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The perfect books for any reader 

Being a mood reader, the second it starts getting colder outside and we get the first tiny bit of snow, I begin to exclusively read books that remind me of winter. Since I save every book that reminds me of winter for winter, I have found the five best books to read during the colder months. Here are those recommendations.

1. For Fantasy Readers, Try…

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo 

This YA fantasy series follows Alina Starkov, a young orphan girl living in a divisive country that is separated between ordinary, powerless people and the Grisha, the powerful group who is able to manipulate elements. Their country is divided by what they call the Fold, and when attempting to cross it, Alina learns that she has powers that many believe are vital to restoring the power of her country. This trilogy is followed by two other series set in the same world, as well as a few short stories and a Netflix original series, giving you plenty of fantasy content to read this winter. 

2. For Romance Lovers, Try…

One Day in December by Josie Silver 

This story follows Laurie and her experience with love at first sight. While on the bus one day, Laurie makes eye contact with a man outside of the bus, and they both feel an instant connection. Laurie proceeds to spend almost a year obsessed and looking for this man with the help of her friend. Finally, after basically giving up looking for him, Laurie gets to meet her friend’s boyfriend—who just so happens to be the man from outside the bus. This story follows the development of their relationship over the span of a few years, and it is chock-full of every trope that you could imagine in this situation, including “right person, wrong time” and “missed opportunity.” The tropes and snowy setting make it the perfect romance for the winter months. 

3. For a Thriller, Try…

No Exit by Taylor Adams  

Darby Thorne is a college student who is attempting to drive through a blizzard to visit her dying mother but ends up getting caught in the storm in the mountains of Colorado. Since it is impossible to safely keep driving on the roads, Darby gets stuck inside a remote rest stop with four strangers. After going outside to attempt to get a signal on her phone, she finds a young girl kidnapped and locked in an animal cage inside someone’s car. After making this terrifying discovery, Darby has to find a way to save the girl and herself, and with no service and no help, it seems impossible to safely find an escape. This story has also been adapted into a movie, which gives you even more content to watch after reading the book. This novel is fast-paced and exciting, and is the ideal thriller to read this winter. 

4. For a mystery, try…

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This novel follows Hercule Poirot, a detective who gets stuck on a train because of the snow. While still stuck on the train, a murder takes place, and with the murderer still on board and no police available to help, Poirot takes the case. The novel is a classic Agatha Christie mystery story that just so happens to take place during the perfect backdrop for a winter novel: a snowstorm. If you’re looking for a good mystery full of twists and turns, any Christie novel is a good pick, but this one is perfect for the winter.

5. If you’re trying to get into classics, try…

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

In this story, Heathcliff becomes obsessed with revenge when the love of his life and soulmate is torn away from him and marries another man. After being found on the streets, Heathcliff is brought in by a family and made to her their stable boy. At first, Heathcliff is hated by his new family, but his foster sister Catherine stops resenting him and begins to love him instead. While this story could be about their developing, forbidden love, it turns into a story of vengeance when the characters aren’t able to get what they truly want. This novel is known as being one of the greatest stories ever written and it provides a deep dive into some of the realities and societal values of the time. This was the first ever classic that I had to read, and I really enjoyed this one. 

There is nothing better than making a warm drink, curling up under a blanket and reading a good book. While any book is the perfect excuse to do just that, I think that these five books/series are the perfect stories to reach for, whether you’re looking for a new genre to branch into this winter or just a good book in general to read.

Jenna Trucke

Wisconsin '24

Hi! I'm Jenna and I'm a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Political Science and getting a certificate in Public Policy. In my free time, I like love reading good books and spending time with my friends.