‘Tis the season for curling up with a good book. Luckily, the library’s Winter Reading Challenge begins January 6! If you read and log ten books between January 6 and March 9, 2020, your name will be entered in a drawing for several gift cards and other prizes.

Looking for a book that matches the snow falling outdoors? Check out these picks recommended by our librarians:

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain.

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Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Vivian Forest has been out of the country one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality. Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day… or are they?

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Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end.

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart: he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter.

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Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Brandon adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbors coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers. But this year looks set to be different. Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

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We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet

December, 1940: As German bombs fall on Southampton, England, the city’s residents flee to the surrounding villages. Amid the chaos, newly married Ellen Parr finds a girl asleep, unclaimed at the back of an empty bus. Little Pamela, it seems, is alone. Ellen has always believed she does not want children, but when she takes Pamela into her home, the child cracks open the past Ellen thought she had escaped.

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Game of Thrones: Song of Ice & Fire by George R. R. Martin

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to.

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The Revenant by Michael Punke

Rocky Mountains, 1823: The trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is one of the most respected men in the company, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts Glass face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two men from the company are ordered to remain with him until his inevitable death. But they abandon Glass, stripping him of his prized rifle and hatchet. As Glass watches the men flee, he is driven to survive by one all-consuming desire: revenge.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades.

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Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. Regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Three families are keen to claim her. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong?

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The Shack by William Paul Young

Mack Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, was abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he find there will change his life forever.

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Please stop by the library to pick up your Winter Reading Challenge log. We welcome audiobooks, children’s books, and graphic novels to count toward your reading goal, as well!

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