Top Ten Tuesday: Wintry Reads

Top Ten TuesdayHello readers! Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday. Each week, list-lovers are invited to create a top-ten on a book-related theme.

This meme was launched by The Broke and the Bookish and has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January 2018. To get involved, simply visit her website by clicking here

This week our topic is wintry reads. Some of my best childhood memories involve snuggling up with books during cold weather so I’ve put my own twist on today’s list and named ten novels I enjoyed when (much!) younger. 

Outstanding or Awful?

Some of you will have heard the phrase “never meet your heroes”. Well, it’s possible you shouldn’t revisit childhood favourites as an adult, either.

I’m choosing books based on twenty-year-old memories. Do they stand the test of time? If you’ve picked up any of them recently, let me know whether they’re classics or should be consigned to the dustbin of history

landscape photography of snow pathway between trees during winter
Photo by Simon Matzinger on

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis

Who wouldn’t want to walk through a wardrobe and find themselves in a magical, snow-covered land? When I first read this book, aged seven, I didn’t pick up on the religious symbolism; this was a story about Father Christmas and talking animals. As an adult, I think it’s about stranger-danger. Lucy and Edmund, didn’t your mother warn you not to take food from adults you’ve never met?

The Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

This isn’t, technically, a children’s book but it’s one I read at a young age. Part of Terry Pratchett’s popular Discworld series, it deals with serious issues, such the human capacity for belief and (more importantly) why Father-Christmas-type characters give cheaper presents to children from poorer families. Worth a read.

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper

If the onset of adolescence wasn’t bad enough, poor Will Stanton has a very unusual eleventh birthday. Just before Christmas, he learns that he’s the last of the Old Ones and destined to wield magical powers in the war against the Dark. Expect menacing enemies and beautiful snowy scenes in the British countryside.

Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken

In this alternate history of England, James III sits on the throne and wolf packs attack rural areas. A dastardly, scheming governess must be outwitted by cousins Bonnie and Sylvia with help from local cave-dwelling orphan, Simon. This version of the UK is in dire need of child protection services.

The Box of Delights, John Masefield

“The wolves are running” must be one of my all-time favourite lines in a children’s book. Magical, wintery and extremely old fashioned, this novel follows Kay and his friends as they safeguard the magical box given to him by an elderly Punch and Judy man. Is the story real or Kay’s fantasy? And, if it’s the former, why aren’t the adults more worried about these children’s escapades?

The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Dodie Smith

When I was in my early teens, I picked up Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle and was surprised to see it was by the same author as The Hundred and One Dalmatians. After evil Cruella de Vil kidnaps (or dognaps?) their puppies, Dalmatians Pongo and Missis brave the cold to rescue their missing family members.

The Steps Up the Chimney, William Corlett

While staying with their uncle and his pregnant girlfriend for Christmas, three siblings are dropped into magical adventures. The Steps Up the Chimney introduces fascinating animals, secret rooms and a mysterious magician.

Northern Lights, Philip Pullman 

Sorry, Pullman hasn’t written a new novel; Northern Lights is just another name for The Golden Compass. Frozen landscapes and talking armoured bears make this a must-read winter story. Be prepared for vibrant characters and a lot of religious subtext.

The Giant Under The Snow, John Gordon

I picked up this book when very young and have a sneaking suspicion that it may not be as good as I remember. If anyone has enjoyed it recently, please get in touch and tell me I’m wrong. Written back in the 1960s, it follows three children who discover a Celtic buckle and become embroiled in a mythological adventure.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

The tenth book I’ve named isn’t very original, it turns up on almost every winter book list. A Christmas Carol is a feel-good classic, mixing redemption with a wonderful, page-turning, winter ghost story.


16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Wintry Reads

  1. This whole list sounds great to me.

    Did you know that a prequel to A Christmas Carol was recently released? It’s called Miss Marley, and it’s about the life of Scrooge’s sister. I’m still waiting on my copy from the library.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chistmas Carol is in a lot of lists.
    I think that if these are still readable depends a lot on your current tastes: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is, of course, a children’s book. I still like the Hogfather.
    I didn’t know that 101 Dalmatians is a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy The Hogfather, too. That and A Christmas Carol are the only two I’ve re-read recently.

      I think the book 101 Dalmatians must be fairly old now (perhaps 1950s?). There’s also a sequel called The Starlight Barking.


  3. Lovely picks! I’m giggling over what you said about Narnia–because I had a very similar thought process now as an adult. “As an adult, I think it’s about stranger-danger. Lucy and Edmund, didn’t your mother warn you not to take food from adults you’ve never met?” But seriously though, this is a relatable comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks! I think this is why I missed out on magical adventures when I was a child. I had very responsible parents who’d never have let me take Turkish Delight from strangers!


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