Top Ten Cozy, Wintry Reads

Posted December 3, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 40 Comments

It’s December, which means A Bookish Little Christmas is in full swing here on the blog! I hope you’ll continue to stop by all month to see the fun festive content my bookish friends and I will be sharing (find the event schedule here!). I’ve got my limited-time TTT logo, which you’re free to use for any of your holiday-themed TTT posts this month.

Today’s topic highlights cozy, wintry reads. When I think of books like this I think of rich, magical fantasies and lots of snow (I’m going to exclude Christmas books from this list because I’ll be doing Christmas books in a few weeks for our freebie topic). Of course, there’s always romance to warm things up a little. I LOVE books that give me those cozy vibes, and I’m excited to see what everyone picks for this topic!

1. Frost by Kate Avery Ellison
“In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, compassion might get a person killed, and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone.”

Frost takes place in probably the coldest place ever: The Frost. It’s cold and snowy and windy, with blizzards and fires in the fireplace and short days, with long nights. And the writing is exquisite I loved it!

2. Nocturne by Syrie James
“When Nicole Whitcomb’s car runs off a Colorado mountain road during a blinding snowstorm, she is saved from death by a handsome, fascinating, and enigmatic stranger.Snowbound with him for days in his beautiful home high in the Rockies, she finds herself powerfully attracted to him. But there are things about him that mystify her, filling her with apprehension.”

3. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
“Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.”

Pasha’s birthday is coming up, so the Tsar instructs these two enchanters to engage in a magical battle to make Pasha’s birthday something special. The battle begins, and the beauty and opulence that encompasses St. Petersburg as a result of this magic is amazing. I won’t give too much away, but I absolutely must mention the intricate system of fountains and color-changing lights that fill the city’s canal system. That entire scene was beautiful, and is still my favorite in the entire book.

4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
They open a door and enter a world.” 

A world of snow and magic, that is! LOVE the coziness of this story!

5. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo
“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.”

Russia always screams cold weather to me, and this book is so lush you can easily wrap up in it!

6. Hunted by Meagan Spooner
“Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.”

This is a breathtaking Beauty & the Beast retelling, and who doesn’t immediately think eternal winter when thinking of this story?

7. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
“Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.”

8. A Tale of Beauty and Beast by Melanie Cellier
“Alone, and with danger on every side, Sophie must navigate a magical castle and its even more mysterious master to discover the secret to breaking the curse.”

Another B&B retelling that I love!

9. Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
“Whistling Tor is a place of secrets, a mysterious wooded hill housing the crumbling fortress of a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the region in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies of Anluan’s family and his people. The woods hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom. And Anluan himself has been crippled by a childhood illness.”

Ok, so I didn’t realize until I was writing out my thoughts on these books that I’ve picked three B&B retellings for this topic. lol. Whoops! But this one is so unique that you’d almost miss it. The magic and cozy vibes are definitely there, though.

10. Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle
As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive… even if keeping her safe may just kill him.”

This is a very chilly, snowy romantic suspense about a search and rescue team of ice divers in the remote, wintry Colorado Rockies.

Which cozy, wintry books did you choose to talk about this week?

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40 responses to “Top Ten Cozy, Wintry Reads

    • Jana

      Yes, I’m all about the Christmas books right now too! I’ll be actively seeking out cozy reads for January, though! :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jana

      As if I needed to be more in the mood for Christmas than I am, right? lol. It’s been so fun looking at everyone’s festive recommendations! Definitely jump on Caraval and Shadow & Bone! They’re both exquisite!

    • Jana

      So good, right? I hardly ever find someone else whose read her! So fun! Katie Ruggle will be guest posting here on my blog on December 16 to talk about her new Christmas romantic suspense. Hope you’ll stop by!

  1. I read Nocturne years and years ago while sitting in the hospital all night when my Dad fell and broke his hip. I remember liking the book but not much else. Funny how after so many years, we can still associate books with different things!

    • Jana

      I’m the same way! I usually remember where I was when I read a book. You should read it again if you have the opportunity! It’s wonderful. I’ve been begging Syrie to write a sequel for years. lol.

    • Jana

      I wish I’d read it in elementary school. I read it as an adult in grad school, and I loved it. I do wish I’d discovered the magic as a child, though. It would have been even more special for me, I’m sure. :)

  2. So many wonderful picks as usual! And a few I didn’t even consider. It’s funny, I was getting ready to take the train yesterday morning and looked out at the little bit of snow that’s accumulated the last couple of days, and I thought of Hunted. It was one of those impossibly random thought processes where you see something and it just randomly strikes you. Guess what I’m saying is, it’s a perfect wintry read. Same goes for Caraval–I almost included that one as well.

  3. Ooh, I forgot about The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe! You have some really good picks on this list…I agree that Russia is a “winter” setting for a book. Even if it isn’t actually winter in the story I assume it’s cold! And the Beauty/Beast retellings look good, I really enjoy that story and I’ve been looking for some retellings to sample.

    • Jana

      Thank you!

      Yes, Russia is cold to me no matter the time of year. lol. The three BATB retellings I mentioned here are my favorites, but I’ve read quite a few others that I loved. They’re so much fun to read!

  4. I love cozy reads! This is such a great list! I just finished Hunted and it is a perfect fit for this list. I also read Shadow and Bone this past spring, but I think it would be a great read for the dead of winter! And I recently bumped the entire Narnia series up on my TBR because of a different TTT post I read yesterday :)