Although it’s still technically fall, winter weather is here in Michigan. Clouds block out the sun for days on end, bitter wind blows, temperatures drop and precipitation in the form of rain, snow and sleet falls from the sky.
I’m not a winter person! I hate being cold. Weather like this makes me want to hunker down and hibernate until spring. But what helps me get through the cold months is burrowing under some blankets, enjoying a hot beverage and opening a captivating book.
Everyone talks about summer reading and the libraries have their programs during the season, but for me, summer is the time to get outdoors. Winter is my season for reading because there’s less to do and I never want to brave the elements.
Sometimes the hardest part of reading is finding the perfect book to dive into. Going to the library can be overwhelming, and sometimes the staff there are too busy to recommend anything or — let’s face it — you’re not that interested in what they suggest. I get help from Goodreads.com where I keep a list of “to read” selections. It’s also a great website because you can see what your friends are reading, see what the top books of the year are in various genres, rate and review titles, and suggest books to your friends. It helps keep me organized and is easy to access when I need suggestions.
Speaking of suggestions, I have some in my favorite genre: fiction. These are a few of my favorites and I’ve read them more than once.
“Phantom” by Susan Kay
If you love all things “Phantom of the Opera” and wondered what Erik’s life could have been like until he reaches the Paris Opera House, I’m positive you’ll love this work of fiction as much as I do. This book was no longer being printed, but when the 2004 movie reignited the flame for the original novel and theater production, fans begged and pleaded for more copies to be released and they got their wish.
This novel takes you from Erik’s birth to death, recalling pieces of his life from the points of view of his mother, influential characters he meets along the way, Christine, Raoul and Erik himself. It’s an easy read; extremely descriptive and I personally love the narration.
“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein
My boss’ boss actually recommended this one to me and I’m glad he did. This book is really unique and told in a dog’s perspective as he journeys through life with his owner. It really makes you wonder if it’s really how our animals perceive what’s going on around them.
This book is charming, warm and great for any animal lover. Just a warning though, it will make you cry!
“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern
This book is incredible and imaginative. “The Night Circus” reminded me why I loved reading and is written in the way I’ve loved to read and write since I was a child. This is an example of the type of novel I’d love to dream up some day.
This book emulates magic and a touch of romance, with chemistry between the characters that I didn’t know could be felt by reading. The world Morgenstern creates is endless and beautiful, and she makes you wish the Night Circus was pulling into your town tomorrow night. One of my all time favorite books.
“Thanks for the Memories” by Cecelia Ahern
This romance novel is from the same author who penned “P.S. I Love You.” I just finished re-reading this one and it made me giggle and say “aww” all over again. This book is cute, quirky and humorous, and I like how the idea of the plot is something totally different than what I’ve read before. The characters are lovable and easy to relate to, and you find yourself rooting for the two main ones to finally come together after a long series of crazy events.
I kind of wish this was a movie, though I hope the adaptation would be better than “P.S.” was.
“The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon
Enter my new favorite book series! “The Bone Season” is the first of seven novels, and though it took me about 100 pages to really get invested in the characters and story, it’s now the book and series I talk about the most. It’s paranormal fiction, and Shannon — who is only 24 years old! — has created a vast, futuristic world with a new glossary of terms. The characters are complex and flawed, the setting is gritty, and the action is full of suspense. I fully enjoyed the first part of the story.
The second novel in the series, called “The Mime Order,” came out earlier this year and I’m chomping at the bit for the third. I usually don’t like to compare books to others, but I honestly think this series may be the next “Harry Potter.” Rumor has it there will be films in the future.
Make sure to read these!
What books do you have your nose in right now? What would you recommend to me? Leave me some comments and let me know!