Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Cozy/Wintry Reads’, and to be honest there’s nothing I love more than curling up with some historical fiction when it’s cold and dark outside. The majority of this list is wintery historical fiction, with the odd dash of fantasy and contemporary thrown in for good measure.
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier: I read this book over the summer a couple of years ago because I associate smugglers, Cornwall and towns by the sea with that time of year, but this book is actually set over Christmas so it’s the ideal book to read in December if you’re in the mood to try some du Maurier!
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney: I love reading winter historical fiction in barren landscapes at this time of year (there are a few of them on this list) and this novel set in 19th century Canada is a great example. It’s one of those books that took me a while to get through, but I’m still thinking about it two years later.
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison: My favourite book, why would I miss a chance to recommend it? Maia is known by some as the Winter Emperor because of the time of year he ascends to the throne, and he even presides over a Winternight Ball so what better time to pick this wonderful book up?
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: This was Kent’s debut and I’m always yelling about how much of a brilliant winter read it is. Set in 19th century Iceland, this novel is a fictionalised account of the final days of Agnes Magnúsdóttir – the last woman to be executed in Iceland. I went to Iceland last December, the landscape in winter is stunning, and Kent captures the country’s isolation beautifully.
Corrag by Susan Fletcher: A historical fiction novel about witches. Would my blog really be my blog without one of these? Corrag is another beautifully written novel about a woman, Corrag, who is accused of using witchcraft to bring about the Glencoe Massacre. This novel doesn’t get the love it deserves.
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop by Jenny Colgan: A cute, festive read for this time of year. I really enjoy Colgan’s Rosie Hopkins books, and this one was so lovely and also broke my heart a little bit.
Riddle of the Runes by Janina Ramirez: Janina Ramirez is a British historian – I actually had the pleasure of meeting her at Gloucester History Festival this year and she was so lovely – and if you’re into your Middle Grade fiction, this one is an ideal read for this time of year, set in the cold world of the Viking era.
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry: Another novel set in the 19th century, YA this time, about a girl who has been missing and returns to her family after having her tongue cut out. I loved this one, and it’s another one that I’d love to see more people talking about!
Affinity by Sarah Waters: This one’s not exactly wintery, but if you’re the kind of reader who likes reading quite dark, spooky, bleak books during the winter, Sarah Waters does atmosphere perfectly. This LGBT+ novel is set in a 19th century women’s prison, and while I don’t think it’s the best of Waters’ work I still highly recommend it.
The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston: Fun fact: I DNF’d this one when I tried to read it, which is a real shame because it’s set in Wales, a country I’ve lived in and some of my family still live in, and it’s historical fiction featuring witches. I still recommend it, though! I didn’t DNF it because it was awful, it just wasn’t anything new, but if you’re someone who doesn’t read historical fiction often or perhaps doesn’t read about witches often, this could be one you would enjoy.