// winter reads //
Y'all remember when I did this a couple years ago? I've been planning, off and on, to do a winter edition ever since. Maybe one day we'll actually get around to all four seasons.
Pretty straightforward: a little list of books that, to me, seem particularly ideal for a snowy day. (A lot of them are fantasy because apparently winter just seems like the time to read fantasy, to me?)
The Books of Pellinor
by Alison Croggon
I'm still hoping to review these at some point, but I'm not entirely sure how/if I'll do so. Maybe a video? I dunno. Anyway, this is a fantastic young adult fantasy quartet that I'd definitely recommend if you're suffering from The Lord of the Rings hangover. The first book, especially, has quite a bit of Tolkien-"borrowing" (ahem) and isn't paced super well, but the characters suck you in so strongly. As the series grows, it really comes into its own and ends up being a perfectly unique and perfectly worthwhile story. I'm so, SO happy these books crossed paths with me. ♥
Behold the Dawn
by K.M. Weiland
Taut, emotionally intense medieval his-fic. Quite excellent. :)
by Edith Pattou
Reading this book was one of those experiences where you don't love a book when you're actually in it, but it lingers in your mind afterwards and you realize that you really enjoyed it after all. Very nicely atmospheric for the colder months, too: it's set in the winter, but not so heavily that you'd feel smothered in wintry vibes.
by Elizabeth Gaskell
Impassioned themes of social and economic reform! Dramatic interpersonal dynamics! Bad choices! Good choices! Hate! Forgiveness!
True love! Torture! Sword fights!
by Patricia A. McKillip
I loved this. It's so evocatively written: it gives off this aura of darkness pricked with stars and frost and pine needles. The story tells such profound and satisfying truths so elegantly. I'm a fan.
by Ashley Poston
The only contemporary you'll see on the list, as it's not my favorite genre. ;-P But I could see this one being fun to read in the winter. Comic-cons and fandoms and online interactions, oh my.
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
This is a delicate and gritty and textured WWII novel, vaguely reminiscent of The Book Thief but thoroughly its own.
by Victor Hugo
Okay so I have a rather complicated relationship with this book. 'Cause . . . it's a hot mess. Certain parts of it and certain elements of it are ridiculous and/or very poorly executed. But other parts and elements of it are excellently done. In the end, I enjoy the experience of reading it, even when it makes me head-desk into oblivion, as the kids say.
by Heather Dixon Wallwork
All of Dixon's books are very nice for winter ⎼ in fact, the other two are more explicitly set in winter ⎼ but this one is the first I read. And it's twinkling and family-centric and ever-so-slightly dark and overall delightful.
A Sparrow Alone
by Alicia Petersen
This is a little-known Biblical fiction, and I personally think it's excellent. It's brief, taut, and vivid. I love the atmosphere it evokes and the (consistent and respectful) twists it places on the Biblical narratives.
by Naomi Novik
Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
Too long and mainly too bleak, but the way it wraps up is suuuuper satisfying. The experience of reading this was similar to that of reading East, as I mentioned earlier.
Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
Titanic-esque his-fic with four alternating POVs (usually I'm not a fan, but Sepetys is a pro and pulls it off). The way these three teens come together and hold each other up in the midst of crisis is amazing. And the ending is emotional. *sniffs*