5 Winter Activities to Pair with Audiobooks

It’s that time of year again – the days are shorter and the temperatures bitter. It’s easy to complain about the season, but what about all the wonderful things winter has to offer?

Though it may be tempting to spend the next few months bundled up inside, winter can be a great chance to catch up on your reading list while trying something new. Here are a few perfect wintertime activities to pair with your audiobooks.

Snowshoeing

Staying active during the winter months can be difficult. The slippery, snowy roads make a jog seem like a ridiculous idea, let alone most outdoor sports. Thankfully, there is a way to get outside and enjoy the snowy scenery while avoiding slips and wet shoes: Snowshoeing. And whether your goal is to break a sweat or to leisurely check out a winter trail, you set your own pace!

This outdoor activity pairs well with books about mindfulness or outdoor recreation. Try Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escape written and narrated by Alastair Humphreys.

Scenic winter driving 

Between the endless holiday parties, shopping, and visiting relatives, this season is sure to keep you driving all over town. With unpredictable weather and slow drivers, you often need extra time to make it to your destination. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy your journey while taking in the beauty of a scenic drive.

To keep you engaged try a story filled with mystery. A good choice is Michael Connelly’s The Night Fire, a suspenseful crime story narrated by Titus Welliver and Christine Lakin.

Cross-Country Skiing

With a slow pace and relaxed technique, cross-country skiing provides a chance to listen in on your audiobooks on the move. Since many communities offer well-groomed trails and ski rentals, you just need to bring yourself (and your headphones) to enjoy an afternoon of wintery fun.

Use this time to catch up on a book you’ve been meaning to check out for a while. If you haven’t read it yet, try Tayari JonesAn American Marriage, narrated by Sean Crisden and Eisa Davis.

Shoveling snow

Okay, okay… It’s not as glamorous as some other winter activities. In fact, some consider it winter’s most dreadful chore. But it must be done, so why not enjoy it? Setting up your audiobook under a warm hat can be a great way to pass the time, whether you’re clearing a long drive way or just cleaning off your car. You’ll be offering to shovel for the neighbors just to finish your chapter!

To offset the dullness, tune into a book that keeps you laughing. The heartfelt and hilarious Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life, written by Ali Wong and narrated by the author and Justin Hakuta may be the perfect fit.

Cooking a warm meal

Though it’s not just a winter activity, there’s nothing quite like warming up over a bowl of soup or a cup of hot cocoa. Somehow home-cooked meals taste even better after a long day outside, but (sadly) they don’t make themselves. Whether you’re cooking for the whole family or just yourself, have some fun with it.

What warms you up better than a nice cup of tea? This is the perfect chance to listen to The Peppermint Tea Chronicles, written by Alexander McCall Smith and narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie.

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10 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks this Holiday Season

Get into the holiday spirit with fun activities and their perfect audiobook companions!

1. Cross country skiing or snow shoeing
Gliding or trekking through a powdery forest is exhilarating enough, but listening to a suspenseful audiobook makes the experience even more spine-tingling.

Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey, narrated by Robin Miles

Someone Like Me.

Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. Even when times get tough, she’s devoted to bringing up her two kids in a loving home. But there’s another side to Liz: one that’s dark and malicious. She’ll do anything to get her way, no matter how extreme. And when this other side of her takes control, the consequences are devastating. But love her or hate her, there are two sides to every story…
Read more and sample the audio.

 

2. Decorating a gingerbread house
Whether you’re making a gingerbread house as a form of home decor or for the sake of a seasonal treat, this holiday tradition is even better with a cozy gingerbread mystery.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Leslie MeierLaura Levine and Joanne Fluke, narrated by Suzanne Toren

Gingerbread Cookie Murder.

In this batch of sweet, short murder mysteries, three cooks don’t spoil the broth. New York Times best-selling author Joanne Fluke pens the title story, in which a box of Hannah Swensen’s gingerbread cookies is found near the corpse of her neighbor. Popular co-authors Laura Levine and Leslie Meier offer ‘The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies’ and ‘Gingerbread Cookies and Gunshots,’ respectively.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

3. Writing holiday cards
As soon as I open my mailbox and see handwriting across the envelope — instant happiness! I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, so if you’re writing cards this year, listen to a powerful memoir that will get your memories flowing.

Thanks A Lot Mr Kibblewhite by Roger Daltrey, narrated by Roger Daltrey

Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite.

The frontman of The Who fought his way through school and poverty while assembling the band that would become The Who. Amidst all the music and mayhem, the drugs, the premature deaths, the ruined hotel rooms, Roger Daltrey narrates his personal story, and definitive biography of The Who, remaining sober (relatively) and observant and determined to make The Who bigger and bigger.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

4. Online holiday shopping
Avoid bumping elbows in a crowded mall and listen to an audiobook while finding the perfect gift for the perfect person (like a gift subscription to Audiobooks.com!).

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston, narrated by Marisa Calin

The Little Shop of Found Things.

Xanthe and her mom Flora leave London for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in a historic town. When Xanthe has an intense connection to a silver chatelaine, she has to know more. It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the 17th century where it has its origins and discovers an injustice in its history. If she doesn’t make things right, her mom’s life could be in danger.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

5. Going for a walk in a winter wonderland
Even if you don’t have snow, walking in crisp weather is a great way to get your blood pumping. Listening to this Narnia-esque audiobook will motivate you to keep moving, even in sub-zero temperatures.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth, narrated by Moira Quirk and Fiona Hardingham

The Light Between Worlds.

Sisters Evelyn and Philippa were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. Ever since returning to England, they’ve struggled to adjust. Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, but Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

6. Making a pot of mulled wine or hot chocolate
Enjoying hot beverages is one of my favorite things about winter. If you’re whipping up a pot of your own, listen to this feel-good audiobook to get you feeling extra festive.

Hope and Other Superpowers by John Pavlovitz, narrated by John Pavlovitz

Hope and Other Superpowers.

It’s exhausting to give a damn these days, isn’t it? Perhaps you’re feeling anguished about what you see on the news or on social media, or by personal circumstances, and are paralyzed waiting for world leaders to rescue us. But what if you didn’t have to wait for someone else? What if you could be the hero? This book is an invitation to anyone hoping to be the kind of person the world desperately needs.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

7. Wrapping presents
I’ve traditionally listened to Christmas music while wrapping presents, but this year, A Town Divided by Christmas got me into the rhythm of wrapping presents early.

A Town Divided by Christmas by Orson Scott Card, narrated by Emily Rankin

A Town Divided by Christmas.

It began with a quarrel over which newborn should be the baby Jesus in the town’s Christmas pageant. Decades later, two scientists arrive to study small-town genetic patterns, only to run up against the invisible walls that split the leading citizens into two congregations that can only be joined by love and forgiveness. And maybe a little deception. There might be some things that people just don’t need to know.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

8. Decorating your home
Every year, I find myself untangling twinkle lights and cleaning up bits of faux snow and pine needles from my house, and every year, it’s worth it. Deck the halls (and the rest of your home) while listening to this fun audiobook.

House of Gold by Natasha Solomons, narrated by Marisa Calin

House of Gold.

Vienna, 1911. Greta Goldbaum has always dreamed of choosing her own path, but the Goldbaums have expectations. Jewish and perpetual outsiders, they know that power and strength lies in family and wealth. When Greta moves to England to wed, she finds herself lonely. Just as she begins to feel happy, war is looming. The family takes opposing sides, and Greta will have to choose.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

9. Curling up by a fire
There’s nothing better than cozying up with a good story. Michelle Obama‘s memoir, Becoming, is so good, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have any distractions around you so you can soak up every detail.

Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by Michelle Obama

Becoming.

The former First Lady of the United States invites readers into her world, chronicling her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing motherhood and work and living at the world’s most famous address. Warm, wise, and honest, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman who has steadily defied expectations and inspires readers to do the same.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

10. Driving to look at Christmas lights
There’s little more festive than neighborhood lit up with twinkle lights. If you’re going on a drive to see the displays your neighborhood has to offer, listening to a family-friendly audiobook is a way to feel extra warm and fuzzy.

Homer and the Holiday Miracle by Gwen Cooper, narrated by Gwen Cooper

Homer and the Holiday Miracle.Doctors warned that Homer was unlikely to survive, but against all odds, he grew to save his human mom’s life  and rose to global fame. Now, just two weeks before Christmas, doctors said he wouldn’t make it to Christmas Eve. Homer showed everyone he still had one more miracle left in him and proved again, once and for all, that hope and love aren’t things you see with your eyes. You see them with your heart.
Read more and sample the audio.

 

New to Audiobooks.com? Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

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STAFF PICK: The Bear and the Nightingale by Jennifer Arden

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale
Author: Katherine Arden
Narrator: 
Kathleen Gati

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses…

Such is the setting for Katherine Arden‘s debut novel, The Bear and the Nightingale. A lush retelling of Medieval Russian folklore and the first installment in the Winternight Trilogy, this 13-hour-long audiobook will quickly have you rooting for its feisty heroine Vasilisa “Vasya” Petrovna. A country lord’s daughter with the gift of Sight, Vasya can see the household spirits and magical creatures that are invisible to the rest of her community. Tradition dictates honoring these spirits, but when a priest comes to town, he demands that the people forsake their old faith for the new. Now, the natural balance that harbors prosperity is in jeopardy, and Vasya must strike out on her own to reckon with some very dark forces.

Narrator Kathleen Gati‘s rich Russian accent transported me to the cold, snowy forests and quaint village life of Vasya and her family, making this the perfect book to listen to in the dead of winter. While the story starts out slowly with lots of background and exposition, patience through these sections pays off: my commitment to Vasya and my depth of understanding as the story started to quicken was due to its slow beginnings.

Central to the tale is Vasya’s frustration with being born a woman, and the limited options available in Russia c. 900 CE; she can get married, or become a nun. Her journey towards independence, empowerment and agency are the most exciting parts of this book, even better than the magic and adventure of the story’s fantasy elements. This passionate passage highlights that focus:

“All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant … or I must hide myself behind walls. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing.”

I loved Vasya’s awakening as a woman with power, both in the sense of her realizing her Sight and what a curse and blessing it is to her, and in the sense of her coming into her own as a person with ambitions and the desire for self-determination. Arden’s descriptive writing lovingly takes listeners along Vasya growth from girl to woman, and perfectly sets up what’s to come in the sequel.

If you’re looking for a slow-burning fantasy to pass the time during these last days of winter, The Bear and the Nightingale is a great listen. Read more and sample the audio.

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Top 5 Winter Activities to Listen to Audiobooks

Winter is here in full force and doesn’t want us to forget. Need the best way to fend off the winter blues? Embrace the outdoors with winter activities! Below are our favorite winter activities that help us tolerate the cold (and still let us fit our audiobooks in).

 

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is one of the oldest winter sports. It originated in Northern Europe as a method to travel long distances across snow covered ground. Now, the sport has gained popularity across the world and is a staple at the Winter Olympic Games. The individual nature of the sport makes it a perfect pairing for an audiobook!

 

 

Snow Shoeing

Snow shoeing is becoming an increasingly popular sport because it is suitable for all skill levels. Whether you are walking leisurely or racing through the woods, snow shoeing makes for an excellent opportunity to listen to a book. Next time you get a fresh dusting of powder, strap on your snow shoes and plug in your headphones!

 

 

Hot Tubbing

Not feeling quite as adventurous? That’s okay, we’ve still got you covered. Relax by soaking in an outdoor hot tub. The contrast between the frigid air and the stifling hot water is bound to have you leaping back into your house.  But before you do, take some time to unwind with an audiobook in the tub!

 

 

 

Ice Fishing

How do you ice fish? Do you set up an ice shanty or do you brave the cold and sit outdoors? Whatever your method, bring an audiobook to pass the time between catches!

 

 

 

 

Skating

Skating is possibly the most popular winter activity of all time. It’s practiced recreationally by figure skaters and hockey players alike. Not only can you workout your body, but you can also exercise your brain. Next time you lace up, don’t forget to set up your next listen!

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