The snows are in, the holidays are over, but that’s no excuse not to take a little time to yourself this winter. Cozy up with these excellent winter reads and get the most out of this cold season.

The Call of The Wild by Jack London
It’s crazy that sled dogs are still a viable form of travel in today’s era, much less that they were ever a real mode of transportation outside the novelist’s imagination. Jack London’s adventure classic, first published in 1903, tells the tale of a California dog named Buck who is taken from his home in California and pressed into service as a sled dog in the harsh Yukon territory. Buck is initially dominated by the other dogs and is forced to adapt his understanding of the world far from the reach of civilization. Ultimately, Buck taps into his primordial instincts and becomes a true leader. Told from Buck’s perspective, this singular story is less a variation on Balto and more an examination of the wild nature in all of us and the ways in which we can become more fully alive and ourselves if only we’ll listen and answer its call.

The Shining by Stephen King
It’s such a delight that Stephen King is getting a second day in the mainstream consciousness. With the success of It in theaters and numerous smaller properties now flowering on the small screen, many readers are coming back to Stephen King’s novels and discovering what a truly great writer he is. Like, not just a pulp writer, but one of our still living literary giants. The Shining is not only one of the top horror movies of all time, but an excellent novel in its own right. King’s third novel and his first hardcover bestseller tells the story of Jack Torrance, a struggling writer and recovering alcoholic and his family’s stay in a haunted hotel in the Colorado Rockies. It’s a riveting read for the winter months, and the epic snowstorm that features near the book’s climax is sure to be on point.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
A land where it’s always winter, but never Christmas? Such is the state of the enchanting land of Narnia when the four Pevensie children discover it by way of the magical wardrobe in the English countryside where they’re staying. C. S. Lewis’ classic kickoff to his seven book Chronicles of Narnia series is the perfect childhood book to revisit this winter for many reasons: adventure, winter, redemption, high fantasy, modern allegory, nostalgia, and Turkish Delight—among many others reasons.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carré
If you’re not familiar with John le Carré, you’ll certainly know his name as the author of the 1974 novel turned hit TV series/movie Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Le Carré’s third novel The Spy Who Came In From The Cold was his first international bestseller and still perhaps his most well-known to this day. It was the success of this novel in fact which led le Carré to leave MI6 and become a full time writer. The novel tells the story of a British agent sent to East Germany to sew disinformation in a difficult plot that quickly unravels around him. The world is cold and bleak, full of morally ambiguous characters, with top-notch writing.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories by Ernest Hemingway
You really shouldn’t need an excuse to read anything by Hemingway but winter is the perfect time to check out these excellent short stories. Sure The Snows of Kilimanjaro has a wintery-themed title, but most of these stories are actually set in warm, generally tropical climates, which are the perfect antidote to all these other cold weather reads.

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