8 Books to Read in Winter // 2021 Edition

So I started this series back in October 2019 and kind of neglected it… there was an 8 Favourite Spring Reads post, 8 Favourite Christmas Reads post… and that was all. XD I am going to try to revive this series in 2021!

So today I’m going to give you a list of 8 books set in winter or with a wintry feel 🙂

1. The Long Winter.

Well, yes. I mean, it’s kind of obvious…? Haha. But really, it helps me keep a better attitude about *my* winter–because it is nothing as hard as Laura’s was! I think this is my favourite Little House book. The survival aspect strongly appeals to me. I love the little details of life and the ending is lovely. There is some mild language (gosh, devil, etc) but otherwise I really love it. And I enjoy the closer glimpses of Almanzo and Cap!

2. A Little Princess.

This has always been one of my top favourite books. It is sweet, and heart-warming, and beautiful, and old-fashioned, and simple, and heart-tugging, and satisfying, and well-written, full of wonderful and living characters, with a splendid plot and lovely theme.
But the real charm of this book is this. “It may have happened, it may not have happened: but it COULD have happened.” (Mark Twain). This is essentially a fairy-tale, and satisfies our fairy-tale-loving hearts. But it is also realistic, and satisfies our desire for stories we can identify with and see ourselves in. Sara Crewe, Maria Minchin, Thomas Carrisford, Ralph Crewe, Ram Dass, Becky, Ermengarde, the Carmichaels… they may never have existed. But they COULD have existed. They are REAL. And their story may never have happened, but it MIGHT have.
This is, essentially, a story of the battle between good and evil. Which will win? Which pays off, in the long run? And therein lies its appeal. We all see the battle between good & evil and we long to be reminded that evil cannot win, that good SHALL win eventually, and that evil brings the consequences of its own actions, while good brings rewards.
And so, perhaps, we all need to slip away to an old-time, heart-tugging, faraway London, to a land of attics and sparrows and fogs and mud and beggars and seminaries and kitchens, where poverty & loneliness are intense and comfort is gone, where true friends must be proven and false people be exposed, where evil and good battle once more for predominance–a place that is far away and yet very near, well removed from our own world and yet very close–a world that we still identify with and understand and… know.

3. The Call of the Wild.

 Personally, I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely not for everyone. It’s blunt and wild and violent and intense and alive. There were parts where even I cringed–particularly at the beginning–but I got hardened quickly. It was a fascinating view on real life in the Canadian Northwest in the 1890s. There was some language (I don’t remember anything more than some “damn,” “by Gar,” and other euphemisms) and the whole outlook of the book was more or less evolutionist. However, like I said, I really liked it and I grew pretty fond of Buck and some other people. The humour balanced out the grit well, and there was some real beauty and deep thoughts mixed in as well. 

4. White Fang.

I enjoyed “Call of the Wild,” but I *loved* “White Fang.” This book is almost the complete opposite of “Call of the Wild.” While that book deals with a domesticated, “civilized” dog being gradually made completely wild and untamed, “White Fang” deals with a wild, quarter-dog, three-quarters-wolf being tamed and “civilized.” It was really fascinating. Again, it hurt in many places, but it was also just so real and living and passionate! I loved Scott (except for the swearing, ugh) and his relationship with White Fang was amazing. I loved White Fang himself. <33 There was, again, language, ranging from euphemisms to mild swearing, as I recall. Otherwise, it was violent but clean. It was pretty humorous, actually, and the ending was SO sweet and I really loved it. <33

5. Kävick the Wolf Dog.

(Do I love wolf stories? Do I love books about animals? Yes, and yes.)

Oh yes, I loved this book!! I have a thing for dog stories, especially wolf dogs. This one was kind of White Fang + Call of the Wild meets Lassie Come-Home + The Incredible Journey, with strong Gentle Ben vibes. I loved Andy, and I loved his parents & their relationship. Dr. Walker was also awesome. XD I loved Kävik, of course, and also John and Martha. <33 I don’t remember any content, but there might have been language/mild language?? I really don’t remember! It was an exciting, well-written, satisfying, beautiful story by Walt Morey and I am totally going to read more of his works. Oh, and the ending is sooo lovely. ❤

6. Squirrels, & Other Fur-Bearers.

This is maybe my favourite of Burroughs’ books, and perfect for winter! It is a little delightful book on wild animals–funny, interesting, educational, and beautiful. I can’t remember any mentions of evolution or Mother Nature though there might have been some. Burroughs is often a delight to read, and this book has some of my favourites of his pieces. ❤

7. Stella, Queen of the Snow.

I know, it’s a kids’ book. But this darling little book has always been a part of my life. As a child I pored over the pages until my copy is in tatters. The illustrations were so fun! I have the story nearly memorized, and even though the text on the last three pages is torn off, I still remember it… it goes something like this:

“Can snow angels sing?” asked Sam.
“Of course,” said Stella. “Can’t you hear them?” 
“Yes!” whispered Sam. 

<33 my heart.

8. Caleb’s Story.

This was such a lovely sequel to Skylark! I really enjoyed this story. Caleb’s writing is just as nice as Anna’s, but different. I liked seeing Sarah and Cassie and Papa again. Grandfather was a really fun addition, and I really liked how Caleb built a relationship with him. Sarah’s & Papa’s relationship was really nice too, and I liked the message very much. <33

So there you are! 8 of my favourite wintry reads. Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or plan to, and what your favourite wintry reads are!

Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

6 thoughts on “8 Books to Read in Winter // 2021 Edition

  1. I so need to read almost all of these 🤣 I’ve seen the film adaption of Caleb’s story! It’s called Winter’s End and is my favorite of the trilogy!

    My mom read the Long Winter to us a year ago!

    A favorite Winter read of mine is The Big Sky Country Series. I love binging then all, but I think I left them in NC 🥺

    Liked by 2 people

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