Every year, around the time when mercury rises and the sun starts peeking out, we’re bombarded with countless articles on the best books to read at the beach — because, of course, reading in the sand and sunshine is a great deal more pleasurable than sitting outside with a novel in January. Yet winter, especially a winter like this one, which has already featured bone chilling sub-zero temperatures across the United States, is truly the best season to burrow deep into a great book.
Keeping that in mind, we asked an assortment of people whose taste we trust to let us in on the kinds of books they like to read this time of year, and hopefully add some new snow reads to your list, to help keep you warm until spring.
I love the idea of winter books and save certain books for the colder months. This has become difficult now that I live in Los Angeles. Sorry polar vortex kids, it’s 70 degrees here and I’m walking around in a t-shirt. I usually kick off my winter reading by returning to Sherlock Holmes, usually one of the longer ones. This year I reread The Valley of Fear. But really, any Sherlock Holmes story makes for great winter reading. Aaah, those cold, damp London streets. Also Wilkie Collins. I first read The Woman in White in a freezing attic on a farm in New Hampshire. I spend every Christmas in New Hampshire and couldn’t wait to get back this year so I could read The Moonstone, Collins’ other classic. There’s something about these Victorian detective novels that seems particularly suited to cold weather reading.
— Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street (Dennis Lehane Books/Ecco).