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Winter Reading List: Cosy Books for Chilly Nights

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It’s cold and dark out there. I’d stay in with a book if I were you.

Yep, the clocks have gone back and the long winter evenings are officially here. Sounds like the perfect excuse (not that you need one) to settle in with a good book. If you’re in need of inspiration, here are some autumn/winter reading recommendations that are ideal for chilly nights. Some new, some classic, all worth a read.

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Winter Book Recommendations

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

Get to this one quick before the upcoming movie is released. Set against the backdrop of World War II in France, “The Nightingale” is a breathtaking tale of two sisters who find their lives transformed by the chaos of war. It’s a story of love, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of women. Kristin Hannah’s vivid storytelling will transport you to a different time and place, making it a perfect companion for a snug evening by the fireplace.
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“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove, a grumpy yet endearing man who finds himself reluctantly drawn into the lives of his quirky neighbors. Fredrik Backman’s novel is a testament to the power of community, friendship, and the unexpected connections that can transform a person’s life. Prepare to both laugh and cry as you delve into Ove’s world.
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“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

You may well have seen the movie, but the book is really worth a read. Set in the aftermath of World War II, the book introduces us to Juliet Ashton, a writer who becomes enchanted by the stories of a book club formed during the German occupation of Guernsey. Through letters and shared tales, you’ll be transported to a community that found solace and hope in literature during dark times.
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“The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame

If you’re already dreaming of spring, this one’s for you. Follow the adventures of Mole, Rat, Toad, and Badger as they explore the English countryside in this beloved classic. Kenneth Grahame’s enchanting storytelling and whimsical characters make “The Wind in the Willows” a delightful choice for readers of all ages. It’s a perfect read for a cosy family night.
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“Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

For a light, seasonally-themed read, consider “Pumpkinheads.” This graphic novel tells the story of Deja and Josiah, two friends who work at a pumpkin patch and embark on one last adventure together before heading off to college. With charming illustrations and a heartwarming plot, it captures the spirit of fall festivities.
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“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

Step into the enchanting world of “The Night Circus,” a place of magical wonders and duelling illusionists. Erin Morgenstern’s lyrical prose and imaginative storytelling create a dreamlike atmosphere. It’s a world of wonder and romance that’s perfect for getting lost in on dark nights.
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“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

No list of cosy books is complete without the March sisters. “Little Women” follows the lives of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy as they navigate the trials and tribulations of adolescence and young adulthood. Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic is filled with warmth, sisterhood, and the enduring bonds of family. If you’ve never read it, now is the time.
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“The Bear and the Nightingale” by Katherine Arden

Transport yourself to the wintry landscapes of medieval Russia in “The Bear and the Nightingale.” This enchanting fantasy novel weaves Russian folklore and magic into the story of Vasilisa, a young girl with a special connection to the spirits of the forest. It’s a tale that will make you crave a steaming cup of tea as you read.
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“The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion

Delight in the amusing and heartwarming journey of socially awkward genetics professor Don Tillman as he embarks on a quest to find love through a scientific survey. However, Don’s plans take an unexpected turn when he meets Rosie, a free-spirited and spontaneous woman who doesn’t fit his criteria but captures his heart nonetheless. It all leads to a series of comical and touching events that challenge Don’s rigid outlook on love and life.
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“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Another classic, this time set on the wild moors of Yorkshire. This timeless book tells the story of Mary Lennox, a young girl who discovers a hidden, neglected garden on her uncle’s estate. As she brings the garden back to life, her own heart blossoms in the process. It’s a heartwarming tale of rejuvenation and the magic of the natural world—an ideal choice for a quiet winter night.
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“The Pull of the Stars” by Emma Donoghue

Set in a maternity ward in Dublin during the 1918 flu pandemic, this gripping novel follows a nurse, Julia Power, as she cares for expectant mothers in the midst of the crisis. Amid the chaos and suffering, Julia forms a profound bond with two other women, as they navigate the challenges of love, loss, and the relentless grip of the pandemic.
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“Convenience Store Woman” by Sayaka Murata

Follow the life of Keiko Furukura, a socially awkward woman who finds solace and purpose in her job at a convenience store in Tokyo. As Keiko grapples with societal pressures and expectations, the book explores themes of identity and the complexities of human connection, offering a compelling insight into the struggles of those who do not conform to societal norms. While that might sound a bit heavy, it’s a thought-provoking and witty read.
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Whether you’re drawn to historical fiction, heartwarming tales of friendship, or enchanting fantasies, there’s a cosy book for everyone to enjoy during the chilly nights of fall. So, brew a cup of your favorite tea, wrap yourself in a warm blanket, and let these stories transport you to worlds of wonder, wisdom, and warmth.

Happy reading!

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