NEPA Forecast clear sky 60°F


Things to Do , Arts & Culture , Libraries

Beyond the Bookshelves — 10 Great Reads: Winter Edition

As part of our effort to highlight the many invaluable community resources NEPA has to offer, we’ve partnered with staff from our local public libraries to bring you an insider’s view to exactly what goes on between the stacks, behind the reference desk and so much more. Follow along and discover the magic behind NEPA’s historic public libraries.

Add This to Your List: A Cozy Selection from the Osterhout Library Staff


Classic to Contemporary – Curl up with these great stories and keep warm all winter.

Tis the season for comfy blankets, baggy sweat pants, and cuddling up on the couch. Sure, when it’s cold outside, there’s no better time to binge watch your favorite show. We librarians, however, also agree that there’s nothing quite like a good book, a hot cup of coffee or tea and the relaxing quiet of winter.

Put reading on top of your list in 2020. The dedicated staff at The Osterhout Free Public Library has come up with a handful of recommendations to help get you through the winter. So, fill up your favorite mug (or wine glass), and sink into that comfy spot on the couch. And make sure you have one of these perfect cold weather reads by your side.

Look for These Books at Your Local Library:

  • Emma By Jane Austin

    Recommended by Maranda Borisuk, Circulation Department

    This is a classic romantic novel that helped give birth to the romantic comedies as we know them today. This book is largely set in winter around Christmas time, making it the perfect book to cuddle up with under a blanket! I always love escaping to the English countryside with Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley. This is a great choice for any classic literature buff.

  • The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien

    Recommended by Liz Caputo, Adult Services Coordinator

    This is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s full of adventure and amazing characters (elves, dwarves, and even some giant spiders). Plus you can really lose yourself in Middle Earth. Sure, you’ve probably seen the movies, but you should take the time to make yourself some tea, snuggle on the couch and get to know the real Bilbo Baggins.


  • As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann

    Recommended by Ainslee Golomb, Interlibrary Loan

    It’s very rare that I get so emotionally attached to a book that I experience what the cool book nerds call a “book hangover.” As Meat Loves Salt is absolutely perfect for when you want to curl up with a blanket and beverage. It has a somewhat unique character perspective – it is, as the summary states, “a moving portrait of a man on the brink of madness.” I often had to force myself to put the book down so that I could sleep.

  • The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

    Recommended by Stephanie Harchar, Circulation Department

    I enjoyed this book because it is yet another retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. To me, the story of both tales is a reminder that the gift of time should always be used in positive ways. As a friend of mine has said, “It is nice to be important but it is important also to be nice.” The story overall is charming and a cozy, warm read for a cold, winter day.

  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

    Recommended by Laura Harding, Young Adult

    I grew up with a bedroom decorated with nothing but flying horses and unicorns. I could read this book or watch the animated movie at any time and be transported back to my childhood. The story follows the Last Unicorn, Schmendrick the Magician, and Molly Grue on a journey to find the missing unicorns of the world.  It’s so easy to get lost in this high fantasy classic.

  • Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

    Recommended by Connie Tanski, Administration

    Picture it: a cold winter day, a warm, fuzzy blanket, hot chocolate, and… Stephanie Plum. The antics of Stephanie, Lula, and Gramma will keep you laughing long after you’ve finished the book. Add to that, hot Joe Morelli and sizzling Ranger, and you have a perfect winter read.

  • Sphere by Michael Crichton

    Recommended by Christopher Thoma, Circulation Department

    Sphere is one of those novels that totally throws a curveball at you. It seems like your standard cut and paste UFO, Sci-fi novel, but it quickly turns into something far more spectacular. The first time you read it, your mind will try so hard to fill the gaps it leaves. Capturing your own imagination while reading this can be an equally enjoyable experience.

  • Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

    Recommended by Melissa Janoski, Youth Services

    Little Women and Me is targeted at young people, but is a cozy read for anyone who loves Louisa May Alcott’s classic. Time travel transforms our heroine into a fifth March sister. She shares Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy’s simple joys and tries to change the book’s ending. There is humor in the character’s discovery that beloved Jo March is sometimes more lovable on the page than in person.

  • Free, Melania by Kate Bennett

    Recommended by Jenelle Culver, Plains Branch Manager

    This unauthorized biography sheds a new light on one of America’s least traditional first ladies. This book gave me a better understanding of someone I knew so little of, despite her influential position in our country. I encourage anyone who is curious about the enigmatic life of Melania Trump to check out this book.

  • So You Want To Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

    Recommended by Kathleen Mosher, Circulation Department

    Our book starts out with a 13 year old girl hiding from her bullies in the local library. While she’s a bit old for the children’s wing, she finds herself drawn in by a book with an intriguing title — So you want to be a wizard? She takes it home and opens up a whole new world she had only ever dreamed of.  The author is an amazing and believable world-builder. This book and the rest in the series make for great winter reading.

Related Articles & Stories

View All Libraries

Find Your Next NEPA Adventure

View All Things to Do