Winter 2021 Reading Guide
The Books You Need to Read During the Winter Season
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"Reading has always brought me the most joy. When you pair that with my favorite time of year, I am truly at my best.
If fall is my first favorite season, winter is definitely my second. I live for snowy days, cold nights, a good fireplace, and of course, a sparkly Christmas tree. I love the coziness that winter brings; the fashion, the home decor, the idea that everything is quiet and calm during a fresh snowfall. I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. I love the first snowstorm and changing my home into a hygge oasis. My birthday is also in the winter...well it's November 30th and technically the fall. However, I always feel like winter starts on Thanksgiving night, despite the calendar. Winter is just perfect!
I've also always loved reading. Reading is one of my greatest joys in life. It is my hobby, my passion, it means everything to me and has ever since I was in third grade. My teacher at the time, Miss. Phillips started reading to us. She read us a little bit of Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree House series daily. She instilled that love of stories in me and it has lasted with me until now, at the tender age of 28. When I was a teenager, I used to ask my book-loving aunt for baskets of books for my birthday and Christmas every year. We used to go and spend hours in the book store, just roaming the aisles together. It was one of my favorite activities. Books just mean the world to me.
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Classic Christmas Tales
Modern Holiday Romance
WELCOME! My love of the winter season and books take physical (or digital form) in this guide. I've been doing book reviews on my blog, Royally Pink since I started it in 2012. Now, almost 10 years later, it makes my heart scream with joy that there is such a thing as Bookstagram and BookTok to share my love of books. After putting together my fall reading guide, I knew I needed to do one for winter as well!
Winter is all about coziness, warmth, family, and Christmas cheer. It's a poetic and romantic time of year, but also a little eerie with the sun setting so early.
The books I've included in this guide center around all the winter holidays, snow, and anything that makes me feel cozy and inspired. Winter symbolizes a rebirth for me, mostly because of New Year and I think there is no better time to read a good nonfiction book! For the purpose of full transparency, I'm only recommending books that I've read because why would I discuss a book that I haven't yet read?
Let's get into it!
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CLASSIC CHRISTMAS TALES The books to read if you need a bit of Christmas cheer.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS Sometimes it feels like classic books get a bad reputation. Sometimes they are boring or you read them in school or because they are just so popular and in the 'classic' mindset, you aren't drawn to them. However, when it comes to Christmas tales, I feel as though there is no better place to start. Over the course of centuries, there have been so many beautiful Christmas stories told through the written word, it's hard to get away from those
The books in this first section are a bit mixed; there are classic books that take place during Christmas and winter, and there is also one series that tells a classic Christmas tale, about Father Christmas himself that will have you daydreaming of Santa being real. It's a stunning book that in my opinion, deserves to be at the top of a 'classics' list.
tropes... so why not go back to the beginning and read the originals? PAGE SIX | WINTER READING GUIDE
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SANTA CLAUS I am kicking off this guide with one of my favorite Christmas books ever... The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I read this for the first time a few years ago and fell in love. It made me so happy, I cried while reading it and it is just the most perfect book to read at Christmas time. It follows the life of Santa Claus and how he came to be. You see his entire life, from when he was a boy to a teenager, and how he actually became Father Christmas. It is mixed with fiction and fact and so interesting. I had to remind myself that it wasn't real. It also makes fantastic decor or a wonderful gift.
There are even sequels to the original Autobiography that follow the same story and characters. The series is called "The Christmas Chronicles" and there are two other books. There's 'How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas' and 'The Great Santa Search'. I haven't read them yet but they are on my list and if they are half as good as the original, I know I'll love them.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
We are going real classic here... if you are in need of some old-school Christmas and holiday 'cheer', might I suggest revisiting the classic tale of Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas past? We've all seen the countless films that borrow this story, from the Disney versions to the Jim Carrey one, but nothing beats taking in this story the way it was intended. The classic tale is perfect to read, even just an excerpt or two, during the Christmas season and to really re-live what Christmas is all about. Movies are fantastic but there is nothing like the original written word.
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OTHER CLASSIC READS
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02 WINTER THRILLERS Thrillers and mysteries that take place during winter and will have you hiding under the covers.
As mentioned in my previous reading guide, and if you follow me on social media or my blog, you'll know that I love a good thriller novel. I live for true crime, mysteries, and anything that can
There's also something to be said for the setting of a lot of thrillers. They take place in the wintertime, around the holidays, deep in the cold woods... that setting is the main character
be compared to "Gone Girl".
and it not only enhances the story but is essential to making the story whole.
While thrillers are a year-round genre and probably get the most 'love' during the fall
That's what these books are... they take place in
season thanks to Halloween, I think there is something to be said for reading a thrilling, mysterious novel in the middle of a snowstorm.
winter and are perfect to read while cozy under a blanket, with twinkle lights and maybe a fireplace.
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02 NO EXIT
I just finished No Exit by Taylor Adams a few days ago and I have never read a book like this. It was creepy, scary and you felt the temperature drop as you read this. Strangers are stranded at a desolate rest stop in the middle of nowhere and then Darby, one of our narrators, comes across a little girl locked in the back of one of the cars. She has to figure out which of her stranded companions is a kidnapper. What happens from there is unreal. It's terrifying, jaw-dropping, and a little disgusting. It's graphic and intense but at the end of it, I was so satisfied. It kept me on my toes until the very end. It definitely gave creepy, winter vibes and I think it's a must-read!
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THE NIKKI HUNT SERIES
I first read "The Girls in the Snow", the first Nikki Hunt book in September 2020 and it definitely gives creepy, winter vibes, just from the title alone. Nikki Hunt is an FBI agent who is on the hunt for a serial killer... but she gets sidetracked by a case in her hometown when two young girls are found dead in the snow. From there, secrets from her past unravel and the series takes off from there.
I had read two of the four Nikki Hunt books and each one is better than the last. There's "Girls in the Snow", "One Perfect Grave", "Lost Angels" and "The Girl in the Ground". The books take place in Minnesota so the cold weather gives a thrilling, winter setting. They're the perfect books to read wrapped in a blanket, near a fireplace during a snowstorm. They are thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat and might elicit a gasp or two. PAGE THIRTEEN
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OTHER THRILLING READS
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03 MODERN HOLIDAY ROMANCE There is nothing like a Christmas romance.
MODERN HOLIDAY ROMANCE Is there anything more magical than a Christmas romance? I think Christmascentered romances are probably one of the most represented genres in the book world. Everyone writes at least oneholiday book that makes you feel like you're watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. Christmas romances are beautiful, fun, full of hope and love.
There is something really perfect about falling in love at Christmas and all the novels that I've included in this section are moving, fun, unique, and a little steamy! Some of the stories at Christmas read a little predictable, a little boring, and maybe corny but that's the real beauty of these stories! They're plots you've read before and know what to expect, but they are still perfect... and worth the read!
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MODERN ROMANCE This was the first Christina Lauren novel I ever read and it was outrageous! It was beautifully written and seems like a normal teenage romance of unrequited love but quickly turns into this almost sci-fi story where our main character continually relives Christmas week over and over again. This is the type of book that had me crying and questioning my entire life at the same time. It's one that I can read over and over again, just to feel a little Christmas cheer!
Window Shopping was released this past year and is the first Tessa Bailey book I read. It combines Christmas, Manhattan, ex-cons and lots of sex. It was a very steamy book so please know that going into it, but it was a really unique story otherwise. Stella has recently been released from prison and she finds herself being the Vivant (aka Saks) window dresser a week before Christmas... and in a heated 'will they-won't they' romance with her boss. It was exceptional! PAGE SEVENTEEN | WINTER READING GUIDE
HALLMARK MOVIE ROMANCE
"The Holiday Swap" is new in 2021 and I just finished reading it a few weeks ago. This has everything: twins, a Stars Hollow type village, a bakery... it's definitely Hallmark movie material. Twins Charlie and Cass switch places a few days before Christmas to help each other out in different ways. What happens is predictable, beautiful, inspiring and so much fun! I cannot recommend this book enough.
"One Day in December" has quickly become a Christmas classic. Two starcrossed lovers keep meeting over and over again in December, and the entire book spans over 10 years. It's heartbreaking, sad, happy, and romantic all wrapped up in one. I think this is a novel that everyone has to read at least once in their life, specifically in December, of course.
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OTHER ROMANCE READS
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04 ALL THING S HYGGE
The Danish concept of hygge is finding comfort, pleasure, and warmth in simple, soothing things.
If you haven't been on social media in the past six years you might not be familiar with the concept of Hygge. Hygge is the Danish way of life, referring to finding comfort in simple, cozy, and warming things. Hygge is big on cherishing the little simple pleasures in life, such as being with family and friends, twinkle lights, and calmness.
Hygge is an all-year-round lifestyle but there is something truly special about savoring it during the winter. There are a number of books that give of Hygge vibes and can teach you how to take life slowly, appreciate the small things and really live a happier, more fulfilled life. Hygge is just the best!
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This is the ultimate Hygge bible. It changed my life and really taught me how to find joy in every small thing life has to offer. Danish people are amongst the happiest in the world so if I'm going to take life advice from anyone, it's them. This book is a must-read if you want to learn the art of Hygge and if are in need of a little joy.
Going off of the Hygge bible, this is a romantic comedy based around the idea of Hygge. It takes place in a town called Yulethrope where the last shop closes, until Clara comes along and makes it come back to life. When Joe comes to check on his mother's shop, he is forced to slow down and hygge a little bit.
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"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold."
- F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING I appreciate you taking the time to read my second reading guide! I hope you enjoyed it and found a book that you might love to read this winter!
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