9 books to read to embrace Winter!

Because it’s not going away just yet!

If you live in if the northern hemisphere then, it’s winter! Brrrrrr! And we are just half way through it!

Hopefully you are enjoying winter.

However, winter’s extreme weather and shorter days affect many people beyond the lower metabolism, weight gain and weaker immunize system. Many experience what is known as “cabin fever” symptoms and feel irritable and claustrophobic while other have more severe symptoms such as sleeping difficulties, increased tiredness, lower concentration and even anxiety and depression also known as SAD or “Seasonal Affective Disorder”.

Let’s talk!

How do you like winter? Do you enjoy it? Do you get some of those symptoms? If so, how do you get through the winter blues?

I say.. How about some reading?!

One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is reading! If you are tired of winter you may want to pick a book that would let you escape to a warmer place. But, how about EMBRACING winter? Here some “wintry” reads to embrace the season:

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book will literally chill you to the bone! Wintergirls offers the most extraordinary and powerful emotional imagery of a mental illness I have ever seen in the bookiverse! [read the entire review here]

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.





One for Sorrow, by Mary Downing Hahn

Don’t get fooled by the fact this is a Middle Grade book!

This story is the perfect wintry read: dark, melancholic, Gothic and scary!

The writing style and the blend of paranormal and historical diction is perfect for young readers! And even though the pace may be slow at times, the underlining tension of people dying from influenza, and school bullying will keep you turning the pages and then the ghost story is really a goose·bumps inducing!

Towards the end, as it reaches it climax, you will be more than ready for that nasty ghost to go away!

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.






The Orphan’s Tale, by Pam Jenoff

This is such a beautiful tale of courage, resilience, sacrifice, survival, sisterly love!

The events at the beginning of the story are strikingly dark and violent, but so representative of the horrors of this time. They will shake you to the core. Afterwards, the story moves at a slower pace but pregnant teenager Noa and abandoned wife Astrid, both betrayed by those who they trusted the most, will win your heart. Their attempts to hide from the Nazis will keep you at the edge of your seat until the heartbreaking end that is the best reward! The end will stay with you forever!

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.
Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.




The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman

This epic middle grade/YA book is just splendorous, a classic that everyone should read!

Set in a marvelously imaginative alternative steampunk earth, a world that is just remarkably well built, this book is about the eternal controversy and struggle for power between science, politics and religion.

The diverse array of characters of different backgrounds and races (explores, scientists, witches, gypsies, and politicians among others) is as complex and layered as the story where quantum physics, alternative whorls, fantasy, and magic masterfully collide.

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.



A Game of Thrones , by George R.R. Martin

This epic fantasy barely needs introduction since it was turned into a global phenomenon by the American HBO television series. The threat of a decades-long winter adds to the web of alliances and betrayals among noble families trying to claim the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms to make this read a MUST read in winter time! WINTER IS COMING! WINTER IS HERE!

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. To the south, the king’s powers are failing—his most trusted adviser dead under mysterious circumstances and his enemies emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the king’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but the kingdom itself.
Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; a child is lost in the twilight between life and death; and a determined woman undertakes a treacherous journey to protect all she holds dear. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the Starks hangs perilously in the balance, as each side endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Unparalleled in scope and execution, A Game of Thrones is one of those rare reading experiences that catch you up from the opening pages, won’t let you go until the end, and leave you yearning for more.





Winter, by Marissa Meyer

This book was the perfect ending to a wonderful series with lovable, funny, quirky characters that also touches on social inequality, racism, mental health, disability. [read the entire review here]

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series




Other popular wintry reads are…

The Wolves of Winter, by Tyrell Johnson

I found this book to be addictive reading, I hated having to put the book down! The mixture of genres within this book were brilliant, it had the post-apocalyptic landscape and way of life along the the genetic elements and the threat of the out of control flu virus. There’s so much more to this book than I have revealed. I would have to say I would put this book up there alongside Year One by Nora Roberts. Yep! I enjoyed this book that much! – Sandra “Jeanz”‘s Reviews

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive.
Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life haunt her, she has been forced to forge ahead in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap to survive.
But her fragile existence is about to be shattered. Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community—most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who sets in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfill a destiny she never imagined.





Wintersong , by S. Jae-Jones

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.




Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.
Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.






What about you? What is your favorite wintry read?
Thank you for visiting!

Daniela Ark

Bookworm, book blogger, writer, collector of stories that matter and passionate about feminism, diversity, and equality.

email: contactme@danielaark.com

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