9 books to read in winter and escape the cold outside

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Is there anything better than curling up with a good novel when the post-holiday doldrums hit? The frenzy has subsided, the holidays have passed, and the world seems to slow down a bit: a perfect time to enjoy books that seem designed to be read in a quiet, cozy winter.

Of course, the only thing standing in the way of your absorbing fun is finding the book. To begin with, I surveyed the team of Camille Styles, lover of literature to help you find the perfect fit for a cozy winter read. Below, you’ll discover riveting novels, best-selling memoirs, a gripping vampire romance, and words of wisdom that might be just what you need at the start of a new year.

So grab a cup of Earl Gray and snuggle up by the fire, cozy up in a sun-soaked corner, or shut out the world wherever you happen to be with some of our favorite winter reads.

Scroll through our editors’ picks for the best books to read this winter.

Outstanding image by Michelle Nash for Camille Styles.

Chanel Dror’s photo

the big jump, by Gay Hendricks

What is it about and why do I recommend it?: I first heard about this book in Tim Ferris interview with Diana Chapman, who said it was the book he most often gave to other people. My curiosity was piqued and I did not know that this book would come to me at the right time. I had been trying to get to the next level in various aspects of my professional life, but I didn’t know how to address the barriers that were preventing me from getting there. In short, this book is about identifying the limiting beliefs that get in the way of making our dreams come true. If you’re trying to find some direction in your life, business, or any important decision, the principles Hendricks teaches can be as transformative for you as they have been for me. — Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief

conversations about love, by Natasha Lunn

What it is and why I recommend it: Oh, another book about love. I am a fan of any book that explores the idea and feeling of love, and this book might be one of my favorite take on the subject. Natasha Lunn approached the book with the goal of understanding how relationships work and how they change and grow throughout life. It highlights authors and experts to learn about their experiences as well as share your own. He often asks the questions I ask myself: How do we find love? How do we support it? And how do we survive when we lose it? The stories are full of real human stories, which left me with a sense of hope and joy. Also, I love that I can read each chapter individually and everyone is on their own with lessons and wisdom. Get the highlighter, because there are a lot of good nuggets in here. — Suruchi Avasthi, food editor

Raising girls without worries, by Sissy Goff

What it is and why I recommend it: I have recommended this book to every parent of daughter I know. It’s no secret that girls today are facing stress and anxiety on a new level, and as a parent, it can be daunting to know how to best support them. Throughout these pages, Goff offers practical advice on how to instill courage and strength in your daughter, helping her understand why her brain often works against her when she begins to worry and what she can do to fight back. I am so grateful for this guide as Phoebe enters her pre-teen years. — Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief

Crying at H Mart, by Michelle Zauner

What it is and why I recommend it: For months, I’ve been dying to find the time to read this book. I’m only a few chapters in, but musician Michelle Zauner’s memoir is already proving to be a fast favorite. Perhaps best known as the frontwoman of the dreamy indie band Japanese Breakfast, the Korean-American artist shares the story of losing her mother to cancer, which also meant losing her strongest bond with her Korean culture. Immediately there are tears at H Mart, the supermarket chain that specializes in authentic Asian food. As Zauner explores the connection between cuisine and identity, there are also great descriptions of food, particularly bubbling soups and spicy pastas that would hit the spot on one of these cold winter days. I’m prepared to cry as I read on, but I know I’m in good hands with Zauner. — Caitlin Clark, Contributing Editor

writers and lovers, by Lily King

What it is and why I recommend it: There is a lot of wit and wisdom woven into Lily King’s best-selling novel. The writing is smart but personal, and as the reader, you feel completely immersed in the narrative. The novel follows 31-year-old Casey Peabody who has just lost her mother unexpectedly. He works nights in a restaurant while struggling to finish his first novel that he has been working on for the last few years. Casey is a bit of a mess, but an incredibly likeable and relatable protagonist. I have never felt more motivated to pursue my dreams, and while there are many ups and downs, the ending is uplifting and optimistic. — Isabelle Eyman, Contributing Editor

Everything happens for a reason, by Kate Bowler

What it is and why I recommend it: The true story of what happens when a woman seems to have it all—a great job, a happy family, and a bright future—and then, out of nowhere, comes a diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer. Far from being a disappointment, however, Bowler’s memoir unravels the lies we tell ourselves that get in the way of truly living, and in those realizations, vitality takes on a whole new beauty. I left this book feeling inspired and grateful, both for this life I’ve been given and for truth-tellers like Bowler who share their stories so honestly. — Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief

Midnight Sun, by Stephenie Meyer

What it is and why I recommend it: I just finished re-watching the entire Twilight series. I know, I know, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure and there are some embarrassing moments, but who doesn’t love a tense vampire story? (Now I want to see the True Blood series!) I ate all the twilight books in 2008 after the birth of my son and just before the first movie was released. As a new mom, it was the escape I needed from sleepless nights and the cycle of nursing, burping, diapering, playing, sleeping, repeating (every new parent reading this can relate!). I got hooked! Ever since I finished the Twilight movies again, I am now inspired to re-read all the books until I discovered the author, Stephanie Meyer had released a book from Edward’s perspective in 2020. As a fan of Twi-hard and #Teamedward forever , no I don’t know how I didn’t find out then, but hey, in my defense, it was a maximum global pandemic!

I finally bought the book recently together with my mom (yes, we are going to read it together). I’m not done with the book yet, and without revealing too much, unsurprisingly, this book offers a darker spin on Bella’s more innocent perspective. So far I love learning more about Edward’s past and getting inside his head, seeing everything through the lens of a vampire is intriguing to say the least. And I love how easy Stephanie’s books are to read, despite being 672 pages long, this one won’t take long. — Sacha Strebe, Associate Editor

vegan, sometimes, by Jessica Seinfield

What it is and why I recommend it: Okay, okay… a cookbook! When most of the women I know are curled up by the fire devouring their thrillers and romance novels, I’m always the one who prefers to spend her free time drooling over pictures and food recipes. As a Christmas present for myself, I bought Jessica Seinfeld’s latest cookbook, vegan, sometimes, and her easy-to-follow, minimalist, meatless recipes are my new weeknight favorites. Think: stuffed sweet potatoes with coleslaw and peanut dressing, creamy polenta with mushrooms and roasted tomatoes, and chocolate-dipped oranges. One hundred percent vegan, zero percent claims. — Anne Campbell, Contributing Editor

Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America, by Mayukh-sen

What it is and why I recommend it: I love any and all books that delve into food, and this book, a group biography, pays tribute to seven incredible immigrant women who have made an impact on the way we eat in America today. Stories include Elena Zelayeta, born in Mexico, a blind chef; Marcella Hazan, the deity of Italian cuisine; and Norma Shirley, champion of Jamaican dishes. The way Sen shares the stories of these women through the lens of food really opened my eyes to a story that I didn’t know about, but now amazes me. If you love to cook as much as I do, this was a very important read to understand the history of cooking, while also focusing on the stories of women and their contributions to food today. — Suruchi Avasthi, food editor

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