Winter is coming! These 15 winter books for adults will make you feel all warm and cozy.
Winter is one of the best seasons. Cold days and dark evenings are the perfect excuse to stay inside curled up with a good book. There is seriously nothing cozier than curling up in a blanket, with a hot drink and a good book. So I decided to put together a winter reading list of books with magical winter imagery. From holiday reads to classics – here are the best winter books for adults.
In the name of full transparency, please note that this post contains affiliate links and any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you choose to purchase anything through my links, thank you for supporting my blog
- Winter is coming! These 15 winter books for adults will make you feel all warm and cozy.
- What are the best winter books for adults?
- 4. Bright and Pale by Jessica Rubinowski
- 5. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeymoon
- 6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
- 7. Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- 10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- 11. The Shadow of Winterspell by Amy Wilson
- 12. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- 15. Bitter Frost by Kalin Gow
- 16. Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
- Other posts you may like…
What are the best winter books for adults?
1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
If you’re looking for a magical and classic children’s story
The Lion, The Witch and The wardrobe has one of the most magical concepts behind it. It’s an endearing children’s classic. And honestly one of the first books that come to mind when you think of winter-themed books.
The book follows four children who are evacuated to a country house. They find a magical kingdom called Narnia at the back of a wardrobe.
But Narnia has been enchanted by a White Witch. And it is frozen in an eternal winter.
This is a childhood classic. And it’s a really nostalgic read. The concept behind the book is magical and the imagery is really cosy. And it also has one of the best fantasy worlds.
2. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
If you looking for a thriller with unexpected twists
The Hunting Party has so many chilling twists and turns you genuinely don’t expect.
It follows a group of friends going on holiday to the Scottish Highlands for New Year’s Eve. But one of them winds up dead.
It’s very atmospheric and full of suspense. The relationships in the group were really intriguing and I absolutely loved the frenemies love-hate relationship they had.
It reminds me a lot of Agatha Christie. Big country house, remote location and a group of people who have plenty of secrets. The winter imagery is also on point – set in a luxury cabin in the highlands on a cold winters evening.
3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
If you’re looking for a fantasy historical fiction
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there when yesterday it was not. But it’s only open at night.
And behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway between two rival magicians.
This book has everything I want in a fall read. The writing and prose are incredible. I love all books about magic and circuses.
4. Bright and Pale by Jessica Rubinowski
If you’re looking for a fantasy book with winter vibes
Bright and Pale is really underrated. It’s a fantasy book that features a thieves guild, a mission and a beautiful winter setting.
It follows 17-year-old Valeria. As a child, she lived near this magical mountain. One day, it unleashed a big freeze that trapped her family. Valeria is one of few survivors.
So she flees and joins the thieves guild. And she does odd jobs to get by with her best friend Alik. Until he is brutally murdered.
Or so she thinks. A year later, he turns up alive. And she is forced to lead a group on a dangerous quest back to the mountain in exchange for Alik.
The world-building was truly enchanting. It’s heavily inspired by Russian folklore. But the winter setting added another layer to it. The two gods concept was intriguing but also quite creepy. You also pick this up conveniently on Amazon –check it out here.
5. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeymoon
If you’re looking for emotional Summer beach reads about loneliness
Eleanor Oliphant struggles with social skills. Her life is carefully timetabled and she avoids human interactions.
But that changes when she meets Raymond. An unhygienic IT guy from her office. Ultimately, Raymond’s big heart will help Eleanor repair her own.
The twists in this book were genuinely unexpected and shocking. The relationship between Eleanor and Raymond was perfect and allowed for so much character growth. I was in floods of tears at the end.
6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
If you’re looking for a motivational fantasy book
The Midnight Library follows Nora. Her life seems to go from bad to worse. She finds herself transported to a library full of books.
In each book is a different version of her life. Nora has the chance to undo her regrets. And she can try out other lives she might have lived.
This book is really therapeutic to read. If you have ever had regrets or if you can identify with Nora – I highly recommend reading this book.
It’s also easy to binge read. The book is separated into different episodes depending on what version of her life she is living. This structure made it really easy to read quickly.
7. Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
If you’re looking for an easy-to-read classic detective story
Agatha Christie was an incredible writer. And she has so many amazing detective stories. ‘Murder on The Orient Express’ is an excellent starting point.
It follows Poirot. He is on a train journey when there is a murder. And he has to investigate who the murderer is.
The characters in Christie’s books were often based on real people. And so they feel very relatable – even today. The plot has some good twists in it. I love reading Poirot’s thought process when solving the murder.
Christie’s books are the ultimate cosy fall reading.
8. One Day in December by Josie Silver
If you’re looking for an emotional Christmas book
Warning: This book might break your heart. If you are looking for a romantic, emotional, heart-wrenching love story this is the book for you.
Laurie meets someone at a bus stop who she instantly knows is the one. When she meets him again – she discovers he is dating her best friend.
It’s pure escapist joy and a romantic Christmassy book you can lose yourself in. Josie Silver is a bestselling author who also wrote the bookstagram favourite ‘The Two Lives of Lydia Bird’.
If you’re a Romantic Fiction fan looking for a book that will make you cry – this is the book for you.
9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
If you’re looking for a classic Christmas story
Charles Dickens invented Christmas. There have been countless adaptations of a Christmas Carol (The Muppets is my fave!) But, have you read the original story?
A Christmas Carol is a festive classic for good reason – it’s the story of Christmas. Miserly Scrooge learns to value spending time with his family at Christmas.
Ironically, Dickens wrote this because he desperately needed money and it caused a bitter war over profits. If you’re a fan of the classics you should read this because it’s had a profound cultural impact.
10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
If you’re looking for a charming classic with cottagecore vibes
Little Women follows the March sisters – Beth, Jo, Meg and Amy. They each have very different personalities. Meg is grown up, Jo is tomboyish, Beth is shy and Amy is precocious. They couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war – they rely on each other for support.
And as they are entering womanhood – they have important decisions to make. Decisions that will affect their future.
Little Women is one of my top classic reads. It’s easy to read and endlessly charming. The characters are beautifully written and so well developed.
While society has changed a lot since this book was released. The themes of kindness, honestly and solidarity remain timeless.
11. The Shadow of Winterspell by Amy Wilson
If you’re looking for a fantasy book with aesthetic winter forest imagery
I first book this at a train station last year. Why? Look at that cover? It just screams winter-themed forest imagery.
It follows Stella. She has been living in a cabin in the forest for most of her life. She survives through the magic of the forest. But she’s lonely and decides to enrol at the local school.
But as she makes friends, she discovers that she’s more different than she thought. And Stella realises that uncovering her family secret is the only way to save the forest from dark magic.
There is so much to love about this book. The winter forest imagery is beautiful. Friendship and family are themes throughout. And Stella has a great character arc with real moments of self-discovery. You could probably binge read this because the writing is very easy to read.
12. The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
If you’re looking for a Children’s classic with dark academia vibes
A Little Princess follows Sara. Her father sends Sara to a strict boarding school when he enlists in WWI. But when he is presumed dead, the headmistress forces Sara to become a servant.
This book makes me cry every time I read it. It’s a feel-good classic. The book is full of magic. The winter imagery is excellent. And I really enjoy a boarding school setting.
The characters are so charming and well developed. Because it’s a children’s classic it’s also easy to read. If you’re looking for easy to read classics – this is a great choice.
13. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
If you’re looking for a fantasy with magic, curses and shape-shifting dragons.
Six Crimson Cranes isn’t necessarily the most obvious choice for a winter book. But the winter imagery later in the book is really beautiful.
It follows Shiori. She is the only princess in Kiata. Shiori lives in a land where magic is banned. And demons are locked away inside a mountain. But forbidden magic runs through her veins.
Shiori normally conceals it. But on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, she loses control. And she attracts the attention of her stepmother Raikama.
Raikama possesses dark magic. She banishes the young princess. And turns her brothers into cranes. Shiori must speak of it to no one. For with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
The worldbuilding in this book is exquisite. Especially when Shiori is in Iro. The images of snow-capped mountains and eating hot buns in the snow is beautiful.
14. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
If you’re looking for a YA Fantasy with disability representation
If you’re looking for books with bad-ass, disabled characters then you should read a curse so Dark and Lonely.
A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Prince Rhen is the Heir of Emberfall.
Emberfall is under a curse and the kingdom is enchanted into an everlasting winter. Prince Rhen needs to make a girl fall in love with him to break the curse.
Harper has cerebral palsy. And she struggles to look after her dying mother. She tries to save a stranger and is pulled into the world of Emberfall.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely includes an adorable romance. And it’s an excellent retelling that puts a modern spin on the original fairytale.
Read the Good Reads Summary here
Buy A Curse So Dark and Lonely here
15. Bitter Frost by Kalin Gow
If you love an enemies to Lovers romance or A Court of Thorns and Roses
Bitter Frost is an amazing book featuring memory loss, beautiful forest imagery and of course Fae. It follows Breena. She has always dreamed of fairies as though she lived among them.
In her dreams, there was always a handsome but dangerous Prince named Kian. But when she turns sixteen she starts seeing strange creatures. And her best friend Logan becomes very protective.
There were a few elements I didn’t like about this – Breena seemed a bit ‘not like other girls’. There were a few comments on other ‘popular girls’ appearances that I didn’t appreciate and weren’t necessary.
But, it’s a really captivating fae book. The twists are incredible and the pacing is perfect It was hugely successful – winning awards and selling over 4 million copies.
If you’re a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses you should definitely read this as it references Summer and Winter courts. You can read an ebook version of this on Scribd – they also offer a free 30-day trial. If you prefer a physical book you can also get this conveniently from Amazon.
16. Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
If you’re a fan of a thriller in an eerie or isolated setting
Rock Paper Scissors follows a married couple – Adam and Amelia Wright. Their relationship has been in trouble for a while. And so when they win a long weekend away in Scotland – it’s just what they need.
But things start to take a dark turn. One of them is lying. And the other doesn’t want a happily ever after.
Adam suffers from face blindness. So he can’t recognise people’s faces. This means Adam can’t recognise his own wife’s face.
The setting makes this book so eerie and foreboding. It’s set in the Scottish highlands in a converted church. It’s heavily snowing. And there is lots of winter imagery. The winter imagery really adds to the cold and eerie feeling throughout. It kept me on edge the whole time.
Those were my Winter books for adults
I hope this list gave you some good Winter Books to add to your reading list! And also make you feel cosier this winter.
If you have any questions please ask in the comments! I would also love to hear your suggestions.
This post was all about the best Winter books for adults
Other posts you may like…
This post on Romance books for young adults
These Dark Academia books
The best cottagecore books