5 cosy books
to read this winter
Cosy, snuggly, hygge (pronounced hoo-gah, or so google tells me – think candles, IKEA showrooms and aesthetic knitwear found on Pinterest). Whatever you want to call it, I love this aesthetic and it’s certainly the mood we need for this January. For the purposes of this blog, it’s a literary genre too.
How satisfying is the Zoella-esque idea of ‘snuggling up with a good book on these cold, wintry nights’? I live for it. That’s what we’re going for with these books – novels that make you want to grab the fattest mug of tea you can imagine and while away the hours escaping the January blues.
Winter by Ali Smith
An obvious one, really. I finished this on Boxing Day, feeling super cosy with my new Christmas candles burning.
“In Ali Smith’s Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.” (Goodreads)
The Secret History by Donna Tart
This book is the birthplace of the dark academia aesthetic from TikTok. Also, snow features heavily. I’m dying to wear a chunky knit sweater with elbow patches just thinking about it.
Steeped in ancient Greek allegory, The Secret History is a murder mystery in reverse. Someone is dead, though the how’s and why’s are unclear. As Richard Papen reveals little by little the details of his year studying Greek at Hampden College, his absorption into a cult-like group of Classics students sees the boundaries of morality pushed to the very limit.
You can read my review of it here.
The Northern Lights by Phillip Pulman
Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy was the first ‘grown up’ series I ever read and so I have a lot of love for it even though I must have read the trilogy like 10 years ago. Anyway, it’s jam-packed with all the wintery things you could imagine – the North Pole, polar bears and icy, icy Mrs Coulter.
In a parallel universe resembling Oxford, we follow Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pan, as they explore a world where magic, science and theology are one. However, the two sense that something is gravely wrong when children start to go missing.
The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman
A cute group of pensioners are united by their love of solving murders – but their hobby soon becomes something else entirely when someone close to them is killed. This book is super easy reading and so engrossing – you can spend hours de-stressing in Osman’s retirement home. This isn’t strictly ‘winter’ themed but it is guaranteed to make you feel better.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This is the ultimate winter book. Remember Edmund in the literal snow being fed Turkish delight (a winter snack if I’ve ever seen one) by the White Witch? WINTER.
Four siblings tumble through the wardrobe and find themselves in the eternally wintry world of Narnia. With its people enslaved by the White Witch, the children, along with the help of a gallant Lion, must find a way to save Narnia.
If you’ve found yourself in a bit of a reading slump after the year we’ve had (I’ve really struggled to read throughout November and December), perhaps reframing reading as an act of self-care could be a good way to tackle it. Use reading as a way to unwind, break up your day in between work or revision, or get yourself to sleep at night. Maybe try audiobooks too – I’m pretty sure all of these titles are available on Audible.
Look after yourselves,