Books: Winter Recommendations

Screenshot of Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women (2019). Copyright of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures.

Hi! It’s Annie!

The weather’s getting even colder so you know what that means! Time for getting cozy under the covers and reading more books! I really wasn’t expecting that many people to be interested in my Fall reading list, so I really hope this one also lives up to expectations. I’m still going somewhat thematically, so these are all ones that I hope you can connect to the holiday season through. Christmas is a time for families and gatherings, which are both things we are sorely missing in these times, so maybe these will let you escape into times where meeting up was more common. Hopefully there will be a few on here that you haven’t gotten around to reading yet or, better yet, that you’ve never heard of!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:

Most of you have probably already read this one, either for pleasure of because your school forced you to read it. I know that the first time I read this one was because it was on my school reading list. But I will say that I have read it several times since because I loved reading it so much the first time. I find that a lot of books like this can be pretty boring, but there’s something about how this family was written. The sisterly relationship between Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth is realistic and beautiful and their relationship with their mother is just as good. You really care for these characters and I don’t think there was one point of this novel that I found boring. It’s not because the plot is so dramatic, it is simply because the characters wrap you up in so much of their world. You also can’t get out of reading this book without comparing yourself to one of the sisters. When I was younger, like everyone, I was absolutely convinced I was a Jo. I mean, she was also a writer. But as I’ve grown up I’ve come to realize that I’m the Meg of all my friend groups. Funny how that works out, huh? Also, this one actually covers Christmas in it’s plot!

Fawkes by Nadine Brands:

If you’re looking for a real escape, I have to mention this one. This book focuses on the fictional son of the one and only Guy Fawkes and him eventually having to join the infamous Gunpowder Plot. When I first heard that this book would have a magical twist, I was pretty skeptical. But the magic elements weirdly fit in and almost feel real. There wasn’t anything that took me out of the plot of the novel. More importantly, the characters were amazing and if you’re looking for a great female character, this book has definitely got you covered. I was familiar with this author because of her book ‘Romanoff’, and I can’t say I’ve found anything of hers that I dislike yet. If you’re looking to escape into a massive holiday party, look no farther than the massive Masquerade Ball. Brands paints an elaborate world full of beauty and absolutely packed with action.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern:

This is the second of Erin Morgenstern’s novels, and it packs just as much of that beautiful worldbuilding as ‘The Night Circus’. Admittedly, I like this one a bit less than her first novel. The plot isn’t as concise and the ending of this book felt a bit too ridiculous, but I still came out of it thinking that it was well worth the read. This book features a gay couple at it’s center, and you are able to see the entire act of falling for each other as well as them finding each other in an absolutely adorable ending. This book is also full of twists and takes place entirely in a hotel with a library so vast you will absolutely feel cozy in this world. This one is also good enough to include a Masquerade Ball. I really love reading about a good Masquerade Ball. Even if some of the plot can get ridiculous, it doesn’t detract from the general cuteness of the book. And there’s snow.

Fire by Kristin Cashore:

The good thing about this one is that it goes through all the seasons! I’ve talked a little about this one before, and that’s because it’s so good. The story centers around Fire, a human monster with persuasion powers and bright hair that makes her an easy target. Despite her not wanting to use her powers, she is pitted in the middle of a war where she must. Yes, it does focus a lot on romance and I apologize if that isn’t your thing. But really, it’s not really my thing either. This couple is not the average book or movie couple nor is their romance portrayed that way. The moments that prove that these two really love each other are never make-out sessions, they are always unwavering support when it really matters. It is one of the least toxic and most realistic portrayals of a couple I have ever seen all within a fantasy universe. You’ve got the snow, you’ve got the family (the main male character has a daughter which is an awesome thing to portray), and you’ve got the escapism. You also have the main female character consistently saving herself. This is one of those books that you immediately read after having read it the first time.

Emma by Jane Austen:

Not only is this book more light hearted if you need something light hearted right now, but this one also shaped all fiction after it. Emma centers around a woman who continues to nose into romantic relationships that she shouldn’t under the pretense of match-making. This was one of the first novels created to be absolutely unafraid to show a flawed main character and demonstrate that the character could still be loveable. Also, I quite possibly like Mr. Knightley more than I like Mr. Darcy. I know, I know, that sounds insane. They are very close, it’s up in the air for me. My favorite part of this is it examines relationships and friendships, so it does come out in the end being very wholesome. I do have to say that I appreciate a good classic around Christmas, so this is one that I’m considering returning to myself.

I hope this gave you some ideas or at least set you on the right track! I always like recommending books, so if you have a specific topic of book recommendations, please let me know! The colder seasons are the best time to cuddle up with books, the colder the better if you ask me. Maybe you’ll pick up one of these around the holiday season or maybe, like me, you’ll consider it and then just return to your favorites. Either way, happy winter reading!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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