Snowed In? 12 Amazing Page-Turners to Enjoy the Snow Day
Instead of shoveling the driveway, get some hot cocoa (or wine) , snuggle up under a warm blanket, and spend the day immersed in one of these riveting reads.
This gripping 2001 novel by American author Dennis Lehane tells the story of three friends who are playing together on their neighborhood street when a car pulls up and abducts one of them. The stolen child is subjected to terrible abuse, but escapes and returns to his family a few days later, traumatized. The book then fast-forwards 25 years into the future, where the boys are forced to confront the consequences of the fateful experience that changed their friendship—and their lives—forever. Part psychological thriller, part love story, this riveting, can’t-put-it-down novel was also turned into an Academy-award winning film in 2003.
He’s been called everything from a “one-man entertainment industry” to the “master of macabre,” so what better author is there to whittle away a snowy day than Stephen King? In both its plot and cover art, this 2013 novel recalls vintage paperbacks of the 1940s and ’50s, and is King’s second imprint for noir publisher Hard Case Crime. It tells the story of Devin Jones, who takes a summer job at Joyland, a North Carolina amusement park, where he hears about a vicious murder that had taken place years earlier on one of the rides. Like all King novels, this one includes plenty of supernatural references, but is also, at its heart, a coming-of-age tale about love and loss. Want more Stephen King? Peruse his quotes on fear and fitting in.
The Light Between Oceans
This 2012 debut novel by M.L. Stedman explores the ramifications of the question “What would you do?” It follows the story of World War I veteran Tom Sherbourne, who, along with his wife Isabel, takes a job manning an isolated lighthouse on the shores of Australia. After she suffers a series of devastating miscarriages and a stillbirth, a baby mysteriously arrives on shore in an abandoned boat, and Isabel convinces Tom to adopt the baby as their own. After the two return to the mainland, they realize—too late, perhaps—the real-life repercussions of their decision to keep the baby.
Me Talk Pretty One Day
If you’d prefer a more lighthearted read to warm up your wintry day, you’ll find plenty of chuckles in this collection of essays from humorist David Sedaris. The book is divided into two parts: In the first part, he reflects on his upbringing in Raleigh, North Carolina, and in the second part, he recounts life after he moves to France with his partner Hugh, without understanding a lick of the French language. This book tackles a myriad of hilariously absurd experiences, including Sedaris’ brother’s fascination with hip-hop slang to his attempts to learn French with the aid of his Walkman.
The Girl on the Train
Unless you’ve been living completely off the grid for the past two years, you’re probably already familiar with the title of this novel. Published in 2015 by British author Paula Hawkins, it became an instant bestseller. It tells the story of Rachel Watson, a 32-year-old alcoholic who commutes to and from her office every day—even though she lost her job due to her alcoholism. Every day, the train passes the house she used to share with her ex-husband, which he now occupies with his new wife and child. While riding the train, she also begins watching a family who lives near her old house, and fantasizing about their seemingly “perfect” lives. One day, however, she witnesses an event that shatters that flawless image, and becomes an integral, yet unreliable, component of a police investigation. Check out other good books you can read in a day.
Pride and Prejudice
Looking for something more classic? Snuggle up with this 1813 Jane Austin literary masterpiece, which is widely considered one of the greatest English-language books ever published. It tells the story of Elizabeth Bennett and her five sisters, each of whom will be left penniless and homeless upon their father’s death, due to an arcane English property law—unless they marry rich, that is. There is love, there is marriage, there is deceit, and there is plenty of narrative commentary about society’s expectations of women. (Find out the 14 other books you really should have read by now.)
Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
If you’re searching for an inspiring read, then this 2006 memoir by American writer Elizabeth Gilbert is for you. Widely considered to be a life-changing read by its devoted fans, the book chronicles Gilbert’s search for meaning and happiness after she divorced her husband, entered into another failed relationship, and lost her purpose. Frustrated and depressed, she decides to travel the globe for a full year, in search of meaning and direction. The book also spawned a 2010 movie of the same name, starring Julia Roberts. Looking for more inspiring reads? Check out these other life-changing books you should read this year.
The Outlander Series
If you’re both a fan of historical and science fiction and tend to grow attached to your characters, then pick a go-nowhere snow day and start this series. Written by American author Diana Gabaldon, the first entry in the collection, Outlander, tells the story of British nurse Claire Randall, as she is suddenly catapulted back in time to 1743 Scotland and is subjected to the horrors of war in the 18th century. The good news is, once you’re done with Outlander, there are seven more books in the saga, not counting the prequels.
The Snowy Day
Kids snowed in with you? It’s the perfect time to cuddle up and share a classic story, like this classic picture book from Ezra Jack Keats. First published in 1962, the book follows Peter, a young boy who awakens to find fresh snow blanketing the trees, roads, and buildings “as far as he could see.” Like any young child, he is filled with wonder at the sight and can’t wait to get outside to explore.
Skippyjon Jones: Snow What?
Kids familiar with Skippyjon Jones, the cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua, will get a kick of out this winter-themed story. In this installment by author Judy Schachner, Skippyjon enteres a magical winter wonderland where he’s challenged to wake up a frozen princess by kissing her. Youngsters will delight in the book’s rhyming wordplay and laugh along with the title character.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder
Have a budding scientist in your house? Then this book by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson is perfect to share with them on a wintry day. Children ages 7-10 can read along and peer at beautiful visuals that showcase how snow and snow crystals form. The book also includes instructions for catching snowflakes, so be prepared—after reading this book, your kids will undoubtedly want to head outside to conduct their own snowy experiments! For more snow-driven science fun, check out these amazing pictures of what blizzards look like from space!
The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Older, independent readers will be drawn into the first installment of this classic fantasy series, written by C.S. Lewis and published in 1950. In it, four siblings discover a secret passageway to Narnia, a world inhabited by dwarves, giants and beasts that has been frozen over by an evil witch. This spellbinding story tackles themes of betrayal, forgiveness and courage, and follows the children through a classic battle between good and evil.