11 Captivating Books to Wash Away the Winter Blues

By Kaitlyn Johnston
A collection of contemporary books displayed with their covers showing, each featuring different authors and themes, ready to cater to diverse literary tastes.

Escape your cold-weather woes with these enrapturing reads.

Short days, chilly nights…As the winter season settles in, you might start to feel a bit restless. So we gathered a few of our favorite new reads, both fiction and nonfiction, to help beat the winter doldrums. Whether you prefer to escape into sweeping historical fiction, delve into a compelling thriller, or pick up some fresh tips for home projects and delicious dinners, the delightful reads below are sure to keep you engaged all season long.

The Fury, NYT bestseller image

The Fury

By Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides, the internationally bestselling author of The Silent Patient and The Maidens, returns this January with yet another can’t-miss psychological thriller. The Fury is a story of love and murder, secrets and revenge, all set on a glamorous Greek island. Former movie star Lana Farrar invites her closest friends to her private island. It’s a yearly tradition. This time, however, the getaway won’t be nearly as idyllic: By the end of the night, someone will be dead. Thrilling, twisty, and “gloriously atmospheric” (bestselling author Lucy Foley), The Fury will sweep you away with its propulsive pacing and suspense-steeped narrative.

A rustic white barn with a contrasting red trim under a clear blue sky, titled "mercury" by amy jo burns, suggesting a tale that may intertwine pastoral life with intricate narratives.


By Amy Jo Burns

Fans of engaging family dramas will find the perfect winter blues remedy in this tenderhearted new novel by Amy Jo Burns. Mercury introduces you to Marley West, a 17-year-old outsider who arrives in the blue-collar town of Mercury, Pennsylvania, and soon meets the three Joseph brothers. In what feels like an instant, Marley falls into their world: married to one brother, a lost love to another, and a protective mother figure to all three as the Joseph family roofing business begins to collapse. When a long-kept secret finally comes to light, the family’s future is thrown into jeopardy, and the Josephs must decide whether the family they’ve known can be saved.

A woman stands at the edge of a rocky shore, gazing at the horizon where the sky meets the sea, as seagulls fly overhead, capturing a moment of tranquility and contemplation.

Beyond That, the Sea

By Laura Spence-Ash

Laura Spence-Ash invites you into her immersive literary world in this acclaimed historical fiction novel. Beyond That, the Sea spans WWII to the 1970s and interweaves multiple narrative voices to tell its epic coming-of-age tale. As Nazi bombs rain down on London, 11-year-old Beatrix Thompson escapes to America, sent there by her parents in a desperate bid to keep her safe. Upon her arrival in Boston, Bea is taken in by the Gregorys — and over time, she makes friends, grows close to her surrogate family, and falls in love with her new life in the United States. But when the war in Europe ends and Bea is summoned back to England by her parents, she must once again leave her life — and her family — behind. Spence-Ash’s narrative “is a gorgeous, elegiac novel about loss, family, and the complexity of love” (Shelf Awareness). What’s more, it makes the perfect next read for your historical fiction book club this winter!

A book cover with a dark blue background featuring colorful floral illustrations with the title "the connellys of county down" by tracey lange prominently displayed in white and light purple lettering.

The Connellys of County Down

By Tracey Lange

From Tracey Lange, the New York Times bestselling author of We Are the Brennans, comes a powerful story about second chances, bursting with big family secrets. The Connellys of County Down centers on 30-year-old Tara Connelly, who moves back home with her siblings after serving 18 months in prison on a drug charge. With her rough patch behind her, she’s ready to get back on track and find a fresh shot at love. Unfortunately, Tara’s siblings are struggling to hold themselves together: Her single-parent brother is grappling with lingering medical complications, while her stressed-out sister is buckling under the weight of heavy family burdens. The surprise return of Tara’s arresting officer certainly doesn’t help. And when unresolved family issues and long-simmering secrets finally boil to the surface, the Connellys must decide if their bond is strong enough to withstand the strain. A story of family loyalty and unexpected love, The Connellys of County Down is a heartwarming tale that’s sure to please this winter.

A portrait of a cheerful older man with a broad smile, captioned with the title of his book "being henry - the fonz...and beyond," suggesting an autobiography by the man pictured, who has a notable presence and charisma.

Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond

By Henry WInkler

Brighten up the dreary day with Henry Winkler’s charming celebrity memoir, Being Henry. The Emmy Award–winning actor and comedian shares plenty of dazzling showbiz tales, from his iconic turn as Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli on Happy Days to scene-stealing performances on shows like Arrested Development, Barry, and Parks and Rec. Winkler also opens up about his lifelong struggles with severe dyslexia, difficult truths from his childhood, and the challenges of portraying such a larger-than-life character that it threatens to overshadow the rest of your career. An instant New York Times bestseller, Being Henry radiates warmth and wit, just like the author himself.

A woman cooking in a cozy kitchen with a warm smile, surrounded by a rustic ambiance and cooking utensils, representing the heartwarming theme of the cookbook "big heart little stove" by erin french.

Big Heart Little Stove: Bringing Home Meals and Moments from The Lost Kitchen

By Erin French

Erin French is the acclaimed chef behind the bestselling food memoir Finding Freedom. In Big Heart Little Stove, she serves up a delectable new cookbook that’s sure to add some cheer to your home this winter. French’s latest is packed with more than 75 mouthwatering recipes sourced from her family’s recipe box and French’s renowned farm-to-table restaurant, The Lost Kitchen. Along with delicious mains, drinks, desserts, and bites, French also shares her favorite hosting advice and home decor tips for your next get-together. “Any home chefs looking to host a joyful, delicious dinner party need look no further than the lovely Big Heart Little Stove” (Shelf Awareness).

Vintage-inspired book cover art for 'the good lord bird' author james mcbride's novel, 'the heaven & earth grocery store,' showcasing bold typography and abstract figures.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

By James McBride

A stunning work of literary fiction wrapped inside a historical murder mystery, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by award-winning author James McBride is not to be missed. The celebrated narrative traces the intersecting lives of the residents of Chicken Hill over the years. An immigrant neighborhood in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Chicken Hill is home to folks like Chona and Moshe Ludlow and Nate Timblin. It’s here that Chona runs the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, Moshe operates the local theater and dance hall, and Nate and Moshe work together to protect a local deaf boy from state institutionalization. Decades later, when a skeleton is found at the bottom of a Pottstown well, the secrets of Chicken Hill are brought to light.

Under a star-studded sky with the luminous aurora borealis, a journey through 'awe: the new science of everyday wonder and how it can transform your life' by dacher keltner awaits, promising to unlock the transformative power of awe.


By Dacher Keltner

In his national bestseller, Dacher Kelter, a leading expert on the science of emotions, delves into the wondrous feeling of awe. Though the emotion is as old as time, the scientific study of awe is only about 15 years old. Through lively prose, Keltner traces its history down the centuries, harnessing both research and personal inquiry to examine the enigmatic emotion. The story of awe, he reveals, is essential to the story of humanity. Awe is a fascinating read and “a timely reminder to appreciate the awe-inspiring everyday wonders flourishing all around us” (Kirkus). If you’re searching for a bit of inspiration this winter, Awe will enliven your spirits and revitalize your perspective.

An ominous and stormy landscape with an isolated building sets a foreboding tone for "the search party," a novel by hannah richell, described as "a weekend to die for.

The Search Party

By Hannah Richell

Add a jolt to your winter nights with The Search Party, an electrifying new destination mystery thriller by Hannah Richell. Max and Annie Kingsley escape from London with their 12-year-old son to a glamping retreat on the Cornish coast. They invite three old university buddies and their families to join them. The trip is meant to be a fun reunion getaway. It isn’t long, however, before the children start to squabble and the former friends begin to bicker — and when a sudden storm sweeps in, someone goes missing. Deliciously chilling and packed with plot twists, The Search Party will keep you on the edge of your seat this season.

A vibrant orange and yellow book cover for "the bullet swallower" by elizabeth gonzalez james, featuring a silhouette of a lone rider on horseback against a stylized desert backdrop.

The Bullet Swallower

By Elizabeth Gonzalez James

The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez James is an enthralling new magical realism western that’s sure to put a spell on you this winter with its time-shifting tale. In 1895, Mexican bandido Antonio Sonoro sets out to rob a train to save his family. But when the stickup goes south and Antonio’s brother is killed, Antonio is propelled on an all-encompassing quest for vengeance. In 1964, Mexico’s star actor and singer Jaime Sonoro discovers a chronicle of his family’s long and storied history — including the crimes of his ancestors. When a mysterious, out-of-time character from Antonio’s era appears before Jaime, the entertainer must face the mind-bending possibility that the sins of his forefathers are his to reconcile.

A striking book cover featuring a skunk with its tail raised against a bold orange background, representing samantha irby’s book "quietly hostile: essays," noted for witty and candid storytelling.

Quietly Hostile

By Samantha Irby

Samantha Irby’s New York Times bestselling collection of essays is an uproariously relatable read, perfect for adding a healthy dose of humor to a chilly day. From weird emails and bodily functions to fashion faux pas and adopting a deranged dog during the pandemic, Irby delves into the nitty-gritty IRL stuff that rarely sees the light of Instagram. Refreshingly honest, Quietly Hostile “will make you laugh on every page” (bestselling author Emma Straub).

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