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8 Books to Read in Winter // 2022 Edition

Remember this series?

So for clarification, these books may not all be set in winter time… but they’re the type of book to read in winter time. Cozy books, to curl up with a blanket and a cup of something hot… if that’s your type of thing. I am determined to keep it going in 2022 XD XD so here we go!

1. Emma by Jane Austen.

Austen’s books are all perfect for wiling away cold winter days. Enthralling, complex, deep, light, cozy… they’re just wonderful. I’m currently in the middle of rereading Emma myself. You might have heard me say Emma is my least favourite Austen book, and yet I love it so much, which speaks volumes! When I first picked up Jane Austen as a child (it was Pride & Prejudice), I read one page and dropped it. I did skip-read two other books (Northanger Abbey & Mansfield Park) when I was a little older, but didn’t appreciate them very much. Then I read Emma when I was 17 and it converted me into an Austenite.

The GENIUS of this book. The writer in me revels and I could just talk about it forever. The amazing dialog; the daily life scenes; the pithy remarks on human nature; the humour and wit; the complexity and mystery of the plot… ahhh!!! I guessed a few things but for the most part it baffled, hooked, and delighted me right up to the very last chapter. What a plot!

My favourite character is undoubtedly Mr. Knightley. Gallant, gentlemanly, kind, honest, caring enough to speak out concerning Emma’s faults… ❤ And very humorous in a dry way. 😉 I used to like him better than Darcy… now I’m not so sure. But all the characters are so realistic and make their way into your heart—even those that irk me at first, like Mr. Woodhouse & Mrs. John Knightley (such nice people at the bottom) and Miss Bates (who really is such a sweet, grateful lady) and Jane (really such a good, lovely girl) and Harriet (poor Harriet meant so well…). It’s impossible to dislike even Frank Churchill (though I agree with Emma’s final thoughts on him). The only exception is the Eltons *glares* I forgot that Mr. Elton had been nice by the end!! Oh, and the romance is so pure and sweet ❤ and the message is sooo good! And if that didn’t convince you to read… well… you’re a lost cause, lol. If you are interested, here’s a free ebook copy.

There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do, if he chuses, and that is, his duty; not by manoeuvring and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.”

Jane Austen, Emma

2. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Oh, this is the EPITOME of winter reading! This is a book that I have known literally forever. It is among my earliest remembered reads, as a five-year-old and younger. I loved this book as a child, reread it scores of times, copied down parts, played being Laura… As a grown up, although I may LOVE it less, I ENJOY it more. I appreciate seeing the pioneer living so much! Frankly, Ma is an unsung heroine. I really admire her and everything she did and went through. Pa is a very inspiring person too, when you consider all he did so matter-of-factly. And Mary & Laura are just as childlike as the children of today are. As a child, I was bothered by their moments of strife; but now, as a young woman, although I still wish it didn’t happen, I can understand Laura’s feelings of less worth because of her looks as compared to Mary’s (and that storekeeper irritates me every time; that dude just reinforced Laura’s ideas of being unvalued!). Of course I don’t agree with everything in this story, but it is a beautiful tale of how human nature was the same in the mid-1800s as it is now in the 21st century. The last paragraph of the book always makes me tear up… Laura wrote these books because she believed her family and their way of life should not be forgotten, and a hundred years later people still read and love them. ❤

Pst… here’s a free ebook copy!

When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”
“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.
She thought to herself, “This is now.”
She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

I like reading this in winter because you sympathize more with the chill of Jane’s life. It is honestly one of my top favourite books ever. I did not expect to love it so much! I read it several times as a kid and was profoundly impacted by the setting and storyline. Rereading it as an adult, I was impacted by the themes, messages, and characters. 

Jane Eyre is often seen as a dark book. I, instead, found it very beautiful and hopeful. I loved Jane. She was so wise and strong and loving. Really, she became one of my favourite female characters ever. Her story is so sad and yet it is hopeful too. I would love to be a Jane—so willing to help, so eager to love, so strong in trial, so full of faith. 

Mr. Rochester was another character I loved. I related to his weakness and his desire to do good but his lack of willingness to TRY to be good. After all, he had a good heart. He could have done any number of things to the woman he was chained with and yet he did do her the best he could—as he thought. I loved seeing his redemption. And as a man, he was just a very entertaining, fascinating, interesting man.

St. John I strongly disliked. What a hypocritical, supericilous Pharisee. He was a “good” man and yet he was not a good man. He was certain that he and he alone was right. He even tried to play God with Jane. If she had obeyed him, she would have killed herself (no use at all to the Lord) and have run right by her true calling. And he was cruel and harsh to her—while pretending to be as merciful and long-suffering as Christ Jesus. 

The plot was fascinating. Jane went from depression and misery to being dependant on God and able to find joy in the worst situations. Of course there was the whole thing of Mr. Rochester having had many mistresses, Adèle maybe being his illegitimate child, and attempted bigamy. But I think it was well handled and was only used to make redemption and Light stand out. I really appreciated the narration and the writing style and characters and setting. Overall, it’s a simply beautiful book with a really beautiful message. (Recommended age: 18+) And you can download it for free here!

I hold another creed … in which I delight, and to which I cling: for it extends hope to all: it makes Eternity a rest—a mighty home, not a terror and an abyss. Besides, with this creed, I can so clearly distinguish between the criminal and his crime; I can so sincerely forgive the first while I abhor the last: with this creed revenge never worries my heart, degradation never too deeply disgusts me, injustice never crushes me too low: I live in calm, looking to the end.

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

4. Imgarinarium by Amanda Kastner.

Oh my heart, I love this book!! It’s just sooo beautiful. I love the mix of medieval & post-WWI. I love the purples & blues sooo much (they’re my favourite colours). I love the characters—the Warden is so amazing, and Verity is so sweet, and I like her father too, and Marian & Robin Hood are pretty awesome. 😉 The humour is so good, and the romance is really sweet. There were a couple mentions of ghosts/phantoms but nobody believed in them & none actually existed. I really love the message, too. Definitely my favourite Amanda Kastner book!! It’s a greta winter read because it’s a good sort of escape because it’s so vibrant and yet wintry… and best of all, you can read it for free here. 🙂

When I learned of the Professor’s experiment, I was fascinated. Imagine creating your own world! An escape from ordinary, everyday life! But I see now that escaping can become its own kind of trap.”

Amanda Kastner, ImAginarium

5. Treasury of Inspirational Stories for Children by James Herriot.

This is such a sweet collection of stories about various pets. A few of them take place on Christmas, but most of them are just set in general wintertime, and they’re the definition of cozy and heartwarming.

Moses the Kitten
3.5 stars & 4/10 hearts. What a sweet little story! I really enjoyed it. Peter Barrett’s illustrations are so nice, and really compliment the text. I enjoyed the writing style, and I loved the quaint dialect and the old-fashioned feel! A cozy little winter read.
Content: One “what the de*il.”

Only One Woof
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. This is such an enjoyable story! I love reading about sheepdogs, and Sweep & Gyp were so nice—I quite fell in love with them. The story itself is quite interesting!

The Christmas Day Kitten
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. Awwww, how heartwarming! This story brings tears to my eyes every time. Debbie is so, so sweet… and Bouncer sounds so fun! 😉 It’s a delightful Christmas story. <33

Bonny’s Big Day
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. James Herriot certainly has a talent! I really appreciate his writing style. What a sweet, enjoyable story! I loved reading it! Bonny and Dolly sound so nice, and so does John!

Blossom Comes Home
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. I’m running out of words to express my enjoyment of James Herriot’s stories for children. This one is quite as sweet and heart-warming as the others! I don’t love Ruth Brown’s illustration style, but she did this story perfectly. ❤ 

The Market Square Dog
5 stars & 5/10 hearts. Oh my heart! I absolutely love this story! It’s so sweet and precious and heartwarming, every inch. <33

Oscar, Cat-About-Town
3 stars & 3/10 hearts. This is a very short, funny little story, very enjoyable to read aloud! 😉

Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb
3 stars & 3/10 hearts. This is a very cute little story. It’s a little different from Herriot’s usual style, since it’s not from his POV and he isn’t mentioned at all, but it’s still sweet and enjoyable. 

This one can be read for free on Archive.org if you’re a member… which you should be because it’s free and epic and crammed with sooo many books.

Have you read any of these books? What are your favourite winter reads?

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.

5 thoughts on “8 Books to Read in Winter // 2022 Edition

  1. Hello! My pen name is Dorcas Joy and I’m new to your blog. I’m enjoying it already! I really like the Little House books. I actually started re-reading again recently. I’m excited to get the book recommendations from your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess!! Some of Montgomery is distinctly springy or summery (like Kilmeny) but she’s quite readable in any season. Ingalls & Herriot certainly are!

      Like

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