Mike Uncorked: Winter Reading 2018
By Mike Butler
Warm fires (or heat pumps!), a mug of hot chocolate (or rum & egg nog), comfy sweatpants, and a bulky hoodie, wrapped up under your best-loved blanket, snuggled in with your favourite book: sounds like the perfect stormy winter day doesn’t it? Yes there’s shovelling, shopping, and holiday chaos this time of year but there’s also the chance to take in some magnificent literature. Never deprive yourself of the written word. Let me help you out by giving you my holiday wish list of must-reads for the winter season that are also great gift ideas for the book lover in your life!
Essential reads for this season include Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart, The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, The Caregiver by Samuel Park, Transcription by Kate Atkinson, and The Witch Elm by Tana French.
You can also pick up these hot titles: Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami, The Library Book by Susan Orlean, Seduction by Karina Longworth, Family Trust by Kathy Wang, The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem, and last but not least, My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.
Do you like memoirs? You can treat yourself to new memoirs like Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Heavy by Kiese Laymon, All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung, and a new autobiography by music legend Tina Turner that is on my top five must-reads! You can also pick up some hilarious memoirs that pack laughs galore including Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Nick Offerman and Will & Grace star Megan Mullally, as well as, This Will Only Hurt A Little Bit by Busy Phillips, and I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson.
With four nephews and a niece between the ages of 10-15, I am constantly seeking strong young adult literature for them (and me too!). Despite being adolescent material, the YA section offers some real treasures. Check out these finds: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, Broken Things by Lauren Oliver, Wildcard by Marie Lu, and the new Dear Evan Hansen novel by Val Emmich will make you cry just as much as the stage show did. As well, for the youth LGBT crowd out there, you must add Becky Albertalli’s Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Adam Silvera’s They Both Die At The End to your reading list as well as their combined writing effort, What If It’s Us, just released two weeks ago!
For the suspense-lover, pick up Stephen King’s 2018 offerings, Elevation and The Outsider, or visit one (or all) of his offspring Joe Hill’s writings, including Horns, Strange Weather, or Heart-Shaped Box. And with the release of her new book Unsheltered, take a peek back at the wonderful writings of Barbara Kingsolver, including The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams, The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, and Flight Behavior; she’s a fantastic novelist and activist and you should check her out!
And the long winter is a perfect time to tackle a series of books like C. S, Lewis’ Narnia stories, the Harry Potter books, The Lord of the Rings or the many novels of Agatha Christie, James Patterson, Dan Brown, or John Grisham. You could also dive into some classics by Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, or Oscar Wilde, and those classics can be purchased at most used book stores.
So, pop by The Odd Book, The Box of Delights Bookshop, and Rainbow’s End in Wolfville; Reader’s Haven in Windsor; or Blue Griffin Books, Middleton for more used and new books selections! As well, Shelf Life in Berwick, Books Galore in Coldbrook, or Coles in New Minas. We are so blessed to have so many places to find great literature! A novel idea would be to support them all!
Happy Holidays and happy reading!