Great winter reads

image
Print Friendly

Hear that howling wind and icy rain outside? When winter strikes and the idea of leaving your warm home sends shudders down your spine, there’s no better time to get stuck into a good book.

We’ve picked out some great winter reads for you to devour as the dark, cold nights draw in.

Fantasy novels

If the idea of getting lost in another world sounds like exactly how you want to spend the winter, we’d recommend George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. These are the epic books that the TV series, Game of Thrones is based on, and it’s been going since 1996. There are five books out so far – totally over 5000 pages. So it could take you all season to read this truly immersive, detailed, imagined history of the fictional kingdom of Westeros.

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander has also been adapted for TV recently, and is often compared to A Song of Ice and Fire in scale and scope. However, Gabaldon’s series has been around for longer, and is set in a real place: Scotland, at the time of the Jacobite rebellion. It’s also much more romantic than Game of Thrones, so will appeal to readers who enjoy epic love stories. The eighth novel in the series, Written in my own Heart’s Blood, was released in 2014 but we’d suggest starting with the first novel (published in 1991) if you’re new to the books.

Looking for a quicker fantasy read? Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is a classic of the genre, set in a mysterious world underneath London. And they might be written for young adults, but Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series tell a fantastic story that’s totally compelling and very easy to digest. 

Non-fiction reads

At the other end of the spectrum, there are several compelling non-fiction books that make great winter reading too. Probably the best autobiography of 2014, actor Alan Cumming’s memoir Not My Father’s Son is a painfully honest look at his upbringing, his violent father and a shocking family secret that tore his world apart in 2010. If you’ve seen his episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, this is a must-read.

Stand-up comedy fans shouldn’t miss Kevin Bridges new autobiography, We Need to Talk About Kevin, either. Despite Bridges’ rather lean 26 years, this is a chunky tome at nearly 500 pages. But it’s a great read: clear, accessible and very funny – just like the man himself.

And for anyone interested in cartography, Simon Garfield’s On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does is a must-read. It’s a thoroughly engaging history of maps, complete with illustrations, and perfect for dipping in and out of every night before bed.

Classics

Let’s not forget about the classics either, many of which feel almost like they were written to be read aloud to all the family by a roaring fire. The festive season is a popular time to revisit Charles Dickens classics like A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations; but if you’re interested in something a bit weightier, Nicholas Nickleby is ideal winter reading. Alternatively, for readers who are already familiar with Dickens’ canonical texts, pick up one that’s less well-read: Hard Times, for example, is an under-sung gem in Dickens’ catalogue of great works.

 Elsewhere, George Eliot’s Middlemarch is the perfect long-read to get lost in during the winter. Often cited by writers as one of the greatest novels ever written, it’s an expansive work at over 700 pages and is no less ambitious in its themes: idealism, unrequited love, disillusionment and political reform are all central to the book, and dealt with in captivating detail.

What are your favourite epic winter reads? 

The following two tabs change content below.

Silversurfers Features Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Features Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Silversurfers Features Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password
kerrycoo
18th Dec 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I love reading, but go for a lot of thrillers, I like something to get my teeth into. The authors I love, are James Patterson, Kathy Reich, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Rose, Karin Slaughter, Mo Hayder, to name but a few. As you can see I love anything to do with forensics, pathology and a good murder. I am sure there are a lot of Silversurfers, who enjoy these type of books as well.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Culture

Get ready for Stir-up Sunday Christmas pudding
Love it or hate it, it’s unlikely you’ll make it through the festive season without a run-in...
Remembrance Sunday: how to get involved Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red (Detail - landscape)
Each year on the second Sunday in November we pay tribute to the soldiers who fought and gave...
Celebrate Bonfire Night Bonfire Night Fireworks
“Remember, remember the fifth of November…” Of course, you’re probably familiar with...
Teach Yourself Languages Online Italy
Salut! Hallo! Ciao! Hola! It’s never too late to start learning a new language. Whether...
Victoria Wood: Best Moments VicWood
Beloved comedian Victoria Wood has died aged 62 after a short battle with cancer. The...
Podcasts: the new radio listening to podcasts
Lots of people have started to listen to podcasts, the radio-style shows you can enjoy as and when...
5 great UK Christmas markets worth a visit Winter Wonderland
Now that the calendars have changed, the festive period is well and truly here, and Christmas...
Desert Island Discs: the best interviews Aerial View Of Caribbean Desert Island
It’s hard to believe that Desert Island Discs has been on BBC Radio for over 60 years – even...
What’s your next language? Silver Surfers (2)
Learning a new language can be a daunting prospect. Searching for the right course, dedicating...
New museum and gallery exhibitions this autumn LONDON - AUGUST 1: Visitors viewing exhibits in the atrium of th
Autumn is a great time to visit your local museums or gallery – as the warm summer sun leaves us...
Plan your visit to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival EdinburghFringeFest
Each August Edinburgh is transformed for the annual Fringe Festival – the month-long event is...
Exciting museum & gallery exhibitions in London V&A Museum
Treat your soul to some of the excellent artworks and national treasures on offer in the Big Smoke...