TBL’s Winter Cozies: What to Listen and Read This Winter

Illustration by Diane Kim

Lola Heymann

Staff Writer

Now that the colder season is upon us, the most important question is, of course: what should we watch, listen to, and overall consume as we cozy up inside? The Bottom Line has got you covered with a list of music and books to help keep you warm.

First, here is a playlist with cozy songs for winter — the kind you can listen to on a gloomy evening (or any time after 5 p.m. now because the sun sets so early) while you chill in your room with a blanket or hot beverage. 

1. “Sweater Weather” — The Neighbourhood

There is no way to compose a fall or winter playlist without this classic. The ultimate song for cold days, this one is versatile, you can listen to this song as background music while alone in your room or as you scream with your friends. In any case, it is sweater weather now, so it’s the perfect time to bring back this song.

2. “Moon Song” — Phoebe Bridgers

To me, Phoebe Bridgers is 100 percent the kind of musical artist to listen to in winter. Her slow, lachrymose ballads with creative lyrics are perfect for those more gloomy winter evenings.

3. “A Hazy Shade of Winter” — Simon and Garfunkel 

A classic winter song. Be it this version you listen to or one of its various covers (the latest being by Gerard Way), this fast rock song also has a constant air of melancholy that gives any winter playlist a very special vibe.

4. “Horchata” — Vampire Weekend

This is a more chill, upbeat winter song from a fan-favorite punk band. It’s the kind of song you can sing along to in your on your way to get some hot cocoa, if that’s your thing.

5. “the lakes” — Taylor Swift

The entirety of Taylor’s album folklore screams winter to me so I’d recommend listening to whatever songs you like best from there. For me at the moment, it is “the lakes,” a perfect mix between upbeat pop and soulful folk.

Finally, looking to exercise your imagination and spark romance? Here is a list of books to read by the fire:

  1. The Secret History — Donna Tartt

In my opinion, this is the ultimate winter book. The novel that kicked off the dark academia aesthetic, invites the reader to experience the world through Donna Tartt’s poetic and flowery yet thrilling writing. This book details the lives of six students at a prestigious New England college, leading up to the murder of one of them and the consequences that this has for each of the characters. 

  1. Wuthering Heights — Emily Brontë

If you’re more into classic literature, this is just the book to pick up during winter. The timeless story of the toxic yet intensely passionate love between Cathy and Heathcliff is one of the most dramatic books ever. Brontë’s beautiful writing transports you far off to the Scottish highlands, as you watch how these two lovers destroy themselves and the people around them with their wild love and hatred for each other.

This also exists as a song by Kate Bush, so if you want to accomplish the emotion brought on by 300 pages of reading in three minutes of listening, you can also do that.

  1. Let it Snow — John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

This is a contemporary young adult novel that deals with the lives of multiple teenagers and how they intersect during a snowstorm in a small town. The love stories are cute and the book is an entertaining read. There is also a movie for this that came out in 2019 and is available on Netflix.

  1. The Sorrows of Young Werther — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A tragic tale from the Romantic era that details the eponymous sorrows of a young man in unrequited love with a woman. The plot takes place between the month of May and Christmas time and is written out almost entirely in letters by Werther. The writing is old-fashioned, of course, but very beautiful. 

  1. Winter Dreams and The Ice Palace by F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald is perhaps most famous for describing the end of summer in an agonizingly poetic way at the end of The Great Gatsby, but he also has a knack for describing the colder seasons, creating an enchanting atmosphere that is unmatched. These two recommendations are short stories, about 20 pages each, making for quick but very intense reads. For their short length, these stories have great emotional resonance.