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 died down, the holidays have passed, and the world seems to be slowing down a bit — a perfect time to indulge in books that seem designed to be read in a quiet, cozy winter.

Of course, the only thing standing in the way of you and an absorbing diversion is finding the book. To help you get started, I interviewed the passionate team at Camille Styles to help you find the right fit for cozy winter reading. Below, you’ll find gripping novels, bestselling memoirs, steamy vampiric 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 curl up by a fire, cozy up in a sunny spot, or cut out the world wherever you are with some of our favorite winter reads.

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

Featured image of Michelle Nash for Camille Styles.

photo by Chanel Dror

The big jump, by Gay Hendricks

What is it and why I recommend it: I first heard about this book in Tim Ferris’ interview with Diana Chapman, who said it was the book she most often gave as gifts to other people. My curiosity was piqued and I had no idea that this book would fall on me at the right time. I had tried to take it to the next level in various aspects of my professional life, but I didn’t know how to overcome the obstacles that prevented me from doing so. In short, this book aims to identify the limiting beliefs that get in the way of achieving our dreams. If you’re trying to find direction in your life, business, or any other important decision, the principles taught by Hendricks could be as transformative for you as they have been for me. —Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief

Talks about love, by Natasha Lunn

What it is and why I recommend it: Oh, another love book. I’m a sucker for any book that dissects 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 over a lifetime. She highlights authors and experts to learn about their experiences in addition to sharing her own. She often asks the questions I ask myself: How do you 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 full of hope and joy. Also, I love that I can read each chapter individually and they all stand on their own with lessons and wisdom. Get the highlighter, because there are a lot of good nuggets here. — Suruchi Avasthi, food writer

Raising Daughters Carefree, by Sissy Goff

What it is and why I recommend it: I have recommended this book to every parent of girls I know. It’s no secret that girls today are dealing with stress and anxiety on a new level, and as a parent it can be daunting to figure out how to best support them. Through these pages, Goff offers practical advice on how you can instill courage and strength in your daughter, helping her understand why her brain is often working against her when she starts to worry and what she can do to defend themselves. I am so grateful for this guide as Phoebe enters her 20s. —Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief

Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner

What it is and why I recommend it: For months I have been dying to find the time to read this book. I’m only a few chapters away, but musician Michelle Zauner’s memoir is already proving to be an early favorite. Perhaps best known as the lead singer of the dreamy indie band Japanese Breakfast, the Korean-American artist shares the story of losing her mother to cancer, which also meant losing the strongest bond with his Korean culture. There are immediate tears at H Mart, the supermarket chain specializing in authentic Asian cuisine. As Zauner explores the connection between cuisine and identity, there are also some great descriptions of dishes, especially bubbling soups and spicy pastas that would absolutely hit the mark on one of those cold winter days. I’m ready to cry myself as I keep reading, but I know I’m in good hands with Zauner. — Caitlin Clark, Editor-in-Chief

Writers and lovers, by Lily King

What it is and why I recommend it: There’s a lot of wit and wisdom woven into Lily King’s bestselling novel. The writing is clever yet personal, and as a reader you feel completely immersed in the narrative. The novel follows 31-year-old Casey Peabody, who has just unexpectedly lost her mother. She works nights at a restaurant while struggling to finish her first novel which she has been working on for a few years. Casey is a bit of a hot mess, but an incredibly likable and relatable protagonist. I have never felt more motivated to pursue my dreams, and while there are many ups and downs throughout, the ending is uplifting and optimistic. — Isabelle Eyman, editor-in-chief

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 has seemingly everything (the right job, a happy family, and a bright future), and out of nowhere, a stage IV colon cancer diagnosis enters the scene. Far from being an inconvenience, however, Bowler’s memoir peels back the lies we tell ourselves that keep us from truly living — and in these accomplishments, liveliness takes on a whole new beauty. I finished this book feeling inspired and grateful, both for this life given to me as well as for the truth tellers like Bowler who share their stories with such honesty. —Camille Styles, Editor-in-Chief

Midnight Sun, by Stephenie Meyer

What it is and why I recommend it: I just finished rewatching the whole Twilight series – I know, I know, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure and there are cringe-worthy moments, but who doesn’t love a tense vampire story? (Now I want to see the true blood series!) I binged all the dusk books in 2008 after my son was born and just before the first movie was released. As a new mom, this was the escape I needed from the sleepless nights and groundhog day cycle of nursing, burping, diaper changing, playing, sleeping, repeating (every new parents reading this can relate!). I was addicted! Since I finished the Twilight movies again, I am now inspired to read all the books again until I discovered the author, Stephanie Meyer had published a book from Edward’s point of view in 2020. As Twi-hard fan and #teamedward forever, I don’t know how I didn’t hear about it at the time, but hey, in my defense, it was the peak of the global pandemic!

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

Vegan, Sometimes, by Jessica Seinfeld

What it is and why I recommend it: Alright, alright…a cookbook! While most women I know are curled up by the fire devouring mysteries and steamy romance novels, I’m still the one who prefers to spend my free time drooling over food pictures and recipes. As a holiday gift for myself, I bought Jessica Seinfeld’s latest cookbook, Vegan, Sometimes, and her easy-to-follow, minimalist, meatless recipes are my new weekday favorites. Think: stuffed sweet potatoes with coleslaw and peanut dressing, creamy polenta with roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, and chocolate-dipped oranges. One hundred percent vegan, zero percent pretentious. — Anne Campbell, Editor-in-Chief

Taste Makers: Seven immigrant women who revolutionized food in the United States, by Mayukh Sen

What it is and why I recommend it: I love all books that dive deep into food, and this book – a group biography – pays tribute to seven incredible immigrant women who have had an impact on the way we eat in America today. Stories include Mexican-born Elena Zelayeta, a blind chef; Marcella Hazan, the divinity of Italian cuisine; and Norma Shirley, champion of Jamaican dishes. The way Sen shares these women’s stories through the lens of food really opened my eyes to a story I didn’t know, but now admire. If you love cooking as much as I do, this was such an important read for understanding the history of cooking, while also centering the stories of women and their contributions to food today. — Suruchi Avasthi, food writer

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