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10 Captivating Books to Read on a Cozy Winter Day

By Kaitlyn Johnston

These winning narratives will keep you warm as the snow begins to fall.

Winter is here, and it’s the perfect time to snuggle up with a riveting new read. That’s why we gathered stellar tales, from celebrated works of fiction to critically acclaimed nonfiction narratives, to keep you company on a cozy winter day. Step into those slippers, pour your tea, and dive into your next great read.

Image for Alexis Schaitkin's book Elsewhere, featuring a fire in the foreground rising up to the Elsewhere text


By Alexis Schaitkin

For the reader who loves a spellbinding narrative.

Vera lives in a mysterious mountain village. The skies are gray, the setting is remote, and a singular affliction hangs in the air: Without explanation, some mothers of the community simply vanish into the mountain mist. Vera is all too familiar with this baffling phenomenon; her own mother disappeared when she was just a girl. Now fully grown and approaching motherhood herself, she wonders if she’ll get to see her child grow, or if she too will fall victim to the town’s perplexing curse. A mesmerizing work of fiction that doubles as a powerful meditation on motherhood, Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin is the perfect winter read for fans of speculative fiction or books like The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s the type of narrative that wraps you up and spirits you away to another time and place.

The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The Latecomer

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

For the reader who relishes a character-driven family drama.

Fans of rich family sagas, this one’s for you. The Oppenheimers are a wealthy family of five based in New York City. The backstory they share is remarkable: Parents Salo and Johanna met amid tragedy, while triplets Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally were born during the early days of IVF. The family has drifted apart, and as the now-grown children prepare to leave for college, the Oppenheimer bond threatens to come undone. That’s when Johanna, facing an empty nest and an increasingly distant husband, decides to have another baby. But how will the surprise addition of this little latecomer impact the family? Will it mend their fractures or split them apart for good? Readers love Jean Hanff Korelitz for her fully realized characters and finely crafted storylines. In The Latecomer, the bestselling author of The Plot explores generational trauma and layered family dynamics, as well as the complexities of grief, love, class, and religion.

The Kingdoms of Savannah

By George Dawes Green

For the reader who loves an evocative mystery.

The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green is a beguiling Southern mystery enriched by complex characters and an evocative setting. It’s sure to keep you reading into the night. On a balmy evening in Savannah, one man is murdered and his companion disappears outside a local watering hole. The assault sends shock waves through the city and inspires an unlikely detective: Morgana Musgrove, the reigning queen of Savannah’s social scene. She’s perhaps the last person you’d expect to be chasing down leads — and she won’t be doing it alone. She enlists the help of her four adult children, each of whom is wary of their mother’s overbearing nature. With family tensions at a breaking point, the Musgroves must scour the Hostess City in search of clues, upending the status quo and unearthing dark truths about the city’s history that some powerful players would prefer to stay buried.

The Silent Patient

By Alex Michaelides

For the reader who loves a mind-blowing twist.

With its propulsive plotline and shocking twist, Alex Michaelides’s The Silent Patient will keep you riveted. The bestselling psychological thriller introduces us to Alicia Berenson, a successful artist in London who seems to lead the ideal life with her fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. This facade is shattered, however, when Alicia shoots Gabriel five times in the face — and then refuses to speak another word to anyone. What spurred this burst of violence? As the public obsesses over the slaying and the value of Alicia’s artwork soars, Alicia herself is locked up in a high-security forensic facility. There, criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber takes up the perplexing case. He’s determined to break through to Alicia and reveal the truth about what happened that night, even if it means risking his own safety. Fans of Stephen King or books like Gone Girl will tear through this pulse-pounding tale of psychological suspense. Once you’re done, check out Michaelides’s acclaimed follow-up thriller, The Maidens.

We Are the Brennans

By Tracey Lange

For the reader who loves charming family dysfunction.

Tracey Lange’s bestselling family drama We Are the Brennans follows Sunday Brennan as she returns to New York and the family she left behind. Five years ago, Sunday abandoned her loved ones and moved to Los Angeles, offering little in the way of explanation. But after waking up in an L.A. hospital bruised and battered from a car accident that she caused, Sunday knows it’s time to head home. Though making amends is going to be difficult, she’s determined to do it. But when a figure from Sunday’s past threatens the family business, the entire Brennan clan must come together and work through their issues if they hope to survive. Lange’s touching exploration of familial bonds and the flaws of the human heart makes for a moving narrative — one that’s sure to keep you warm inside.

Number One Is Walking

By Steve Martin

For the reader who loves a good laugh.

Who better to keep you company on a dreary winter day than a celebrated comedian? In Number One Is Walking, legendary funnyman Steve Martin chronicles his dazzling career in show business. But this isn’t your typical Hollywood memoir; Martin’s latest is a collaboration with New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss, who illustrates Martin’s true-life anecdotes. Together, the pair vividly re-create behind-the-scenes moments from the sets of Three Amigos and Father of the Bride and capture Hollywood antics with the likes of Diane Keaton, Robin Williams, and Paul McCartney. Radiating wit and charm, Martin’s new humor book makes an ideal snow-day read. And when you’re done, be sure to check out A Wealth of Pigeons, Martin and Bliss’s cartoon collection from 2020.

The Book of Hope

By Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams

For the reader in search of a new perspective.

If the winter blues have already got you down, then we have the perfect book for you. In The Book of Hope, renowned naturalist Jane Goodall sits down with Douglas Abrams for a deeply personal conversation about the state of the world and cultivating a more optimistic point of view. Goodall draws on her exceptional career as a primatologist and activist as she explains why she remains hopeful about the future — and why you should, too. A timely publication, The Book of Hope dives into pressing topics like climate change and political polarization while offering stirring reminders of the beauty of our planet and why it’s worth fighting for. Reading this inspiring nature book is a bit like receiving a warm hug, and we can’t recommend it enough.


Brothers on Three by Abe Streep

Brothers on Three

By Abe Streep

For the reader who loves a coming-of-age sports story.

Brimming with heart and humanity, Brothers on Three by journalist Abe Streep is an award-winning nonfiction book that will stir your soul on a blustery winter day. Streep’s acclaimed sports narrative takes place on Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation, where the Arlee Warriors high school basketball team has just brought home its first state championship title. For friends and family, the winning game is legendary and the players are local heroes. Yet for the players themselves, their victory is just the beginning. Brothers on Three follows starting players Will Mesteth, Jr. and Phillip Malatare as together they embark on a journey into adulthood and find support within their community.

Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases

By Paul Holes

For the reader who obsesses over true crime podcasts and Forensic Files.

In his New York Times bestselling true crime memoir, famed detective Paul Holes pulls back the curtain on a lifetime of solving cold cases and chasing down killers, revealing the highs as well as the lows. Over the course of his 27-year career in law enforcement, Holes played a vital role in solving America’s most notorious cases, from the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard and the murder of Laci Peterson to the decades-long manhunt for the Golden State Killer. In Unmasked, Holes grapples with the harrowing realities of his line of work and the sacrifices he’s made along the way, knowing that he’s brought comfort and closure to victims’ families, but at the cost of his health and his relationships with his loved ones.

Finding Freedom

By Erin French

For the reader who loves to savor a satisfying memoir.

Celebrated chef Erin French serves up a delicious dish in her bestselling food memoir, Finding Freedom. As the owner of The Lost Kitchen, a world-renowned dining destination in Freedom, Maine, French has found great success in the culinary world. But her journey to the head of the table was far from easy. In Finding Freedom, French chronicles her life story, revisiting her formative years working at her dad’s diner and opening up about her battles with addiction, an abusive marriage, and the struggles of single parenthood. Throughout, the author suffuses her narrative with delectable descriptions of food and cooking, making this the perfect book for foodies and book lovers alike.

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