Snow Day Reads
A curated booklist by your favorite SPL librarians!
|The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
When Vasya’s father brings his new wife back to the Russian wilderness, everything changes. Forbidden to acknowledge the guardian spirits, misfortune befalls the village, and Vasya must decide if she’ll defy her family to protect them. The first book in the Winternight trilogy, this is a whimsical and haunting debut.
|The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin
This fictionalization of the unexpected Great Plains blizzard of 1888 is based on oral histories of the survivors, many of whom were immigrant homesteaders lured by the promise of something better.
|The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah
Leni’s father, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, moves the family to an Alaska homestead to build a better future. But as the darkness of winter descends, it is clear they are not prepared. Isolated, they must learn to save themselves in this story of frailty, resilience, and family.
|In the Midst of Winter by Isabelle Allende
When a human rights scholar rear-ends a undocumented Guatemalan immigrant in a Brooklyn snowstorm, he seeks advice from his Chilean tenant and fellow academic. Author Isabelle Allende takes the reader on a tour through space and time, bringing together these three strikingly different people with humanity, humor, and wisdom.
|Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
This post-apocalyptic novel set in Anishinaabe territory won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2019. With winter looming, the city goes dark, losing power and communication. Chaos builds as unexpected visitors arrive, and everyone must work together to survive.
|One by One by Ruth Ware
No one planned to have the off-site company retreat end in an avalanche. Now, snowed in at a chalet in the French Alps, colleagues are being picked off one by one in this locked-room mystery that was shortlisted for the Steel Dagger award.
|The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse
A former sanatorium, Le Sommet has been converted into a luxury hotel to shake a troubling rumor. When Elin Warner, a detective on leave, arrives in the middle of a blizzard, she knows there’s something eerie about it – feelings that only intensify when her brother’s fiancée goes missing.
|Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Turkish Nobel Laureate Pamuk captures many of the political and cultural tensions of modern Turkey. Returning after 12 years in exile, poet Ka visits a remote town only to be stranded by heavy snow, and embarks on a reflective, dramatic dive into the Turkey of today and its connection to the past.
|The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
A Pulitzer Prize finalist, this story follows a grieving married couple homesteading in Alaska in 1920. During a snowfall, they build a snow child, only to find it missing the next morning. After, they start seeing a little girl in the woods with a fox, her presence bringing a remarkable story of love and loss and magic.
|Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts
In 1913, Douglas Mawson traversed more than 300 miles across Antarctica after a research expedition went awry, suffering starvation, his teammate’s death, and terrible injury. This thrilling survival story includes incredible detail of polar adventuring in the early 20th century, as well as photographs and maps.
|Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar
In 1959, nine experienced hikers died in the Russian Ural Mountains, the unsolved mystery haunting. This well-researched work of literary nonfiction explores the eeriness of the trip through the hikers’ journals and photographs, government documents, interviews, and the author’s own retracing of the hike.
|Snow: A History of the World’s Most Fascinating Flake by Anthony R. Wood
This book examines the historical, cultural, and scientific significance of snow through profiles, anecdotes, and fun facts. From information about weather events, snow in pop culture, snow removal, and the impacts of climate change, Anthony Wood cultivates an appreciation for this natural phenomenon.
|This Land of Snow: A Journey Across the North in Winter by Andres Morley
This memoir recounts Morley’s solo ski expedition across northern Canada in his early thirties. Tough and tender, the author explores natural beauty and inner turmoil as he comes to terms with the life he left behind to take the trek.
|Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich
Award-winning writer and biologist Bernd Heinrich explores the winter survival tactics of animals, revealing their ability to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. This accessible and illustrated book examines how animals like flying squirrels, bears, and turtles defy the odds and laws of physics to survive in cold weather.
|Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
This intimate narrative published during the pandemic provides instruction on the transformative power of resting. Part memoir, part self-help, May poetically encourages readers to slow down, explore the quiet, enjoy the beauty, and make space for restoration.
|Winterland: Create A Beautiful Garden for Every Season by Cathy Rees
Gardening is not just a warm weather activity! Cathy Rees, a landscape designer, will guide you through the creation of an all-season garden. With lush photography, she discusses form, texture, and lighting while providing practical advice on pruning, maintenance, and animal coexistence.