The 2nd Annual Winter Reading List: Snuggle in and Enjoy!

The snow and cold air of winter weather just seems to beg for indoor activities. The 2nd Annual Winter Reading List is a great place to start!

There is nothing more comforting when the weather is bad outside than to curl up with a good book. It can be in any genre, an actual book or an e-reader. All you need is something that will hold your interest.

Just so you know: This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay!

hot tea a notepad and a pen

The Supplies Needed for the 2nd Annual Winter Reading List

The best part about the 2nd Annual Winter Reading List is that it needs very few supplies:

  • A good book
  • A comfy chair
  • A roaring fire and/or a quilt to snuggle under
  • A cup of hot chocolate, tea, or apple cider
  • And maybe a few cookies…

The 2nd Annual Winter Reading List is broken down into genres. These are all books that either I, or some of my readers have read and recommend.

All you have to do is peruse each section, read the blurb and reviews, and choose the ones you are interested in reading.

To make it easy to keep track of the books you choose, I have prepared a 2nd Annual Winter Reading List download you can get for free! It comes with a Review Page, a Reading Tracker, a place to write down your favorite quotes from the book, and a list of what books you want to read. Just download it HERE and start making your list!

Choose Your 2nd Annual Winter Reading List Genre!

The Memory Quilt book cover for the 2nd annual winter reading list


The Memory Quilt – by: Lenora Worth

From award-winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Lenora Worth, the first in a new inspirational romance series—with a touch of suspense—featuring independent Amish sisters who run a historic inn located near Lake Erie, Pennsylvania.

It’s a satisfying life of simplicity and peace…but when Abigail King finds an injured Englisch man who’s lost his memory, unexpected love and a bit of mystery stirs a longing for more. Using scripture and a memory quilt to piece together the brief flashes of his life, will the mysterious stranger choose to stay once his memory returns? 

Running a historic Inn on beautiful Shadow Lake is a satisfying life for the Amish King sisters. Until love stirs a longing for more…

I have a confession to make: I am a friend of Lenora. Years ago, I participated in a workshop she gave, and it was Lenora and this workshop that started me on my journey to writing. Lenora is an awesome woman and writer, and I have read most of the books she has written. The best part is, Lenora never disappoints! If you love Amish fiction, you just cannot pass up The Memory Quilt – or any of the other great books she has written!

The Beekeepers Apprentice – by: Laurie E. King. This book comes recommended by G. Wild, and after reviewing it, I am adding it to my own 2nd Annual Winter Reading list! Amazon Blurb: “In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, twentieth-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past.”

One Second After – by: William R. Forstchen. “This book is about a family in a small town in North Carolina that experiences an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). It’s set in our time and really opens your eyes to how dependent we all are on technology and even simple things as just being able to run to the grocery store for food. It shows our weakness as individuals as well as a country at the same time showing how by coming together, we can get through anything. With the things going on in this world right now I recommend this book to everyone.” – S. Brumfield

The Mother -in- Law – by: Sally Hepworth. “It is suspenseful book full of twist and turns. The book is about a mother-in-law who doesn’t feel her daughter in law is the right fit for her perfect son. Of course, murder and money are involved.” – S. Brumfield

a stack of books by suspense authors

The Dirk Pitt Series – by: Clive Cussler. This series was recommended by Carol L., and I have to fully agree with her. A wonderful combination of fiction and history, Clive Cussler keeps you on your toes with his characters, Dirk Pitt, Al Giordino, and the rest of the NUMA crew. Action packed, a bit of romance, and adventures in faraway places, you just cannot go wrong with this series!

The Second Life of Mirielle West – by: Amanda Skenandore. Terri P. enjoyed reading this one. Amazon Blurb: “The glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she’s forcibly quarantined at the Carville Lepers Home in this page-turning story of courage, resilience, and reinvention set in 1920s Louisiana and Los Angeles. Based on little-known history, this timely book will strike a chord with readers of Fiona Davis, Tracey Lange, and Marie Benedict. Based on the true story of America’s only leper colony, The Second Life of Mirielle West brings vividly to life the Louisiana institution known as Carville, where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, branded as lepers, and forcibly quarantined throughout the entire 20th century.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God – by: Zora Neale Hurston. Mary G. states that this is one of the best books she has ever read. Amazon Blurb: “One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.”

sele3ctions of cozy mystery books for the 2nd annual winter reading list

Cozy Mystery Series

a stack of books on the history of crafts


This past year my curiosity has been leaning more and more towards different forms of crafting. In the process of searching for a book on needle felting, and I came across a book that piqued that curiosity more than normal. I read the blurb, and added it to my Amazon wish list.

Later that week, I was telling my friend Kathleen about it, and she ended up purchasing it for me as a birthday gift. From the first sentence, I got lost in the book.

I now find myself hooked on the history of crafting and have added a few others to my reading list. If you love both history and crafting, the top 3 titles are definitely books you are going to want to add to your 2nd Annual Winter Reading List!

The Golden Thread– How Fabric Changed History – by: Kassia St. Clair. As a crafting enthusiast and one who enjoys learning about the history of things, this book caught my attention as it blended both. Taking you through 30,000-year-old caves, sailing on Viking ships, a stroll down the Silk Road and all the way to how girdles helped inspire space suits, St. Clair keeps you captivated with the history, social and economic dynamics, and vast history of crafting from spinning, weaving, sewing, and so much more.

Threads of Life – by: Clare Hunter. As I am still engrossed in the middle of this one, I will let Amazon tell you about this book. What I can tell you is that it is a fascinating way about how the simple tools of a needle and thread have the ability to sew more than just fabric together – it also sews people, communities, and countries together with beauty and a richness not found in everyday life.

“Threads of Life is a chronicle of identity, protest, memory, power, and politics told through the stories of needlework. Clare Hunter, master of the craft, threads her own narrative as she takes us over centuries and across continents—from medieval France to contemporary Mexico and the United States, and from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland—to celebrate the age-old, universal, and underexplored beauty and power of sewing. Threads of Life is an evocative and moving book about the need we have to tell our story.”

Gumbo Tales – by: Sara Roahen. “From Wisconsin, food writer Roahen moves to New Orleans with her husband, who is attending medical school at Tulane. Suffice it to say she fell in love with the city.  Each chapter of the book discusses a different food or drink unique to New Orleans from an historical, ethnic, religious, humorous and extremely personal perspective. I couldn’t put it down and have recommended it to many people, including New Orleans natives.” – B. Fant

The Herbal Kitchen – by: Kami McBride. “It has about 50 herbs we should have in our kitchens and their medicinal benefits plus recipes for making herbal waters, teas, smoothies, honey, vinegars, cordials, oils, ghee, and pesto. Excellent information!” – Sharla W.

Books by The Farm Wife

Jesus In Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion – by: Anne Graham Lotz. Amazon blurb: “In Jesus in Me, Anne Graham Lotz draws on her rich biblical knowledge as well as her personal journey—including her recent cancer diagnosis—to help us understand that the Holy Spirit is not a magic genie, a flame of fire, or a vague feeling. He is a Person who prays for us, guides us in our relationships and decisions, comforts us in pain, and stays by our side at all times. In this seminal teaching, she explores seven key aspects of the Holy Spirit that will revolutionize how you understand and relate to this vital third Person in the Trinity.” – Recommended by T. Byrd

An Everlasting Meal by: Tamar Adler – “Adler approaches this book inspired by M. F. K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf (which you will probably want to read next).  For people like me, who have no real cooking imagination, Adler’s ability to use what she has on hand to create a meal, then keep what is left and create another, is awe-inspiring. It seems effortless on her part. Hope I can get there some day!” – B. Fant

The Good, Good Pig by: Sy Montgomery – Recommended by R. Nichols. Amazon Blurb: “A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings.

Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish—and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. Unexpectedly, Christopher provided this peripatetic traveler with something she had sought all her life: an anchor (eventually weighing 750 pounds) to family and home.”

Just Kids – by: Patti Smith. Amazon Blurb: “Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-Second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max’s Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court.

Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists’ ascent, a prelude to fame.” Recommended by Crow Evans Johnson

The Storyteller – by: David Grohl. This book is in the reading stack of Kathleen S. Amazon Blurb: “From hitting the road with Scream at 18 years old, to my time in Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, jamming with Iggy Pop or playing at the Academy Awards or dancing with AC/DC and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, drumming for Tom Petty or meeting Sir Paul McCartney at Royal Albert Hall, bedtime stories with Joan Jett or a chance meeting with Little Richard, to flying halfway around the world for one epic night with my daughters…the list goes on. I look forward to focusing the lens through which I see these memories a little sharper for you with much excitement.”

a wall mural of a vintage microphone and a saxaphone

Sinatra and Me: In the Wee Small Hours by: Tony Oppedisano and Mary Jane Ross – As the leader of a 40s style Big Band, Johnny P. loves the history of that musical era. He also enjoys reading about the singers and musicians who brought music to life.  Amazon Blurb: “More than a hundred books have been written about legendary crooner and actor Frank Sinatra. Every detail of his life seems to captivate: his career, his romantic relationships, his personality, his businesses, his style. But a hard-to-pin-down quality has always clung to him—a certain elusiveness that emerges again and again in retrospective depictions. Until now.” – Recommended by Johnny P.

Wesley the Owl – by: Stacey O’Brien. This book was recommended by R. Nichols, and she thought it was a wonderful read. Amazon Blurb: “On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O’Brien studied Wesley’s strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist’s eye—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl’s lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com­municator with whom she developed a language all their own.”

Everyday Vitality – by: Samantha Boardman. “A great book to help us learn how to deal with our everyday stress and intentionally focus on our wellbeing. I loved that this was research-backed and included examples. It was easy to understand and there were many ideas I could implement in my life.

I listened to the audio book when I was driving in the car. The book is broken down into lots of examples and chapters, so this is a good one that you can start and stop if needed.” – Michelle B.

a woman reading a book by a lake

The Classics

While reading is a passion of mine, I love a wide variety of books. But each year, I try hard to add at least one classic to my stack – whether it be the 2nd Annual Reading List, the third, fourth of fiftieth.

Classics fit into this category because they are truly great books, well written, and easily hold your attention. Many of the classics have been recreated into movies, but there is just something missing between the big screen and the printed page!

hot chocolate and a fireplace

The 2nd Annual Winter Reading List

Now that you have a great selection of reading materials to choose from, all that’s left is to choose a comfortable place to settle in. From there, be sure you have a thermos of hot chocolate, a plate of homemade cookies, and if desired, a little soft music playing in the background.

And don’t forget. Books are a great gift for all the bookaholics on your Christmas list. You can even start a tradition by making at least one of the gifts you give a Book Basket. Just add a great book, packages of hot chocolate, and a bag of homemade cookies. Most everyone would love a gift like that!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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