Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Cozy/Wintry Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, a weekly meme that now resides at That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme first came about because of a love of lists. Who doesn’t love lists? The original creators also wanted their lists to be shared with fellow book lovers and to ask that we in turn share ours with them and connect with other book bloggers. To learn more about participating, stop by their page dedicated to it and dive in!

This week’s topic:Top Ten Cozy/Wintry Reads

Cozy? Maybe not, but when the weather outside is frightful, these ten horror and thriller books with cold, wintry settings will make you glad you’re warm and safe inside reading.

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The most advanced scientific enterprise ever mounted, Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition in search of the fabled North-West Passage had every expectation of triumph.

But for almost two years his ships HMS Terror and Erebus have been trapped in the Arctic ice. Supplies of fuel and food are running low. Scurvy, starvation and even madness beging to take their toll. And yet the real threat isn’t from the constantly shifting, alien landscape, the flesh-numbing temperatures or being crushed by the unyielding, frozen ocean. No, the real threat is far more terrifying.

There is something out there in the frigid darkness. It stalks the ships and snatches men. It is a nameless thing. At once nowhere and everywhere, this terror has become the expedition’s nemesis…

Ararat by Christopher Golden

Meryam and Adam take risks for a living. But neither is prepared for what lies in the legendary heights of Mount Ararat, Turkey.

First to reach a massive cave revealed by an avalanche, they discover the hole in the mountain’s heart is really an ancient ship, buried in time. A relic that some fervently believe is Noah’s Ark.

Deep in its recesses stands a coffin inscribed with mysterious symbols that no one in their team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers can identify. Inside is a twisted, horned cadaver. Outside a storm threatens to break.

As terror begins to infiltrate their every thought, is it the raging blizzard that chases them down the mountain – or something far worse?

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful, but Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. 

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! 

Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. 

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. 

The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.

The White Road by Sarah Lotz

Adrenaline junkie Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he’s met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he’s had a lucky escape.

But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral.

Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have imagined. Now he’s faced with an impossible task: he’s got to defy death once again, and film the entire thing. The whole world will be watching. There’s only on place on earth for him to pit himself against the elements: Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

But Everest is also one of the deadliest spots on the planet. Two hundred and eighty people have died trying to reach its peak.

And Simon’s luck is about to run out.

Stranded by Bracken Macleod

In the spirit of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Jacob’s Ladder comes a terrifying, icebound thriller where nothing is quite what it seems.

Badly battered by an apocalyptic storm, the crew of the Arctic Promise find themselves in increasingly dire circumstances as they sail blindly into unfamiliar waters and an ominously thickening fog. Without functioning navigation or communication equipment, they are lost and completely alone. One by one, the men fall prey to a mysterious illness. Deckhand Noah Cabot is the only person unaffected by the strange force plaguing the ship and her crew, which does little to ease their growing distrust of him. 

Dismissing Noah’s warnings of worsening conditions, the captain of the ship presses on until the sea freezes into ice and they can go no farther. When the men are ordered overboard in an attempt to break the ship free by hand, the fog clears, revealing a faint shape in the distance that may or may not be their destination. Noah leads the last of the able-bodied crew on a journey across the ice and into an uncertain future where they must fight for their lives against the elements, the ghosts of the past and, ultimately, themselves.

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn’t her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires–everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements–and each other. 

Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents. 

But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won’t be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she’s going to survive, she’ll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he’s turned her into.

Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell

A distant, remote scientific expedition taking place at the North Pole is invaded by a space alien who has reawakened after lying dormant for centuries after a crash landing. A cunning, intelligent alien who can shape-shift, thereby assuming the personality and form of anything and anyone it destroys. Soon, it is among the men of the expedition, killing each in turn and replacing them by assuming their shape, lulling the scientists one by one into inattention (and trust) and eventually, their destruction. The shape-shifting, transformed alien can pass every effort at detection, and the expedition seems doomed until the scientists discover the secret vulnerability of the alien and are able to destroy it.

The story, hailed as “one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written” by the SF Writers of America, is best known to fans as THE THING, as it was the basis of Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World in 1951, and John Carpenter’s The Thing in 1982. 

Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

Once upon a time, in the haunted city of Derry (site of the classics It and Insomnia), four boys stood together and did a brave thing. Certainly a good thing, perhaps even a great thing. Something that changed them in ways they could never begin to understand.

Twenty-five years later, the boys are now men with separate lives and separate troubles. But the ties endure. Each hunting season the foursome reunite in the woods of Maine. This year, a stranger stumbles into their camp, disoriented, mumbling something about lights in the sky. His incoherent ravings prove to be disturbingly prescient.

Before long, these men will be plunged into a horrifying struggle with a creature from another world. Their only chance of survival is locked in their shared past — and in the Dreamcatcher.

Stephen King’s first full-length novel since Bag of Bones is, more than anything, a story of how men remember, and how they find their courage. Not since The Stand has King crafted a story of such astonishing range — and never before has he contended so frankly with the heart of darkness.

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows this crime will catch up to her. Casey’s best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana’s husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it’s time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a domestic violence support town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you’re accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. As a murderer, Casey isn’t a good candidate, but she has something they want; she’s a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn’t the only secret Rockton is hiding – in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

An edgy, gripping crime novel from a bestselling urban fantasy writer, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere. 

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history. 

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”

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29 Comments on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Cozy/Wintry Reads

  1. I liked Ararat and Who Goes There-The Thing is one of my favourite ever films! I do have a couple of the others on wishlist or on my TBR-An Unwanted Guest, The Terror, The Hunger. I might be adding the The White Road and Stranded as well!

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  2. Ooh awesome list. I love terror in the snow haha! Stranded sounds like something I need to read this winter, and The Terror too (I’ve been watching the show). I wholeheartedly agree with An Unwanted Guest and City of the Lost- those were both great.

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  3. Although I hated it, that’s the best cover to The Hunger I’ve ever seen. I’ve read Dreamcatcher and really need to pick up City of Lost since I love the author. And you know I just hauled An Unwanted Guest and when I start my 2 week vacation on the 21st, I plan on it being the first vacation book. I think winter and horror go great together. Perfect list.

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  4. Awesome list, and the covers all have snow on them, so bonus points:-) There are a couple here I really need to get to, Ararat, The Wolf Road and The White Road are all onn my list for someday!

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  5. Nice list! I wasn’t too thrilled by Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door and I don’t know if I’d ever give her a second chance with the book you’ve got listed here, but you definitely gave me a desire to read something by King though! 😛

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  6. Oh yess, Dreamcatcher had a snowy setting. How did i forget that? 😀
    Ararat looks pretty intriguing – that was the one that caught my eye the most, but the rest sound good too!

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