Cold weather and COVID make a pretty convincing case for why winter is the best time of year for curling up with a good book. It’s the ideal season for diving into an epic love story, or the best time to gain some wisdom to bring into the new year.
Whether you’re looking for an escape from the present or a new perspective, our winter reading list has you covered.
Here for It: Or, How To Save Your Soul In America; Essays, by R. Eric Thomas
The memoir from the writer of Elle.com’s pop culture/political humor column “Eric Reads the News” is full of humor and heart. Through a collection of essays covering his childhood, college days, and career, Eric touches on race, religion, sexuality, and so much more. While the collection illustrates Eric’s experience of otherness in so many areas, it’s also laugh-out-loud funny, and worth reading for anyone who has ever felt out of place.
A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende
This epic novel is the latest from Chilean-American author Isabel Allende, and it doesn’t disappoint. The story begins with the Spanish Civil War and follows Roser, a pregnant widow, and Victor, the brother of her late husband. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Along with two thousand other refugees, the couple escapes to Chile, where they must start over. With hope of one day returning to Spain, they take on trial after trial together, with political turmoil never far off. This work is a rich love story, simultaneously an escape from the present day and a deeply relevant story of hope.
Weather, by Jenny Offill
This darkly funny, emotionally intense novel holds space for global issues and personal issues, as the protagonist Lizzie grapples with it all. Lizzie somehow serves as shrink and caretaker to everyone in her personal life while working for her old mentor, who has become famous for her podcast on climate change. The work gives voice to many present-day anxieties and brilliantly illustrates the complexity of everyday life in the modern world.
Wisdom from a Humble Jellyfish: And Other Self-Care Rituals from Nature, by Rani Shah
Rani Shah’s simple self care lessons taken from nature are refreshing to read. With humor and illustrations, Shah makes self-help lighthearted and accessible. The blend of science and wisdom makes for an enjoyable journey, even if self-help books aren’t your typical cup of tea.
All My Mother’s Lovers, by Ilana Masad
This debut novel tells the story of a daughter, Maggie, uncovering her late mother’s past. Running from her grief and searching for answers, Maggie comes to realize that her parents’ marriage wasn’t as perfect as it appeared. The novel tackles the complexity of sexuality and identity, and how family ties factor in.
If you’re living through literature right now, these books will be the perfect company. If you’ll be curling up in a Cabana, be sure to add one of these books to your packing list!