonderland every bookworm dreams of! In The Book Club Hotel by the fabulous Sarah Morgan, we’re checking in for some festive cheer, a sprinkle of drama, and a whole lotta heart.

Enter Hattie Coleman: a supermom and the inn’s keeper who’s just trying to get through the Yuletide hustle. But things take a turn when Erica, Claudia, and Anna – the ultimate #FriendshipGoals trio with a shared passion for books – decide to have a festive book club retreat.

While they’ve got their chic coordinated outfits and infectious laughter, Hattie senses some heavy emotional suitcases in tow.

As snowflakes fall and pages turn, watch as their stories intertwine in the most unexpected ways. Can the magic of books and the holiday spirit help these four women rewrite their narratives? Dive into this winter read and find out!

Set in the cozy confines of the Maple Sugar Inn, this story is a heartening celebration of books, bonding, and fresh starts during the festive season.

20. One December Day by Rachel Mark

One December Day by Rachel Marks - new winter books

Get Your Copy HERE
Published: October 2023

SYNOPSIS:

Okay, folks, grab your coziest blanket because One December Day by Rachel Marks is serving up some wintery romance realness! So, there’s Laura – a total summer vibe kinda girl.

Then in walks Luke, the dashing band guy with big dreams. Sparks fly faster than a December snowfall, and under those twinkling Christmas lights, our duo feels something… well, magical. Sounds like the perfect holiday rom-com, right?

But here’s the twist: can that mistletoe magic last till next December? And the one after? While finding love during the festive season feels like unwrapping the best present ever, it’s navigating the rollercoaster of love year-round that’s the real test.

Join Luke and Laura as they unwrap the layers of love, one December day at a time.

Set amidst the enchantment of December’s chill, this tale captures the heartwarming journey of love’s endurance through the seasons.

19. Marmee by Sarah Miller

Marmee by Sarah Miller - new historical retelling fiction books

Get Your Copy HERE
Published: October 2022

Synopsis:

Ever wondered about the real story behind the beloved Little Women?

Buckle up, because Sarah Miller’s Marmee is about to spill the tea. Ditching the usual Little Women lens, this tale takes us straight into the heart and soul of Margaret “Marmee” March. It’s 1861, and while the South’s caught up in war, our gal Marmee’s up north juggling a heap of her own problems.

Her hubby’s out chaplaining for the army, money’s running dry, and oh, did I mention she’s shouldering a decade-old secret mistake? Yikes. Yet, amidst the chaos, she’s got dreams – for the war, for justice, and most importantly, for her four daughters.

But life’s got curveballs, and one arrives in the form of a concerning telegram, dragging Marmee to Washington, D.C., and into a storm of challenges. Dive into this winter read for a fresh perspective on a classic, unveiling the layers of a mother with secrets, strength, and an undying spirit.

Set against the backdrop of 1860s Massachusetts, “Marmee” uncovers the untold story of the resilient woman behind the March sisters.

18. The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb

The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb - spooky horror romance book

Get It HERE
Published: November 2022

Synopsis:

Alright, winter book lovers, have I got a treat for you! Picture this: you’re in the cozy town of Wharton by Lake Superior, and Tess Bell is knee-deep in snow, trying to revamp her family home. Just when you think it’s all about fixing up an old house, something unexpected happens.

She stumbles upon her granddad’s creepy art studio. Yup, Sebastian Bell, that famous artist. But these paintings? They’re not his usual stuff. They’re all sorts of eerie and off.

Makes you wonder, what was ol’ Sebastian up to? If you’re on the hunt for books set in winter with a side of mystery, The Stroke of Winter by Wendy Webb should be on your to-read pile.

Imagine a wintry mix of family secrets and haunting art, all set in the charming town of Wharton by Lake Superior.

17| A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos, Published: June 6, 2013, Fantasy Book Series

A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos, Published June 6, 2013, Fantasy Book Series

French author Christelle Dabos has a remarkable imagination and that paired with a fascinating writing style resulted in an amazing series.

The Mirror Pass series consists of four and a half books so far and it swept steampunk and fantasy lovers off their feet. Ophelia is able to travel through mirrors and she doesn’t care about societal expectations, she lives her life as she wishes.

The first book is going to take you to a world, where anything could happen the fine balance hangs on a thread. The plot is engaging from the first page to the last and everyone is going to love the kick-ass protagonist.

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos is among the most imaginative fantasy books to cozy up with this winter.

16| Creative Haven Country Christmas Coloring Book by Teresa Goodridge, Published: August 14, 2019

Creative Haven Country Christmas Coloring Book by Teresa Goodridge, Published August 14, 2019 (Small)

There is nothing more relaxing than getting lost in the beautiful pages of winter coloring books. If you need a little break from the everyday hassle, dive into the festive pages of this lovely coloring book. It makes a great present for both adults and children as it helps to relax and boosts creativity.

Each of the 31 drawings brings a little piece of Christmas to you. Which is your favorite scene from the Holidays? It is very likely you are going to find it in this lovely festive coloring book.

Creative Haven Country Christmas Coloring Book by Teresa Goodridge Is among the most magical and cozy winter books.

15| Johanna’s Christmas: A Festive Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford, Published: 2016

Johanna's Christmas A Festive Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford, Published 2016 (Small)

If you love coloring, this book is definitely going to be your new favorite. This high-quality collection of 37 festive artworks would also make a great Christmas gift for adults. Even if you are living in an area where it doesn’t snow, this superb book will bring a little bit of winter to you.

Some of the pictures are beautifully detailed, some other tastefully festive, there is something for everyone. With this coloring book, you won’t even have to decorate at home, it will put everyone in a festive mood in no time.

Johanna’s Christmas: A Festive Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford is surely one of the most relaxing cozy books for winter.

14| Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, Published: September 20, 1983, Magical Realism Romance novel

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin - fiction winter books

Winter’s Tale is definitely amid the most known modern romance fantasy books on this list. It was also adapted to screen by Akiva Goldsman (written and directed by).

The story takes place in an alternate universe, where life is different from what real-life New Yorkers got used to. In the icy winter, society is much more visibly divided and Peter Lake, raised by Baymen is challenging his fate.

The middle-aged robber stumbles upon a young girl, who turns his life upside down.

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin among the most captivating fantasy romance books set in a magical icy New York city.

13| Snow by John Banville, Published: September 29, 2020, Mystery, Thriller fiction

Snow by John Banville, Published September 29, 2020, Mystery, Thriller fiction

If you enjoy solving mysteries during the holidays, then Snow should make your winter reads list without a doubt. Banville’s first book of the St. John Strafford series is captivating and full of surprises.

Readers are taken to 1957 Ireland, where the catholic church grips tightly on society. St. John Strafford is tasked with finding the parish priest’s murder.

You are about to uncover some dark secrets with one of the most determined detectives in Ireland.

To read other dark mysteries and spooky horror stories that will take you around the world check out our guide to the best horror audiobooks and enjoy some spooky armchair travels. If the whole family enjoy scary stories you can sit down and listen to it together with a hot cup of something.

Snow by John Banville is a very exciting detective novel that should make all winter book lists for mystery fans.

12| A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Published: December 19, 1843, Fairy tale, Ghost story, Victorian novel

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Published December 19, 1843, Fairy tale, Ghost story, Victorian literature, (Small)

Dickens’ fascinating story is always a great pick to read around the holidays. Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the Christmas spirits has something to teach for everyone. Besides all the teachings, the story is written masterfully, which puts everyone into a Christmas mood.

It is definitely among the best books to read when the snow is falling and it also makes a great present. Probably everyone would be delighted to find a copy of this remarkable story under the tree.

If you’ve only seen the movie and haven’t read this beautiful classic yet you should give it a go.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is amid the must-read classic winter books.

11|The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand, Published: October 23, 2017, Ghost story, Paranormal fiction novel

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand, Published October 23, 2017, Ghost story, Paranormal fiction novel

If you admire Dickens’ holiday classic, then probably you are going to enjoy Cynthia Hand’s spin on the Christmas Carol. Life didn’t stop for the Christmas spirits and it seems they don’t always succeed in changing one’s approach to others and life.

Holly didn’t change after the ghosts’ visit and after she passed, she became one as well. Now serving as the ghost of Christmas past. While things don’t seem to be all peachy, things may change for the better.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand is an interesting new spin on Dicken’s Christmas Carol.

10| The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, Published: November 2011, Historical Fiction novel

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, Published November 2011, Historical Fiction novel for winter

Although it is a little sad story, readers are going to find love in these pages. This fairy-tale-like novel is a very good pick if you are looking for a touching story of unconditional love.

It is certainly amid the most remarkable winter fantasy books about loss and making sacrifices.

When married couple Jack and Mabel struggle with their lives in Alaska, after the first snow their life changes immensely. As they try to recover from a painful loss, they meet a child, who lives in the forest.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is an emotional roller coaster that is surely one of the most touching cozy books for winter.

9| Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, Published: 2006, Fantasy novel

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, Published 2006, Fantasy novel

Fantasy and comedy lovers are familiar with Pratchett’s remarkable talents. His ability to enchant and entertain readers is outstanding.

Just like all his others, this piece is fascinatingly imaginative, while readers should expect to burst out laughing from time to time.

Now fans are invited to meet Tiffany, who is an aspiring witch, and in a moment her life changes as she gets involved in the Dark Dance. She may have made a bigger mistake than she can imagine and she has to deal with the dire consequences.

If you love bewitching witch novels no matter if the story is a fantasy or fiction read you should check out our guide to the best books about witches from around the world.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett is one of the most hilarious magical and cozy winter books to read by the fireplace while sipping on a warm cup of tea.

8| Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, Published: 2011, Historical Fiction novel

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, Published 2011, Historical Fiction novel

Winter’s most iconic and beloved animals are polar bears. Japanese author Yoko Tawada invites readers to take a peek into their minds while touring the world and exploring different corners of the planet.

Three generations of white bears express themselves through literature. It is a very imaginative piece, which may be a little less about the holidays, but it takes readers to some parts of the world that will help enjoy a warm tea in your reading nook.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada is a unique piece that deserves to be included in the most magical winter book lists.

7| Winter solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher, Published: August 2000, Romance novel, Psychological Fiction novel

Winter solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher, Published August 2000, Romance novel, Psychological Fiction novel

While Winter Solstice was published over two decades ago, this book couldn’t be more relevant this year. As it had been a challenging year for everyone, it is important to find a reason to smile and feel thankful for our loved ones.

Elfrida lives a happy life and enjoys her good friends’ company. But when the Blundell family has a car accident that kills Oscar’s wife and daughter, things become dark quite quickly.

As Oscar was left without a home, the two move up to Scotland, where they face difficulties. Despite all that, Christmas does its magic and the two are able to smile again.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher is a magical Christmas and winter novel that gives hope to everyone.

6| The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen, Published: 2011, Fiction novel

The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen, Published 2011, Fiction novel

Danish writer Mette Jakobsen has a superb way of catching readers’ attention. The Vanishing Act is a curious little novel that will definitely appeal to all age groups.

This charming story is going to help everyone deal with their recent losses and learn a lot about how others process pain. It is surely one of the most touching winter-themed YA books that can make things easier after such a difficult year.

If you are in need of a feel-good novel that helps you cope with losing a loved one, this is the perfect pick.

It’s set on a tiny remote island that’s covered in snow and the story follows a small girl, her dog, the other three residents of the island, and a dead boy who helps her deal with the loss of her mother.

The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen is among the most fascinating YA books set in winter.

5| The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Published in 1995, Steampunk, YA fantasy book series

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Published in 1995, Steampunk, YA fantasy book series (Small)

Pullman’s hit fantasy novel was among the go-to winter-themed YA books in the late nineties. The first of the His Dark Materials series opened up a gate to a completely new universe.

Readers found themselves in a world, where humans’ inner self manifests in an animal, called Daemon. Lyra is fearlessly heading to the coldest corner of Earth to save her best friend Roger along with a number of other children who have been kidnapped.

This magnificent story is full of magical mysteries, cool creatures, and suspense throughout. It’s one of the best fantasy books that will give its readers serious wanderlust.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman is one of the most captivating winter fantasy books.

4| Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, Published: February 2, 2010, Psychological Fiction novel

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, Published February 2, 2010, Psychological Fiction novel

Sisters Meredith and Nina Whitson are living a completely different life as they were following their dreams.

While one of them stayed home to raise her children and look after the family orchard, the other traveled the world and became a well-known photojournalist.

When their father is dying, they are back together again along with their mother Anya. Their relationship was never good with Anya, but this tragic event forces them together. When Anya tells her incredible life story, her daughters understand much more about her and finally are able to find a common ground.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is a tragic story that will help everyone appreciate their lives and loved ones around the holidays.

3| Greenglass House by Kate Milford, Published: 2014, Mystery fiction novel

Greenglass House by Kate Milford, Published 2014, Mystery fiction novel for winter

This beautifully written and illustrated book is definitely among the best cozy books for winter. Because it is much more than a children’s book. Readers will quickly find themselves in the middle of the biggest mystery of the year.

When mysterious guests appear in the Greenglass House during winter, twelve-year-old Milo is about to learn secrets about the building. It is a fun read that will keep you excited from the beginning, even if you feel you are too old for this book.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford is amid the most entertaining books to read when the snow is falling while drinking warm tea or hot chocolate.

2| Beartown by Fredrik Backman, Published: September 2016, Fiction novel

Beartown by Fredrik Backman winter book for adults (Small)

There is no better time to be hopeful than the holidays and Backman’s lovely story is surely a good one to help you feel positive.

The small town of Beartown is on the brink of disappearing as everyone is convinced, they have nothing to keep the town going. While Beartown is indeed struggling, there is a little straw offering hope for them. The junior ice hockey team reached the national semi-final, which puts them back on the map.

That day, however, turns out to be much more complicated than simply playing the big game.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman is a surprisingly exciting book full of twists and secrets.

1| The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, Published: January 10, 2017, Historical fantasy novel

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, Published January 10, 2017, Historical fantasy novel for winter

The Bear and the Nightingale one of the best dark fantasy books that will both warm you up and spook you out a little while transporting you to a snowy Russia.

Living in the Russian cold territories, Vasilisa and her sisters are passing time with fairy tales and ghost stories.

When their mother passes away, the sisters’ father finds a new wife in Moscow. That lady doesn’t allow the girls to honor the spirits and things become much darker than anyone would have anticipated.

It is now up to Vasilisa and her gifts to stop terrible things from happening. This imaginative story is definitely among the best Christmas fantasy books as it would be a great present for all fantasy readers.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is amid the most exciting books to cozy up with this winter by the fireplace.

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