From the Vault: Heartwarming Reads to Bring You In from the Cold

The Danish concept of hygge, which refers to the state of being comfortable or cozy and basking in life’s simple pleasures, has never been more popular. From home décor to cooking to photography and design, comfy is the new cool.

I’m finding that the concept even creeps into other aspects of life. At this time of year, when the weather is cold and dark and dreary, I find myself craving a nice, cozy read—the kind that makes you close the cover with a sigh and a small, bittersweet smile, the kind that feels almost like a hug.

Want to get in on the trend? Here’s a list of “hyggelig” books to keep you warm from the inside out this winter.


A Serious Call
By Don Coles

The long, conversational title poem is what makes this collection so very cozy. It evokes such a peaceful (and book-filled!) ambiance—I can practically see the jumbled stacks, smell the delicate scent of old paper, hear the rhythmic turning of the pages. It also unfolds the story of a quiet and life-long friendship and the comfort of knowing that, somewhere in the world, there is a person who understands you. What could be more warm and fuzzy than that?

Learn more about A Serious Call here »

Thoughts on Driving to Venus
By Christopher Pratt

There is something about his intimate, artistic diary that brings the hygge, so to speak. It might be the unaffected style, or maybe it’s the frequent stops to familiar Tim Hortons for a cup of coffee. Or maybe it’s the love for the land and the appreciation for Newfoundland’s history that practically pours off the page. Regardless, it’s hard not to identify with such a strong love and appreciation of home, wherever that may be.

Learn more about Thoughts on Driving to Venus here »

The April Poems
By Leon Rooke

I know, I know, I often trot this book out, but only because I adore it so much! Plus, it is the perfect book to talk about when we’re considering life’s simple pleasures. The moving descriptions of the title character do not need to be overstated—instead, they reveal a perfectly imperfect heroine who is completely and utterly loved. The joy and contentment in domesticity keep me coming back when I need a nice, warm hug of a book.

Learn more about The April Poems here »

Portraits of Canadian Writers
By Bruce Meyer

This might seem like an odd choice for a cozy read, but these charming and personal anecdotes fit the bill perfectly. The photos, often taken in the writers’ homes or in places of significance to them, display excitement, vulnerability and even discomfort. The accompanying texts humanize the almost mythic writers featured, offering snippets of conversation, intimate impressions or even just stories of friendship. After reading this book, you’ll feel as if you’ve gained a few friends.

Learn more about Portraits of Canadian Writers here »


What do you think about this list of heartwarming reads? Do you feel all cozy now? I know I could curl up with a book, a blanket, and a steaming cup of tea. Hope you enjoy!

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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.