With winter upon us, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book. If you’re looking for some reading inspiration, this blog is full of ideas. From chilling murder mysteries and inspiration for cold-weather activities to cozy stories that will warm you up inside, there’s something to suit all reading moods this winter.

Frosty fiction

Journey to Antarctica with a reimagining of the life of artist Nel Law in The Art of Breaking Ice by Rachael Mead. After sneaking her way onto her husband’s expedition ship in 1960, Nel faces rough seas, misogyny, rumours and more in her search for freedom. 

Go further back in time with The Winter Palace by Paul Morgan. In this story of love, perseverance and heartbreak, follow Anton and Elizabeth from 1930s Europe to present-day Australia as they are separated by war and fight to be reunited.

Two book covers side by side. On the left a cover with text reading 'The Art of Breaking Ice' and 'Rachael Mead' and an artistic blue image of an iceberg. On the right a book cover with a family tree, a pigeon and text reading 'Everyone in my Family has Killed Someone' and 'Benjamin Stevenson'
The Art of Breaking Ice by Rachael Mead and Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Winter is also a great time to dive into the world of chilling mysteries and thrillers. Start with Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson for the story of a family reunion turned whodunit set in the Snowy Mountains. Next, in Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy, visit the cold of the Scottish Highlands with twin sisters Inti and Addie and their fourteen wolves, who are blamed for the death of a local farmer.

We haven’t forgotten some reading recommendations for the kids. Get cozy with Winter's Blanket by Phil Cummings and The Snow Wombat by Susannah Chambers, or hear a traditional story from the Yidinji peoples of Cairns in Gurril: Storm Bird by Trevor Fourmile.

Book cover with blue text reading 'The Snow Wombat' and an illustration of a wombat walking through snow on a bright cloudless day
The Snow Wombat by Susannah Chambers

Wonderful winter activities

If you’re looking for a fun winter activity to do inside, look no further than NLA Publishing’s Vintage Knits and Vintage Crochet. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn a new skill or an expert keen to try the styles from yesteryear, these books are filled with patterns to keep you busy all winter long. 

Winter is also a great time to try out some new recipes in the kitchen and make use of seasonal produce. Get started with the help of beloved Australian chef Maggie Beer in Maggie Beer's Winter Harvest. Along with personal stories, this book contains 90 hearty meals perfect for sharing with friends and family. For dessert, try something from the classic Women’s Weekly Chocolate Cookbook.  From the iconic Australian Women's Weekly Home Library series, this nostalgic collection of chocolate recipes is full of sweet winter treats. 

Or, if you’re keen to get outside and prepare your garden for spring, take a look at Gardening through the year in Australia by Ian Spence. For each month of the year, this book provides detailed guides on what jobs need to be done in the garden, what plants are the ‘stars’ of the month and what can be done to get ahead, helping you keep your garden thriving for the whole year.

Two book covers side by side. The cover on the left has a white tree with blue leaves and fruit on a blue background and text reading 'Maggie Beer's Winter Harvest Recipes'. The right cover has a green background, grey gardening tools and vegetables and text reading 'Gardening through the year in Australia month-by-month planning, instructions and inspiration'
Maggie Beer's Winter Harvest by Maggie Beer and Gardening through the year in Australia by Ian Spence

True winter tales

Next, let’s look at some non-fiction reads that are perfect for the colder months.  

Get the adrenaline pumping with the high stakes story of Olympic champion Lydia Lassila. In this autobiography, The Will to Fly, Lassila discusses her journey in the dangerous sport of freestyle aerial skiing and her attempt to make history at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Slow things down a bit with Humpback Highway: Diving into the Mysterious World of Whales by Dr Vanessa Pirotta and learn all about these gentle giants, including their migrations around Australian coasts each winter.  

The beginning of winter also means Pride Month. This time of celebration is the perfect time to learn more about LGBTQIA+ history, icons and experiences with books such as Rainbow History Class by Hannah McElhinney and Growing Up Queer in Australia edited by Benjamin Law.

Two book covers side by side. On the right the cover has an image of a woman in a beanie and winter coat smiling and text reading 'The Will to Fly' and 'Lydia Lassila'. The cover on the right is purple, with cartoon illustrations of historical figures and orange text reading 'Rainbow History Class'
The Will to Fly by Lydia Lassila and Rainbow History Class by Hannah McElhinney

Escape to somewhere warm and sunny

If you want your next read to transport you back to the warmth of summer, these books definitely fit the bill. 

One book that has both a sunny setting and those warm cozy vibes is Weekends with the Sunshine Gardening Society by Sophie Green, which follows four women as they forge friendships and help each other navigate the ups and downs of life.  

Next, head to the heat of outback Australia in Arelhekenhe Angkentye: Women's Talk; an anthology of poems written by twenty-one Arrernte women in Central Australia. 

For some non-fiction, enjoy the European sun and join a family’s search for ‘the good life’ in Pip Williams’s poignant memoir One Italian Summer

Finally, the kids (and kids at heart) can have the perfect beach day complete with sandcastles, swimming, treasure, rock-pools and more in Allison Lester’s Magic Beach.

Two book covers side by side. The cover on the left is yellow and has tropical flowers and text reading 'Weekends with the Sunshine Gardening Society' and 'Sophie Green'. The Cover on the right has a green, brown and white dot painting design and text reading 'Arelhekenhe Angkentye: Women's Talk'
Weekends with the Sunshine Gardening Society by Sophie Green and Arelhekenhe Angkentye: Women's Talk

For more reading inspiration, check out our regularly updated book display in the Main Reading Room, or learn more about some of the books in the Library’s collection in our blog.