On a cold night, all we really want is a roaring fire and a good story. And maybe some cookies.

Time, soon, for the annual Fireside Reading Series, which gives you all those things. For two Wednesday evenings in January and every Wednesday evening in February, courtesy of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, you can sit in the Fireplace Room of the Hamline Midway Library, sip free coffee, munch free cookies, and listen to great local writers read from their work. For free!

Here's the schedule:

Jan. 18: Mary Casanova will read from her YA novel, "Ice-Out," set in the 1920s in northern Minnesota. "Mary Casanova has a sure touch when she describes the laconic exchanges between neighbors, the skin-burning cold of a Minnesota winter or the deadly consequences of misjudging an icy road," we said in our review.

Jan. 25: Three poets: Lara Mimosa Montes ("The Somnambulist"); Chris Santiago ("Tula") and Sun Yung Shin ("Unbearable Splendor"). Santiago is the winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize through Milkweed Editions. Of Shin's book, the Star Tribune said: "While unabashedly scholarly, 'Unbearable Splendor' is heartbreaking."

Feb.1: Stephanie Wilbur Ash will read from her debut novel, "The Annie Year." It is the story of a small-town CPA whose life is upended by a high school play and a handsome stranger. The Star Tribune said:"This is a keeper, a fresh and quirky 'Main Street' for the Midwest."

Feb. 8: Benjamin Percy will read from "Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction." Percy, writer-in-residence at St. Olaf College, is also the author of "The Dead Lands" and "Red Moon."

Feb. 15: Fred Amram will read from "We're in America Now: A Survivor's Stories," a memoir of his childhood in 1930s Germany through his arrival in New York City in 1939.

Feb. 22: Larry Millett will round out the reading series with "Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma," the latest in his series of books about Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota.