Recommendations by Mark S

Happy Snofest 2022 Peterborough!

Although there are tons of things do to outside in our winter wonderland, sometimes the best way to spend a wintery day is curled up with a good book.

When we’re not at work here at the Library, staff do a lot of reading over the winter (…and over the spring, summer and fall too, let’s be honest). I asked around for everyone’s stand-out winter reads this year. Here’s a list of books we loved while the snow was falling outside. I hope you find something to pique your interest.  

The Tournament book jacket coverThe Tournament by Matthew Reilly

A young Queen Elizabeth I is thrust into a gripping game of deception and lust at the height of the Ottoman Empire in this edge-of-your-seat historical thriller. Matthew Reilly is known for his action-packed page-turners with great plots and character development. This is a stand-alone title, but his Scarecrow and Jack West Jr series are also excellent.

Winter book jacket coverWinter by Ali Smith

This is the second novel in Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet series. Smith's shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.



The Golden Compass book jacket coverThe Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal -- including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world. Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors?

Forty Words for Sorrow book jacket coverForty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt

In the quiet Canadian town of Algonquin Bay, a frozen body has been found in an abandoned mine shaft. She is quickly identified as Katie Pine, a teenager who had disappeared months ago. At the time, Detective John Cardinal insisted that Katie was no ordinary runaway. His relentless pursuit and refusal to give up on the case, and his lack of results, got him demoted from Homicide. But now the police force wants Cardinal back on the case—with a new associate by his side, Lise Delorme. As these two partners gather evidence of a serial murder spree, a pair of sociopaths is closing in on the next victim.

A Fatal Grace book jacket cover

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.



Anna Karenina book jacket coverAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as "flawless," Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.

Smilla's Sense of Snow book jacket cover

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg

A thriller that has stunned readers on both sides of the Atlantic. With elegant prose, an extraordinarily realized heroine, and clever plotting, this is by no means an ordinary suspense story. Isaiah, the son of one of Smilla Jasperson's neighbours, is found face-down in the snow outside her Copenhagen apartment building, leaving the usually stoical Smilla disturbed. She quickly rejects the official verdict of accidental death when she observes the footprints the boy left in the snow.

The Secret of Snow book jacket cover

The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny's been avoiding since the day she left for college -- her northern Michigan hometown.

The Reading List book jacket coverThe Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.


Showtime book jacket coverShowtime: One Team, One Year, One Step from the NHL by Ed Arnold

For local hockey fans, this book is a raw and revealing account of a roller coaster of a season of the Peterborough Petes - the launching pad for a record number of NHL stars including Steve Yzerman, Tie Domi, Roger Neilson, Chris Pronger and Bob Gainey.


The Sun Does Shine book jacket coverThe Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. This is a powerful story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.


The Speckled Beauty book jacket coverThe Speckled Beauty: a Dog and His People by Rick Bragg

Speck arrived in Rick's life at a moment of looming uncertainty. A cancer diagnosis, chemo, kidney failure, and recurring pneumonia had left Rick lethargic and melancholy. Speck helped, and he is helping still, when he is not peeing on the rose of Sharon. Written with Bragg's blend of tenderness and sorrow, humor and grit, this book captures the extraordinary, sustaining devotion between two damaged creatures who need each other to heal.