12 Winter Books That Set the Scene for a White Christmas

Winter scene with an open book
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Dreaming of a white Christmas? Then look no further! From chilling thrillers to winter romances, these twelve gripping tales capture the splendour of frozen lands so realistically that you will soon feel the snowflakes on your eyelashes. So pick a book and let your imagination run wild with a cup of cocoa by the roaring fire. 

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Image Credit: Penguin Random House

“In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church. But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods.”

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The Mountains Between Us by Charles Martin

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

From the author of Where the River Ends, comes this page-turning story of love and survival. On a stormy winter night, Ashley Knox and Dr. Ben Payne wait for a flight at Salt Lake City airport. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him and one more passenger around the storm. Knowing how important this flight is to Ashley, who is eager to get back in time for her wedding, he offers a seat. And then the unthinkable happens.  The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness. Both gripping and tender, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

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Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

One of the best-known gems in Agatha Christie’s collection of crime stories, this novel presents a mind-boggling case to be solved aboard a luxurious train travelling across Europe. When the snowstorm stops the Orient Express in its tracks, the passengers start to fear for their safety. However, they soon find that the bitter cold might be the least of their worries, when one of their travel companions is stabbed to death. The mystery surrounding the murder intrigues the Belgian detective, who promptly launches his own investigation. Capitalising on adverse weather conditions, Hercule Poirot makes the most of his captive audience by juggling the clues and the interviews with the most eccentric suspects. 

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One Day in December by Josie Silver

Image Credit: Penguin

“Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.”

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The Call of The Wild by Jack London

Image Credit: Puffin Classics

Loosely based on a true story, London’s masterpiece follows St.Bernard coming to grips with life after being snatched from his sun-kissed Californian home. The harsh reality strikes when Buck is forced into submissiveness in the frozen wilderness of Alaska. Exploited and underfed, the sled dog suffers greatly at the hands of his avaricious masters. But despite all adversities, nothing can possibly break Buck’s spirit. While his natural instincts bring him closer to his true identity, his strength and cunning earn Buck the reputation of the most feared dog in Alaska. 

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At The Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

IMage Credit: Dreamscape Media

Published in 1931, this supernatural horror novel is one of its kind. Seemingly safe expedition to Antarctic turns into a battle for survival for the team from Miskatonic University. The adventurers make chilling discoveries and encounter the menace as they enter the City of the Old Ones. All devotees of horror genre will enjoy this mind-twisting tale of terror.

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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment

Don your favourite pijamas and get ready to be whisked away aboard the Polar Express on an exciting trip to the North Pole. You might soon discover that sharing a ride with other passengers has its perks— savouring the decadent hot chocolate, steering the train through a frozen lake and witnessing the auroras- just to name a few. Yet, when you reach your final destination, you will inevitably be drawn to the Hero Boy and his friends doubting the existence of Santa. Upon arrival, you will accompany the trio on their little adventure brimming with pleasant surprises and unexpected encounters with elves, reindeers and Santa himself, rekindling their faith in the magic of Christmas. This feel-good page turner will be a hit among adults and children alike. 

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Snow-Bound at Eagle’s by Bret Harte

Image Credit: Dodo Press

For some moments profound silence and darkness had accompanied a Sierran stage-coach towards the summit. The huge, dim bulk of the vehicle, swaying noiselessly on its straps, glided onward and upward as if obeying some mysterious impulse from behind, so faint and indefinite appeared its relation to the viewless and silent horses ahead. The shadowy trunks of tall trees that seemed to approach the coach windows, look in, and then move hurriedly away, were the only distinguishable objects.

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The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt

Image Credit: Berkley

Set in sub-zero climate, this psychological thriller invites the reader to delve deep into the mind of a serial killer. When John Cardinal and Lisa Delorme are called to investigate a string of brutal murders, they soon discover that the raging ice storm might be the least of their worries. Their hunt for the perpetrator opens a Pandora’s box of wild secrets, covered up cases and political ambition that cast a different light on the inquest. But the closer they get to the killer, the further they are from the truth. Atmospheric and murky, this mind-twisting tale will pull you into a treacherous wilderness faster that your can say ”blizzard”.

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The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

IMage Credit: Harper Collins

If the idea of spending Christmas in a faraway land sends you into frenzy, then this enthralling fantasy tale will satisfy your cravings.

From the moment four siblings step through a wardrobe door, you are invited to leave the mundane behind and join them on a journey through the wondrous world eternally frozen in winter. The great magic seeps from the pages as evil spirits, exotic animals and Greek mythological creatures roam the land of Narnia. However, in spite of its seemingly tranquil beauty, this mysterious land harbours a dark secret. Having discovered the devastating power of a spell cast over Narnia by the White Witch, the Pevensie siblings set off on a mission filled with danger, forcing them to conquer their fears and overcome the obstacles.

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Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Image Credit: Barnes&Noble

Every year, a selfish miser Ebenezer Scrooge greets each holiday with ‘bah humbug’, until, one Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts. One by one, the Spirits of the Past, Present and Future torment the miserable old man, toying with his conscious. Throughout this ominous night, Scrooge learns some important lessons about charity, generosity and kindness. Miraculous transformation of the main character has touched the hearts of millions of readers, earning its rightful place on the Classics shelf. Humorous and poignant, this beautifully-written novel remains deeply engrained in a part of the Christmas reading tradition.

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The Shining by Stephen King

IMage Credit: J K R

For Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic and a struggling writer, a new position at the Overlook Hotel offers a fresh start. Having an entire mansion at his disposal, an off-season caretaker is presented with a perfect opportunity to finish his novel and spend some time with his family. However, at the first sign of winter chill, a seemingly tranquil place turns into a frightening trap where malevolent spirits begin to unhinge Jack’s mind turning him into a murderous maniac.

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Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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