5 Books I’ll Be Cozying Up With This Winter.

Looking for a good book to read?  Me too!  It’s so exciting that we met each other here. This is going to work out just fine.

How’s it goin’ eh?  (I couldn’t resist)

Raise your hand if you like to read! Now take that hand and slap yourself in the butt because that’s the last time you’re going to have any feeling in it for the rest of the winter.  The holidays are over, the house is cleaned up and it’s January.  Put your furry slippers on, the official month of slothing has begun.

It’s time to revel in the fact that you have no lawn to cut, no garden to weed and no gutters to clean. Unless you’re renovating your house or spending 5 nights a week taking tap dancing lessons, chances are you have time to whump your ass down on the couch and read.

I mean, I can’t do that, I just fall asleep when I try to do that, which is why I only read before I’m going to bed.  But YOU might have the rare talent of being able to open a book on the couch and read more than 3 sentences before waking in a pool of your own spittle.  I do not have that talent.

 

Over the past few months I’ve made my way through a classic Agatha Christie novel, an adult fairy tale, a slavery novel and did NOT make it through an American classic, American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

Based on the description of American Pastoral, including the fact that it won the Pulitzer Prize, I thought I was going to really like it but within the first few pages I was drowning in a pool of my own spittle and I wasn’t even asleep.  I boredom drooled through the first chapter or so before I abandoned it.  Life’s too short for books you don’t like.

The Agatha Christie classic, And Then There Were None (formerly named something I can’t even type for fear Google will flag my site for racist language and also because … well I just can’t.)  was good, but I wouldn’t call it the greatest mystery of all time.  Which incidentally is what it’s considered. You can click here to read about it’s original title on Wikipedia if you like.

I really liked the slavery novel The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead which also won the Pulitzer Prize.  Unlike the Philip Roth novel, Whitehead pulled me into the story with his extraordinary writing as opposed to pushing me away from it.  Whitehead’s writing seemed effortless, Roth’s seemed like he was doing everything he could to prove to me HE WAS A GOOD WRITER DAMMIT.

And My Mrs. Brown by former Vogue editor and society page columnist William Norwich is a quick, fairytale-esque book about a plain, older woman who decides to save up for a $7,000 dress.  It’s a really easy, silly read but is also enlightening.

So those are a few I’ve gone through recently.  For January (the official month of slothing) I’m going to be cracking open these books. Or at least one of them …

 

Good Books to Read

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is a book I’ve been reading on and off for a couple of months. It isn’t a novel so it’s something I feel like I can pick up and put down.  I put it down a LOT, not because it isn’t great but because it’s terrifying.  Not voodoo, horror show terrifying, but HOLY CRAP terrifying.  It’s exactly what it sounds like. A short history of nearly everything, starting with how the universe was formed.  If you ever want to sort of understand how inconceivably vast the universe is and how inconceivably insignificant WE are … read about how the universe was formed.

Benediction by Kent Haruf is one I’ve been holding off on. It’s the third and final book in a series of books by the late author.  I know when I finish it, it will be done.  Haruf’s writing is poetic in the most subtle way.  The first two books in the series are Plainsong and Eventide so look at those two first if you’re thinking of reading the series.  And you should.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman is going to be a complete surprise to me. Someone I follow on Instagram raved about it so I bought it immediately.  I have ZERO idea what it’s about. And I’m going to keep it that way because sometimes it’s fun just to not have a clue.  Unless you’re performing surgery, in which case … that’s just irresponsible.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway  by Ruth Ware is the third novel of hers I’ll have read in the past year.  It’s your basic suspense novel but I like them.  Ruth Ware novels that is, not necessarily suspense novels.  I didn’t like Gone Girl for example and I HATED The Girl on the Train.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.  I still don’t know if I’ll be able to read this. I bought Kitchen Confidential as a Christmas present for my mother 2 years ago intending to read it after she did.  Before I got to it, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide and I couldn’t bring myself to read it. I, like a lot of people really liked Anthony Bourdain and was hit hard by his suicide. Definitely harder than I should have been considering I’ve never met the man.  For instance, at least once a week I mutter “You f*cking asshole” to him in my head for one reason or another.  It may not be this month, but some time this year I will read this book because more than an interesting character, a good chef or irreverent tv personality – Anthony Bourdain was a truly exceptional writer.


Lay it on me! What are you reading right now? Give everyone the name and a short description of what kind of book it is in the comments and before you know it we’ll all be slothing our way out of winter and into spring.

 

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178 Comments

  1. Ann Brookens says:

    BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts by Stella Parks
    This is my review on Goodreads:
    This book is so well written, I want to make every recipe in it! Stella Parks has researched the origins of all the classic American desserts– the history fascinated me– then has tested and tweaked those recipes until they are the best versions of themselves. This is an indispensable resource for everyone who is serious about dessert, and, come on, you know that’s you!

    I adored this book! So well-written, such interesting history, such tasty desserts! I can’t recommend it enough!

  2. Sarah McDonnell says:

    Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand~ Helen Simonsson
    This is How~ Augusten Burroughs
    The One and Only Ivan (a children’s book but every adult should read it anyway)~KA Applegate
    The Sugar Queen ~ Sarah Addison Allen, her books are like popcorn.
    Thirteen Moons~ Charles Frazier. It’s a good companion to the Outlander series, taking place near Fraser’s Ridge and slightly after. It’s also a real story about mysterious historic figures gussied up in fictional dialogue.

    • Sarah McDonnell says:

      Darn! I forgot The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer and something by Kate DiCamillo, anything by Kate DiCamillo, to warm your heart and restore your hope in humanity. Flora and Ulysses? Holy Bagumba! That one is great!

  3. Jane WT says:

    Have you discovered Robert Galbraith yet? (AKA JK Rowling – don’t let that put you off – these are definitely for grown ups!!) ? If not your MUST have a go – so far there are 4 in the series – read them in order starting with Cuckoos Calling – then Silkworm – Career of Evil and the one I have just finished Lethal White. Flawed hero and definite sexual tension under currents. If you like a bit of suspense – these are for you…… in fact if you haven’t read them I am a little envious as you have all that excitement to look forward to……. make sure you have nothing important to do before you start reading – just a warning

  4. Susie Mercer says:

    Anything…ANYTHING by PG Wodehouse!

  5. Jan Preston says:

    I did not like “Gone Girl” at all and also”Time Traveler’s Wife”. But I have always gotten great suggestions from your lists. Particularly love “Lonesome Dove” Which I never would have read without your suggestion.

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you got through it! A lot of readers give up on it because the beginning is a bit of a struggle. Favourite book ever. ~ k!

  6. Catherine Safer says:

    Anything by Kate Atkinson – British and brilliant. The Book Thief. My grand daughter gave me the film and the book. If you like short stories, I suggest Wild Pieces – by me. It’s good.
    My favorites of all time – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Blue Castle for re-reading over the decades.

  7. Jacquie Gariano says:

    Every few years I re-read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ann Rand and “The Woman’s Room” > Really enjoy the and find new things in them each time. Right now I’m reading “See How She Died” by Lisa Jackson. I love all her books, I wish she would write more.
    I already have my summer reading list–“the Wizard of Oz” books again. I’m older and want to recapture the fun of my childhood and no think about the world as is right now. LOL
    I love to read in bed before sleeping and sometimes find it is way past my bed time because I get so engrossed in the story.

  8. Regina Beck says:

    This is totally off-topic, but where did you get that pillow?! I love that it looks like it’s been water colored! And to be with topic, I just finished the In Death series by J.D. Robb. Took me a year but I read all 48 (49th to be release February ’19). Loved them. I thought a great mix of murder/mystery/humor/sex.

  9. Josephine says:

    I just started The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman by Margot Mifflin. I’ve been looking forward to reading this for quite a while, and so far it’s so interesting. My all time favorite author is Willa Cather. I love her novel The Song of the Lark, which I re-read over the summer, and when I’m between novels I picked up her novel O Pioneers, and one of my next re-reads will be her novel Shadows on the Rock. I’ve also been reading a lot of WWII novels and biographies and my favs there were Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel by Mark Sullivan and the biography The Wolves Are At the Door: The True Story of America’s Greatest Female Spy by Judith Pearson, which is about Virginia Hall, an American spy working for the British, who btw had a wooden leg and was at one time the Nazi’s #1 most wanted spy. Between these and We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter I learned so much I didn’t know about the different sides and players of WWII. I’ve already added a few suggestions from your post and your followers. Always looking for a good book!

  10. Ashley says:

    My 2 favorites are A History of Love by Nicole Krauss’s and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. These are two books I could reread and I normally can’t stand to reread books.

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