Winter Reading Choices

Well, despite the fluctuating weather conditions this past week, one cannot argue that winter is upon us. The cold air, the snow, the smell of wood fires, the complaining – oh yes, all the elements are there to indicate that the chilly season is here!  I am not going to sugar coat it folks, there are many things about winter that I am not fond of (shovelling, scraping, poor driving conditions, crazy Christmas shoppers, etc.) but one thing I do love is reading during these cold winter days. There’s nothing like curling up in front of a roaring fire with a glass of white wine and a good book. Here are some reading selections for you and your family to get you through the winter. Enjoy!

Some great new reads for the season are Us by David Nicholls, The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue, Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet, and Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford. Also, check out The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore, The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee, Reunion by Hannah Pittard, Rooms by Lauren Oliver, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A brilliant new novel by Sarah Waters entitled The Paying Guests is at the top of my list this year, as well as, Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, The Last Magazine by Michael Hastings, Bittersweet by Stephen Lee, The Snow Queen by Michael Cunningham, and Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson.

New in paperback (and essential to pick up) are Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse, Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut, Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart, A Feathered River Across the Sky by Joel Greenberg and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.  Also, recently in paperback is The Unknown Bridesmaid by Margaret Forster, An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell, American Blonde by Jennifer Nixon, What If? by Randall Munroe and Double Feature by Owen King.

Are you one of those people like me that enjoy picking one author and binging on his/her novels during the cold winter months? I’ve done the John Grisham, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Virginia Woolf, and Jane Austen run of novels but this winter I think I might tackle Michael Connelly, an author whom I’ve never read. The acclaimed writer of 27 novels has a new book called Bosch being released soon but I’ve been recommended The Black Echo, The Concrete Blonde, Blood Work, City of Bones, Lost Light, The Narrows, The Lincoln Lawyer, and The Scarecrow to start my marathon. And if Connolly doesn’t appeal to me after a few reads, I might switch to the Terry Pratchett DiscWorld series (29 novels, I think) and give that a go, as I hear they’re an amazing read.

Another series that has been brought up to me is by an author named Maggie Stiefvater. Her novels Shiver, Linger, Forever, and Sinner are bound to cross my path this season.

Do you like biographies? Take a peek at the tumultuous life of Singer-Songwriter Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire) in his new book, or read Justin Trudeau’s Bio Common Ground, or Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton, or the new Gordie Howe Biography Mr. Hockey.

For children, Entertainment Weekly magazine just published a special ‘50 Books Every Kid Should Read’ section in their latest issue and the titles are spot on. No authors need be mentioned, just head to your local bookshop and ask for Charlotte’s Web, The Polar Express, Madeline, Tar Beach, The Borrowers, Holes, The Outsiders, Bridge to Terabithia, The Book Thief, The Fault in Our Stars, The Phantom Tollbooth, Island of the Blue Dolphins, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Wonder, Smile, and A Wrinkle in Time… just to name a few!

Some other great new releases to pour through would be We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride, China Dolls by Lisa See, The Arsonist by Sue Miller, and The String Diaries by Stephen Liane Moriarty. There are three very special books by local authors on my list this year – Out Proud: Stories of Pride, Courage and Justice by Douglas Goose; and The Ballad of Jacob Peck and The Lynching of Peter Wheeler, both by Debra Komar.

Wolfville and its residents are fortunate to have THREE bookstores at their immediate disposal: Box of Delights on Main Street, The Odd Book on Front Street, and Rainbow’s End on Main Street (gift certificates are available at all).  There’s also Cole’s in New Minas, Reader’s Haven in Windsor, and Books Galore in Coldbrook.  So you see, there’s no excuse not to read something this winter and to share these and other titles with those around you. Spread the WORD(s) about how great reading and literature truly are. Happy Reading Everyone!