Great Winter Reads

Posted by kacates on December 20, 2010


Looking for something new to read over the holiday break? Why not celebrate the snowy weather with one of these great winter-themed reads? From a sweet Christmas romance to a creepy mystery on the ice to a holiday classic, there's something here for everyone. Unless, of course, you're a Grinch who hates the snow and cold, in which case maybe my next post of book suggestions should have a tropical theme.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I just finished reading this new book from the authors of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and I think I like it even better than their first.  It's a great Christmas romance featuring two teens stuck by themselves for the holidays in New York City.  Lily starts everything off when she leaves a red notebook full of challenges on a shelf in her favorite bookstore, The Strand.  Dash finds the notebook and decides to take her up on her dares, adding a few of his own for her to complete.  With that, they're off, passing the notebook back and forth all over the city, enlisting friends, relatives, and complete strangers in their battle of dares.  But what will happen when the two finally meet face to face?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

If you're really looking to get into the Christmas spirit, then maybe you should try dipping into one of the best-loved holiday classics ever.  You've probably seen at least one of the umpteen movie adaptations of this one, but have you ever actually sat down to read the original 1843 story?  If not, then maybe it's time to join Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come in this celebration of the season.

As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway

Maybe you're not so much the bright and cheery, joy-to-the-world type.  If that's the case, then you might like this creepy winter mystery.  Told by an unnamed high school boy, this is the story of what happened when he met Anna, a new girl and part of the school's Goth crowd.  Anna is completely unlike anyone the narrator has ever known, and she soon draws him in with her wordplay, obscure facts, and weird hobbies.  Then Anna disappears, leaving behind nothing except a dress placed neatly near a hole in the frozen river, and a string of unanswered questions.  Now the narrator, determined to find out what happened to Anna, must retrace the five months of their acquaintance, looking for clues to her disappearance.

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

This collection of three interconnected stories by three of the best YA authors around takes place during a massive snowstorm on Christmas Eve.  In Maureen Johnson’s tale, after Jubilee’s train becomes snowbound, she seeks shelter at a nearby Waffle House, along with a squad of hyper cheerleaders. In John Green’s story, a guy summons three friends to the Waffle House, where the combination of cheerleaders and cheesy waffles prompts big realizations. Finally, in Lauren Myracle’s entry, self-absorbed Addie atones for cheating on her boyfriend (who was stuck on Jubilee’s train) by proving she can be an angel for someone else, even if that someone is only a pet pig.

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

You might think we've been having some nasty winter weather lately, but wait until you read this 2008 Printz Award winner, set in Antarctica.  Sym Wates has long been obsessed with the Antarctic.  She even considers herself in love with Captain Lawrence “Titus” Oates, a member of Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole who died more than 90 years ago.  So when her uncle Victor offers to take her on a dream trip to Antarctica, she jumps at the chance.  But her uncle has an obsession of his own – one that will turn Sym's dream vacation into a nightmare and threaten her life.

East by Edith Pattou

If you like fairy tale retellings, then this is the winter read for you.  This retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon is the story of Rose, the last born of seven children to a family living in a tiny village in northern Norway.  In Rose's community, children are believed to inherit the qualities of the direction in which they were born.  Rose was a North-born baby, said to be wild, unpredictable, and likely to travel far from home.  Rose's mother has always told her that she was born of the safe and obedient East, trying to keep her home-bound, but when an enormous white bear appears on the family's doorstep asking Rose to come away with him, she agrees, and sets off on the adventure of her life.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

In this third book of the Tiffany Aching series, young witch-in-training Tiffany accidentally draws the amorous attentions of the Wintersmith towards her.  Now he wants her to stay forever in his gleaming, frozen world.  Tiffany needs the help of the legendary witch Granny Weatherwax and her old friends the Wee Free Men if she's going to survive until spring.  Because if she doesn't, spring will never come and the world will be stuck forever in winter.

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