The Perfect Snowstorm Book for Every Reader

  1. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage , by Alfred Lansing
    You think a little snow in Washington is bad? In 1914, the Antarctic exploration team led by Sir Ernest Shackleton was left stranded after its ship was crushed by ice. The account of how the men struggled to survive on drifting ice packs and how Shackleton, against impossible odds, managed to save them all is one of the most exciting books ever written. It begins, “The order to abandon ship was given at 5 P.M.,” and the pace never lets up. — Michael Dirda
  2. The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
    At some points during this classic account of Robert Falcon Scott’s fatal journey to the South Pole, the temperature would warm up to minus 70 degrees. This will remind you how good you have it. — Tim Smith
  3. Arabian Sands, by Wilfred Thesiger
    The centerpiece of this book are two grueling journeys on camels across the vast Empty Quarter of the South Arabian desert. Thesiger was the first European to accomplish this, but his book is more deeply a paean to the Bedouin people and a vanishing way of life. Beautifully written (and photographed), it is near the top of every list of the greatest true-life adventure books of all time. — M.D.
  4. Roughing It, by Mark Twain
    Snow presents opportunities for adventure — and reasons to be annoyed — so this classic, about Twain’s often hilarious travels and misadventures, is entertaining and a relief. — Michael Rosenwald
  5. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
    Perhaps the most obvious choice given its title, this complex and moving novel explores the political and cultural tensions of modern Turkey. Reminiscent of the great storytelling classics — “The Thousand and One Nights,” Boccaccio’s “Decameron” or Jan Potocki’s “Manuscript Found in Saragossa” — the book is both deeply engaging and transporting. — Ruth Franklin
  6. The Winter Girl, by Matt Marinovich
    It’s early December in the Hamptons when this thriller — about a marriage undone by secrets — opens. Marinovich may have given birth to Hamptons noir with this dark, twisty story of deceit and its consequences. — Carol Memmott
  7. Time and Again, by Jack Finney
    Fantasize about being in a grand New York apartment overlooking Central Park during a blizzard? Finney’s classic time-travel novel will take you there, and beyond. — Maureen Corrigan
  8. The Past, by Tessa Hadley
    Hadley’s gorgeous new novel is about adult siblings taking one last vacation in their grandparents’ old house. Her wit and grace will help you appreciate being holed up indoors all weekend with your own family. — @RonCharles
  9. The Game and the Governess, by Kate Noble
    A Regency-era “Trading Places,” this romance about switched identities is a clever, entertaining tale of truth and lies, love and friendship. Even better, if you tear through this book during the first few hours of the snowstorm, you can head immediately for the companion novel, “The Lie and the Lady.” — Sarah MacLean
  10. In the Town All Year ’Round, by Rotraut Susanne Berner
    When the kids come in from the snow, set them in front of this beautifully illustrated book: a wordless “Where’s Waldo”-style ad­ven­ture that follows a cast of characters as they experience life in a small village over the course of four seasons. The detailed drawings will enthrall them for hours. — Nora Krug
  11. The Only Child by Guojing
    On a snowy day in China, a little girl, alone at home, steps out into the cold and onto a bus, where she falls asleep and wakes in the care of a deer. Fantasy meets realism in this beautiful book that seems to come from a dream country reminiscent of Raymond Briggs’s beloved “The Snowman.” — Kathie Meizner
  12. The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book, by Tom Robinson
    It’s not as difficult — or messy — as it sounds: You can make a mini volcano and other wow experiments using simple household ingredients. Even better, the section on cleaning pennies should keep the kids very busy. — N.K.
  13. Recipes 1-2-3, by Rozanne Gold
    A simple cookbook that relies on food you probably have in the house, even if you didn’t make it to the store before the storm. — Bonnie Benwick
  14. Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville
    You haven’t read it. What better time than when you’re snowbound in your home?
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