Now that the holidays are over, the bitter winter weather seems a lot less magical and a lot more dreadful. Its time to prepare for those long nights stuck inside, which means you'll need to gather plenty of warm blankets, bottles of wine, and long books for when you're snowed in.
As a lifetime New Englander, I'm no stranger to brutal winter weather. I learned a long time ago that when it comes to surviving a snowstorm, you need a few key things: fuzzy socks and blankets, a stockpile of hot chocolate (OK, or alcohol), and a good book to keep you interested after the power goes out.
So how do you pick a book that isn't going to bore you before the end of a blizzard? With the help of this handy list of 500+ page books spanning science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, history, and more, you'll never be left stranded in the snow without a good read again.
Get ready, because it's time to batten down the hatches and bundle up with one of these 13 long books perfect for passing the time when you're snowed in. It's going to be a long winter, but that doesn't mean it has to be a boring one.
1'The Nix' by Nathan Hill
A complex tale about the complicated relationship between a college professor and writer, Samuel, and his troubled and absent mother, Faye, The Nix is a lengthy family saga well worth the read. After learning that his mother is responsible for a bizarre crime that has the entire country buzzing, Samuel sets out to find out the truth about who Faye really is, and in turn, starts to uncover who he is in the process. Filled with moments of humor, heartbreak, and plenty of pop culture references, The Nix promises to keep your attention all snow storm long.
Page count: 628
2'The Luminaries' by Elanor Catton
Featuring eerie ghosts, nail-biting thrills, and plenty of parodist humor, Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries is the exact kind of book you want to find yourself snowed in with. Expertly paced and plotted, the nearly 850-page historical fiction mystery novel takes readers back to the mid-nineteenth century, where an unlikely hero finds himself mixed up in the intrigue and danger of a local New Zealand town whose citizens are experiencing strange and explainable events. A true page-turner, The Luminaries will make you wish the snow would keep you inside reading forever.
Page count: 848
3'The Stand' by Stephen King
If you think the streets outside your window during a storm looks apocalyptic, try imaging the earth as described in Stephen King's The Stand. In this classic end-of-the-world story, King creates an empty world where 99% of humans have died, governments and institutions have fallen, and those who are left must chose to fight on the side of good, led by a 108-year-old woman, or give into the darkness and fall the evil and powerful Randall Flagg. With well over 1,000 pages of horror and darkness to keep you occupied, The Stand has enough material to cover several snow days.
Page count: 1348
4'The Neapolitan Novels' by Elena Ferrante
Though they were published as separate novels, Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels were imagined by the author as one complete work. You can honor her intentions by locking yourself inside some snowy afternoon with the entire collection, featuring My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Say Goodbye, and The Story of the Lost Child. A brilliant coming-of-age-story from one of the most prolific writers of our time, the Neapolitan Series will keep you hooked through every turn of the page, and make you wish the story (and the snow) would never end.
Page count: 1684
5'A Short History of Nearly Everything' by Bill Bryson
What better opportunity to learn about absolutely everything in the world than on a day stuck inside because of the snow? A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson's educational and entertaining attempt to understand everything from the Big Bang to the creation of the civilized man, is a fun and smart way to explore the world around you, even if you can't actually leave your house.
Page count: 544
6'The Lake House' by Kate Morton
A breathtaking mystery that spans 70 years, Kate Morton's The Lake House is the exact kind of story that will keep you turning pages until the last snowflakes have fallen outside. When police officer Sadie Sparrow is forced to take time off from work, she retreats to her grandfather's cottage in Cornwall, but it doesn't take long for her "vacation" to turn into another case. As she uncovers the mysteries of an abandoned house in the woods, Sadie heads down a dangerous path that leads her to a missing baby, a bestselling novelist, and a woman who will do anything to keep her past a secret.
Page count: 592
7'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver
Originally published nearly 20 years ago, Barbara Kingsolver's literary masterpiece, The Poisonwood Bible, is one of those long books you've always had on your TBR list, and this winter is the chance to cross it off. Set in the Belgian Congo in 1959 and told in the alternating perspectives, this ambitious novel chronicles the life of Baptist preacher Nathan Price, his wife, and his daughters as they struggle to keep their family safe, alive, and together. A truly masterful work of fiction, The Poisonwood Bible has more than enough story to keep you occupied all winter long.
Page count: 546
8'Three Sisters, Three Queens' by Philippa Gregory
From the master of historical fiction comes another long but gripping story about the Tudor court of England. Three Sisters, Three Queens explores the lives and relationships of Henry VIII's three sisters: Margaret Tudor, Mary Tudor, and Katherine of Aragon. A fascinating fictional account of three largely ignored historical figures, Philippa Gregory's latest has everything that makes you love her work: passion, betrayal, lies, heartbreak, and plenty of royal drama.
Page count: 556
9'Night Film' by Marisha Pessl
Another novel with a unique format, Marisha Pessl's Night Film uses clippings from newspapers, websites, and magazines to tell the mysterious story of down-on-his-luck journalist, Scott, and his two unlikely partners as they obsessively try to uncover the truth behind the death of a young and beautiful prodigy who just so happens to be the daughter of an iconic filmamker. Full of danger, darkness, and plenty of thrills, Nightfilm is the perfect, all-snow-day-long read — that is, if you don't get too scared, first.
Page count: 606
10'Babylon's Ashes' by James S. A. Corey
The sixth novel in the Expanse series, which has recently been adapted for TV on the SyFy network, Babylon's Ashes is a thrilling and nerdy way to spend your snow day inside. A brilliant space opera overflowing with aliens, spaceships, and a galaxy at war, this work of science fiction — and its five predecessors — just might help you make it through winter.
Page count: 536
11'1Q84' by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami's masterpiece 1Q84 was made for binge reading on a cold winter's day. When a young woman, Aomame, begins to really look at the world around her and discovers things aren't exactly what they seem, she realizes she has entered a parallel existence. All the while, Tengo, an aspiring writer tasked with ghost writing a for a strange author, finds his once quiet life is beginning to fall apart around him. As their two stories overlap and entangle over the next yer, neither Aomame or Tengo's life will ever be the same again.
Page count: 925
12'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel
Historical fiction and high page counts seem to go hand-in-hand, don't you think? Hilary Mantel makes each and every one worthwhile, though, in her captivating story about the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell during Henry VIII's rule in England. The first in a trilogy about the 1st Earl of Essex, Wolf Hall has plenty of political intrigue, murder, and drama to keep you turning all of its over 650 pages.
Page count: 653
13'The Grace of Kings' by Ken Liu
The fantasy genre is another one that lends itself to lengthy novels, but when it comes to Ken Liu's The Dandelion Dynasty series, each 600+ page book is worth it. In The Grace of Kings, Liu's first installment in the epic fantasy series, Kuni Garu and Mata Zyndu, total opposites, team up during the uprising against the emperor and soon become the very best of friends. Following the success of the campaign, however, the two men find themselves at war with each other for control of the future of their nation.
Page count: 623