During cold, dark January days, an enduring pastime is to snuggle under a blanket with a warm drink and a good book. Luckily there are so many to choose from! If you are looking for some inspiration for what to read that befits this chilly winter, we’re here to help. We did a poll among our staff and here are a selection of our favourites to read perfect for this time of year!
1. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
An epic story that opens on a dark and stormy night when Walter Moody comes to town to find his fortune in New Zealand’s South Island. He comes upon a secret meeting and from there we weave through a series of inexplicable stories including, a wealthy man vanishing and a prostitute attempting suicide. Through these stories, we get a fascinating look into the lives of 19th century folk. Catton’s storytelling transports you into the Gold Rush era with such ease, it could be a storytelling from present day. A long one but worth every page!
2. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
You may well have heard of The Goldfinch by this same author, which received the Pulitizer Prize for Fiction in 2014, but in this post we want to shine a light on her other piece of work, The Secret History. The novel centres around a group of college friends who hold a dark secret about a murder. Told in the vain of a Greek tragedy, Tartt magnificently navigates themes of morality and tragedy with ease and elegance and makes this a rich and wholly absorbing read.
3. A Little Life by Hana Yanagihira
We are absolutely obsessed with Hanya Yanagihara’s emotional, heart-wrenching novel. No other book sparked more discussion than this one did. The story focuses around the lives of four college friends and travels with them over the years in New York. Through all their careers, loves, trials and heartache, their story pivots around love and loyalty to Jude, their mysterious and deeply hurting friend. The characters are written with such depth that it is impossible to not come to care for them and we all felt a sense of sadness when that last page was turned.
4. Welcome to the Goddamn Ice cube by Blair Braverman
Here’s a book to read that will leave you feeling grateful that winter will soon be over! Braverman chronicles her time as a dog-sledding tour guide in the Arctic in a brutal environment of snow and ice. As hard as her days were working within such an extreme environment, her descriptions of the landscape and the people ultimately read as a much treasured experience. The physical and mental fortitude of a young woman described in this novel truly inspires you to go out and chase dreams and challenge yourself! Perfect for the armchair traveller!
5. In the Midnight Room by Laura McBride
A beautiful novel about the interconnected lives of four women, each of whom experiences a life-changing moment at a classic Las Vegas casino nightclub. The storytelling is profound and moving and is testament to those serendipitous events that lead us down unexpected paths. By the end of the novel, the women feel more like people you know than characters on a page- they get into your head and stay there long after you have closed the book.