February 20, 2019

Finding the perfect winter reads

Winter reading is my favorite reading. I love the idea of curling up in a comfy chair in front of the fire (never mind that I don’t have a fireplace) wrapped in a warm blanket and sipping tea (or hot chocolate or a hot toddy). Summer reading has its own niche — beach reads! But winter reading, apart from holiday stories, doesn’t seem to have its own place and rather depends on the reader.

Do you like books that mimic the cold days? Try looking for books with the appeal terms “Bleak,” “Moody,” and “Brooding.” Do you look forward to winter because of the many holidays? Try the theme “Eat, drink, and be merry” or “Family gatherings.” And if you would prefer to forget that you are snowed-in, try books that are “Upbeat” or “Amusing.” Books with the theme “Comedy of manners” or “Rags to riches” bring you into a whole new world of someone else’s problems. And “Books about books” is exactly what it sounds like; a theme dedicated to books, book lovers, and reading.

For me personally, there is something about the atmosphere of dark, cold days that makes me want to read certain —fantasy, historical sagas, murder mysteries, Dickensian-style novels, and, in general, fiction books that make me think. Naomi Novik’s fantasy, Spinning Silver, may have been published in July, but I have been waiting for the perfect winter day to read it. No spoilers please! If you’re looking for a book that makes you think, try searching for books with the appeal term “Thought-provoking” or “Issue-oriented.”

Winter is also an excellent time to catch up on my TBR list. I have finally gotten around to reading Tana French’s Murder Squad series, as well as Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. (I admit I made the blasphemous error of seeing the movie before I read the book.) Other books on my list that I plan to read this winter: Melmoth by Sarah Perry, John Woman by Walter Mosley, Rosewater by Tade Thompson, Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg, A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris, and many more (my Goodreads goal is 100 books this year). I also like to go through the end-of-the-year notable lists to find titles I may have missed throughout the year.

And if you live in a place that gets regular snowfall (alas, I don’t), what’s better than gazing out the window on to a winter wonderland while listening to someone tell you a story? I love a good audiobook, even without the view. Next on my list—Dianne Setterfield’s Once Upon a River as read by Juliet Stevenson. I am drawn to audiobooks that are “Immersive,” “Well-characterized,” and have great “Character accents.”

So, what about you? Do you consider yourself a seasonal reader? Do you have favorite genres or authors you like to read during the winter months? And, finally, are there recent books I need to add to my (already very large) reading pile?

Want to find more books to add to your reading list? Request or download copies of our Secret Language of Books to help find reads that appeal to you. 

Elizabeth Coleman is a Metadata Librarian II for NoveList.


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