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The shifting seasons and darker days around this time of year have many of us longing for the return of long and carefree summer days. But despite the fact that warmer months are in the rearview mirror, there are certain things the winter months afford that summer just can’t emulate. And curling up with a good book — whether cozying up in bed on Sunday morning or sprawling out next to a crackling fireplace — is certainly one of the best parts of the colder months.

Whether you live for the crisp chill in the air or you’d rather hibernate your way through the colder months, we’ve rounded up a selection of novels set in the winter that are guaranteed to get you in the seasonal spirit. From feel-good contemporary reads and romances to thriller novels and stories of crime, these winter-centric stories were made for getting cozy with a cup of cocoa.

‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey ($22.76; amazon.ca)

'The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey
Amazon
'The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey

You might think your commute to the office is brutal come winter, but nothing compares to Alaska in the 1920s. Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child” brings readers on an epic adventure through the Alaskan wilderness. They’ll follow alongside Jack and Mabel as they navigate the meaning of love and resilience by way of a mysterious snow child and her otherworldly sidekick — a bright red fox.

‘Snow’ by John Banville ($24.97; amazon.ca)

'Snow’ by John Banville
Amazon
'Snow’ by John Banville

This bestselling crime novel by John Banville is a must-read for anyone who loves a dark, heart-pounding suspense story. “Snow” offers just the right amount of family drama, mysterious disappearances and community secrets to keep you hooked page after page.

‘One By One’ by Ruth Ware ($23.26; amazon.ca)

'One By One’ by Ruth Ware
Amazon
'One By One’ by Ruth Ware

You cannot go wrong with anything from thriller novelist Ruth Ware, considered by many to be the modern-day Agatha Christie. “One By One” is a particularly engulfing read come wintertime — the absorbing plot will transport you to a luxurious ski chalet in the French Alps where one of the guests just happens to be a murderer.

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling ($23.76; amazon.ca)

'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling
Amazon
'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling

Sure, the Harry Potter series isn’t exactly set in winter, but it has become a well-loved holiday classic all the same. The first novel in particular offers a handful of delicious chapters that outline the magic of Hogwarts and The Great Hall come Christmastime, and there’s nothing like some actual spells to get you in the spirit of the season.

‘One Day in December’ by Josie Silver ($15.65; amazon.ca)

‘One Day in December’ by Josie Silver
Amazon
‘One Day in December’ by Josie Silver

Think of “One Day in December” as a steaming cup of hot cocoa in novel form. The international bestseller has become well-loved for its heartwarming approach to missed opportunities, meet-cutes and the consequences of the road not taken, with just the right amount of holiday magic mixed in.

‘Christmas Shopaholic’ by Sophie Kinsella ($35.50; amazon.ca)

'Christmas Shopaholic’ by Sophie Kinsella
Amazon
'Christmas Shopaholic’ by Sophie Kinsella

Remember Becky Bloomwood? Sophie Kinsella’s most famous protagonist is back just in time for the holiday season, and as usual, she is concocting something major. “Christmas Shopaholic” is a must-read for anybody who has been charmed by Becky Bloomwood and all of her antics in the past. It’s a lighthearted and quick read that is sure to lift your spirits, even if you haven’t bought into the hoopla of the holidays.

‘Winter Garden’ by Kristin Hannah ($20.68; amazon.ca)

'Winter Garden’ by Kristin Hannah
Amazon
'Winter Garden’ by Kristin Hannah

Alternating between ​​World War II Russia and present day, “Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah is an engaging exploration of magical realism, healing from trauma and renewing a sense of family that will leave readers with something to ponder long after they’ve turned the last page.

‘Mr. Dickens and His Carol’ by Samantha Silva ($21.77; amazon.ca)

‘Mr. Dickens and His Carol’ by Samantha Silva
Amazon
‘Mr. Dickens and His Carol’ by Samantha Silva

Looking for something a little more light-hearted? “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva is loosely based on Charles Dickens and “A Christmas Carol.” The novel is peppered with real anecdotes from Dickens’ life, including his initial struggle as an author and how he overcame writer’s block in order to pen one of the most famous Christmas stories of all time.

‘The Winter People’ by Jennifer McMahon ($19.95; amazon.ca)

'The Winter People’ by Jennifer McMahon
Amazon
'The Winter People’ by Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon’s “The Winter People” is set in both 1908 and present-day Vermont, weaving together two different families as they each struggle to deal with loss and deep-rooted family secrets. The eerie novel has been compared to those of Stephen King, thanks to McMahon’s uncanny ability to conjure up a supernatural, bone-chilling atmosphere.

‘Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy ($18.99; amazon.ca)

'Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy
Amazon
'Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy

“Anna Karenina” is considered by many to be one of the best novels of all time and is well worth diving into come wintertime. The classic Leo Tolstoy fiction is set in Russia in the 1870s and focuses on themes of love, betrayal and the ramifications of desire.

‘The Golden Compass’ by Philip Pullman ($11.87; amazon.ca)

'The Golden Compass’ by Philip Pullman
Amazon
'The Golden Compass’ by Philip Pullman

You might have read “The Golden Compass” as a kid, but the 1995 YA novel is well worth another pass, especially while curled up inside during a snowstorm. The modern fantasy classic takes readers into a northern world governed by witches and bears. It’s surprisingly suspenseful and will make you fall in love with the fantasy genre all over again.

‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ by John le Carré ($20.79; amazon.ca)

'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ by John le Carré
Amazon
'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’ by John le Carré

John le Carré is well-known for his captivating espionage thrillers, and “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” is no exception. This page-turning crime novel shifts the focus onto the police force itself and all of the drama that can come up from within the walls of the station.

‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott ($7.87; amazon.ca)

‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott
Amazon
‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott has become one of the most well-loved novels of all time for its charming depiction of 19th-century family life. The novel might take place in multiple seasons, but there’s something about the portrait of the winter scenes that makes this novel the ideal read come winter.

‘Skipping Christmas’ by John Grisham ($12.86; amazon.ca)

'Skipping Christmas’ by John Grisham
Amazon
'Skipping Christmas’ by John Grisham

You might be familiar with the concept of John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas” already. It was the premise for the 2004 holiday classic “Christmas with the Kranks.” Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are a blast onscreen, but getting to know the more in-depth tale of Luther and Nora Krank is both hilarious and actually makes a case for taking it easy during the holidays.

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ by Agatha Christie ($11.87; amazon.ca)

'Murder on the Orient Express’ by Agatha Christie
Amazon
'Murder on the Orient Express’ by Agatha Christie

Sure, a snowstorm might have caused you to miss your bus or cancel Friday night plans, but has it ever stopped your luxury train ride dead in its tracks? Agatha Christie’s classic “Murder on the Orient Express” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good murder mystery — especially one that takes place on one of the most luxurious locomotives on the planet.

‘The Shining’ by Stephen King ($23.71; amazon.ca)

'The Shining’ by Stephen King
Amazon
'The Shining’ by Stephen King

You’ve probably already seen the film adaptation of this Stephen King classic, but the book, of course, is a whole different experience than the movie. “The Shining” shows a different side of how isolating the winter months can be, and King’s ability to spin his classic sinister plot line will probably make you feel that much more grateful for your cozy reading nook and steaming cup of cocoa.

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis ($12.38; amazon.ca)

'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis
Amazon
'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is a winter classic for a reason: It offers all the right aspects of a timeless fantasy novel. The second installment in “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” sets itself apart for its unforgettable portrayal of the frozen land of Narnia and the White Witch’s power in the land of eternal winter.

‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R. R. Martin ($56.40; amazon.ca)

'A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R. R. Martin
Amazon
'A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R. R. Martin

Yes, we know, winter is coming. George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” might be more popular as an HBO series than a series of novels, but the epic fantasy set in the lead-up to a century-long winter is well worth the read even if you’ve already binged the TV series.