The Best Winter Reads

Winter scene in a book
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If the mere sight of shimmering snow makes you tremble with excitement, then we’ve got just the stories for you. From bone-chilling murders to Arctic adventures, these ten gripping tales offer full immersion into a sub-zero climate. So curl up by a roaring fire and let these winter delights conjure up that perfect white Christmas.

The South Pole by Roald Amundsen

Image credit: CrabTree Publishing Company

Let the legendary Captain Amundsen whisk you away on a fascinating journey into the snowbound heart of the “Great Unknown”. In his riveting account of Antarctic expedition, the Norwegian explorer portrays the hardships, extreme temperatures and exhaustion his men had to endure in their bid to claim the Pole before their British counterparts. Pragmatic and resourceful, Amundsen epitomises well-guided ambition, attributing success of his polar conquest to risk assessment, emergency planning, courage and willpower of his crew. 

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The Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Image credit: Harper Tempest

This all-age comic fantasy has the power to teleport you to a magical world of eternal winter. The forth story in the Young Adult Discworld series centres on a thirteen-year-old witch Tiffany Aching, who inadvertently draws the attention of the Wintersmith during a ritualistic dance. Determined to woo the object of his affection, the spirit of winter bestows hand-crafted snowflakes and ice roses on Tiffany, chasing her to the end of the world. Loosely based on the Greek myth of Orpheus’s descent to the underworld, the tale of sacrifice and obsession skilfully blends the trials of love, sarcastic undertones and punchy humour into one absorbing read!

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A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

Image credit: Weiser Books

If the idea of being given a lump of coal for Christmas sends a shiver down your spine, just imagine being dragged into the Cave of Demons as a punishment for mischief. The good news- Santa Claus is always on guard to warn the naughty children. The bad news- he is kidnapped by the hellish creatures, who plot to lure the lost souls into their den. Driven by a thirst for blood, the Daemons of Selfishness, Envy, Hatred, Malice, and Repentance conspire to wreak havoc in the Laughing Valley. Even when it looks like all hope is lost, an army of fairies, pixies and other magical helpers gather their forces to rescue the missing hero in time for Christmas.

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Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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Laced with mystery and superstition, this eerie winter tale represents a baffling case of ghostly apparitions. When Alice drops off the face of the Earth, her daughters start their search in the small town of West Hall. A silent witness to unexplained disappearances in the past, the town is tormented by old legends and speculations. As the story switches back and forth between two events separated by a century, the pieces of the puzzle are slowly revealed to the reader begging to be connected. Highly unsettling, this twisted page-turner will keep you hooked up for days.

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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 Glamour of The Snow by Algernon Blackwood

Image credit: CreateSpace

Nestled in a pristine Alpine valley, the Nature resort has been hosting ski enthusiasts for decades. Enchanted by the magnificence of the Swiss Alps, a lonely English traveller arrives at the hotel in the hope of enjoying his slice of paradise. But soon, a much-anticipated retreat turns into a hair-raising affair when the unsuspecting skier is lured up into the mountain by a cadaverous stranger. As the spectral chill of the night fills his lungs, Hibbert begins to suspect that beneath the glittering beauty lurks something far sinister that he could ever imagine. 

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The Mountain Between us by Charles Martin

Image credit: 20th 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. Enthralling and tender, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

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Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

Image credit: Shakespeare Sessions

Set in the dead of winter, William Shakespeare’s tragic play focuses on middle-aged Leontes, who, being consumed with jealousy, wrongly accuses his wife of adultery. The consequences of his actions are tragic, bringing loss, grief, family conflict and exile. The reconciliation between Hermione and Leontes is considered one of the most moving final scenes ever created by Shakespeare.

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Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Image credit: Kensington

For Hannah Swensen, an accomplished chef and an amateur sleuth, an annual Christmas buffet offers a chance to showcase her new cookbook to Lake Eden’s residents. As the creme de la creme of Minnesota society sample her culinary delights, more guests are ushered in by an icy blizzard. But soon the festive bash turns sour when one of the guests is found dead. Now it’s up to the hostess to roll up her sleeves and dig up some clues to solve the case. Enriched with a diverse cast of whacky characters and mouth-watering recipes, this cosy mystery delivers a puzzling read for a holiday season.

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Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton

Image credit: Spectra

Nights of Villjamur represents a compilation of stories ranging from romance and jealousy to violence and political intrigue. A rising panic grips the ancient city of Villjamur. Threatened by the coming ice age and disease, the council resorts to mass murder of the refugees camping outside the gates. The power game and search for immortality become two main goals for divided society.


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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