Top 5 Modern Cozy Books for Winter

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Some Cozy Book Context

It’s winter in the northern hemisphere. As I write this, a “once-in-a-generation” winter storm is crossing the midwest into the northeast, grounding flights and cutting power.

With or without a big storm, winter is the time to curl up on the couch at home. There’s a reason the Danish have a word for this time: hygge. And what activity is better while you’re snuggled up on the couch than to read a book?

New books are written every day, so how do you choose which ones to spend your precious time on? Many different kinds of books interest me, and I have a 10+ year backlog of recommendations to work through. But surprisingly, I don’t usually have trouble choosing one to tackle. But I know that many people struggle to find good books, so I thought I’d share some of my old favorites.

These are books I couldn’t put down. They’re perfect to curl up under a blanket and read for hours. The genres span thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, and more. They were all published within the last 10 years, so I would consider them modern. (Looking for older books? Check out this post’s twin of classic cozy books.) I usually prefer books that have already proven they can stand the test of time, so trust me that these show promise for becoming timeless themselves.

The books on this list are books I want to read again. Winter is the season of rereading— it’s a time of nostalgia and comfort, and my reading always reflects that. The dead of winter is when I choose a few favorites to enjoy again. These are all fiction— I love nonfiction, but it’s hard to get lost in reality.

The Modern Cozy Books

I didn’t want to try to rank them by quality because they’re all great. So here are my top 5 modern cozy books in order of publication:

The Martian by Andy Weir (2014)

If you haven’t read this yet, do it. It was technically first published in 2011 by the author, but we’re going to go with the date when it went mainstream and was picked up by Crown Publishing Group.

Buy it on Bookshop

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (2014)

This is one of the most inclusive books I’ve ever read (mainly LGBTQ+). It’s just an awesome, bad-ass, friendly, finding-the-best-in-people kind of story that just so happens to take place in futuristic space.

Buy it on Bookshop

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (2019)

A modern epic fantasy. It benefits greatly from its author being a woman, IMO. She writes well-developed, powerful women as her characters, and the plot was interesting too. Plus I love the cover— this is the kind of book I want to be seen reading in public.

Buy it on Bookshop

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (2020)

This book is controversial, know that going in. But what I see is a sweet tale of a man stuck in bureaucracy finding a home of misfits and finding love and community there. It’s seriously such a feel-good book, and another one of the most inclusive books I’ve ever read (LGBTQ+ and neurodivergence).

Buy it on Bookshop

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (2020)

I usually lean towards happy stories, but if you want one with a little more melancholy, this may be your jam. It’s a beautiful reflection on regret and lives not lived. Trigger warnings for depression.

Buy it on Bookshop


Well there you have it: my list of the best modern books to snuggle up to under a blanket. These are best appreciated by a cold window with some tea or hot cocoa if you can swing it. I hope you have a safe and warm winter. Let me know if you got any good reading inspirations from this list, or if you already love any of these as well!

Books too young for you, or just looking for more? This post has a twin! Check out my top 5 classic cozy books here.

See the whole list of 10 books on Bookshop.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click the link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission. There is no extra cost to you and it allows me to spend more time writing content like this.

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