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Winter reads to curl up with

Genre: Classics, Fantasy, Mystery, Poetry
Age group: Adults

Cold, wintery evenings provide the perfect excuse for staying inside and getting cosy with a good book, so we collected some of our favourites in this list. Pile 'em high on your bedside table, pop the kettle on and we'll see you when the frost melts.

Clare Keegan Small Things Like These

This bitesize novella is the perfect book to read in December. Set in the days leading up to Christmas, the book is a gentle portrayal of a man living in a small town in Ireland. At once cosy and claustrophobic, the book reflects on the history of the Magdelene laundries.

Sangu Mandanna The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

This is a delightful warm hug of a book that's perfect for curling up with in winter. This charming and cosy story brims with magic, romance and the power of found family. You will root for the quirky cast of characters from the start, and you'll wish you could escape to the wonderful world of Nowhere House, with its beautiful grounds and well-stocked old library. Perfect for readers who love small-town vibes with a sprinkle of magic!

Allie Esiri A Poem for Every Winter Day

Crack open this spellbinding collection for poems that will transport you to sparkling winter scenes to keep you company for every day of winter. A lovely book to read and share aloud, whether in-person or over the phone.

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

This Christmas classic is guaranteed to get you feeling festive. Originally published on the 19 December 1843, the novella had sold out by Christmas Eve the same year! It's gone on to be published countless times and inspire all kids of adaptations. Grab a warm cuppa and settle in for a heart-warming read.

Lily King Five Tuesdays in Winter

This collection of short stories is perfect bedtime reading for the colder months. While the title story is of course explicitly wintery, the subtlety and warmth of the relationships between the characters makes each of these stories perfect for curling up with. With small town settings, lovable characters and unexpected relationships, this book is incredibly charming.

Mizuki Tsujimura Lonely Castle in the Mirror

The perfect escapist novel for the darkening days, this book follows seven school students as they discover a magical portal into another world. As they explore the magnificent castle on the other side, the book reveals their inner lives and relationships with warmth and generosity.

Alasdair Gray Lanark

Alasdair Gray has won the first-ever Saltire Society Lifetime Achievement Award and Lanark is perhaps his master work. Travel through four beautifully weird tales told out of order in a meaty book that will keep you going through the dark months.

Fannie Flagg A Redbird Christmas

A grumpy old man named Oswald is sent away from the big city to the charming little town of Lost River by his doctor, much to his chagrin. Won over by the city’s residents – including a particularly boisterous redbird – Oswald starts to come around to life in Lost River. Complete with a cast of quirky characters, unexpected romance and even a Christmas miracle, this is a lovely festive read.

Michel Faber The Book of Strange New Things

The landscape that Michael Faber’s protagonist inhabits when he travels as a missionary to another planet feels a lot like winter back home. The weird otherness and barren nature of the planet will remind readers of winter hushing the land outside their window.

Ella Risbridger Set Me On Fire

The festive season can throw up all kinds of complicated emotions. This little collection of poetry feels like a hand reaching out to let you know that whatever you're feeling, you're not alone.

Kate Atkinson Life After Life

This novel, and the life of its main character, Ursula Todd, start in a snowstorm in 1910. The novel then follows Ursula through many different possible lives, following each path to its conclusion to explore what it looks like to have second chances, and how much of a part destiny has to play. With its rich characters and sweeping storylines, this novel is perfect for getting lost in this winter.

Terry Pratchett The Hogfather

A Christmas classic from the late, great Terry Pratchett. It’s the night before Hogswatch. And it’s too quiet. Superstition makes things work in the Discworld, and undermining it can have consequences. It’s just not right to find Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say ‘Ho Ho Ho…’

Nancy Campbell Fifty Words for Snow

Arctic traveller Nancy Campbell has spent her life around snow, learning words from many languages throughout her travels. In this delightful piece of non-fiction, Nancy explores the meanings of fifty different words for snow, investigating its cultural significance for communities around the world.

Ghillie Basan A Taste of the Highlands

If you're not in the mood for fiction, why not flick through the pages of Ghillie Basan's beautiful new book. Featuring a hundred recipes gleaned from food producers, farmers, crofters, fishermen and distillers across the Scottish Highlands, this book is the perfect cosy read for food lovers.

Tove Jansson A Winter Book

A collection of some of Tove Jansson's best loved and most famous stories drawn from youth and older age, and spanning most of the twentieth century. This beautiful book is just the thing for dipping into as the nights draw in.

Christiane Ritter Jane Degras A Woman in the Polar Night

In 1934, the painter Christiane Ritter leaves her comfortable life in Austria and travels to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen. At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape the lack of equipment and supplies... But as time passes, after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic's harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a great sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life. This rediscovered classic memoir will captivate readers - and make everyone thankful to be inside and cosy with a cuppa!

Gabriella Bennett The Art of Coorie

Scotland's take on 'Hygge' this coffee table book is a lovely winter read to dip in and out of. A charming read exploring lifestyle, homes and interiors, traditions, and how to enjoy life despite challenging elements.