If you ask us, there’s no such thing as a bad time to sit down with a great read; winter just happens to be one of our favourites though. When it’s cold and dreary outside, the thought of curling up with a good book, a hot cup of something and a cosy blanket is guaranteed to kick-start the warm and fuzzies. So what do you read? You might be tempted to pick up this year’s hottest novel, an old-school classic or a title that has spent too long on your must-read list. Here, we’ve listed seven books made for winter reading, so the only decision you have to make is how many you can fit into your bag.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
It’s the book heralded as the next Gone Girl (if you haven’t read this page-turner from Gillian Flynn, add it to your list too) and it certainly lives up to the hype. The film adaption is set for release in late 2016, so if you’re the type who likes to read the book before hitting the cinema, winter is your chance to catch up. The plot follows Rachel Watson’s life post-divorce, her daily train commute past her old house and her involvement in a recent missing person case.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Fates and Furies picked up the gong for Amazon's Best Book of 2015; it's also a New York Times bestseller. The novel is broken up into two parts, but tells the story of one married couple, Lotto and Mathilde. The first section of the novel, "Fates", focuses on Lotto; the second section, "Furies", looks at Mathilde, her complicated background and the path that led to her marriage. Think secrets, intrigue, a plot that comes together like a jigsaw puzzle and a book you won't want to put down.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel spent 82 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction. Anthony Doerr’s story is set in occupied France during World War II and centres on a blind French girl and a young German boy. The plot follows Marie-Laure and Werner on their separate paths and the circumstances that lead the two to meet. A great read for lovers of historical fiction – or any fiction at all, really.
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s debut novel is the story of the four Plumb siblings who are waiting for their inheritance (dubbed by them as ‘the nest') to come in once the youngest sister turns 40. Having relied on the safety net of the nest ever since their father died, each of the siblings has a history peppered with poor financial decisions. The Nest makes a great option for those wanting a light read for a lazy afternoon.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Another Pulitzer Prize winner is Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Theodore 'Theo' Decker tells the retrospective novel in first person. The plot follows Theo’s survival in the accident that kills his mother, his various living situations and his attachment to his mother’s favourite painting, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius.
A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin
If you’re not familiar with this series, you might recognise it by another name: Game of Thrones, the TV series that took the world by storm. The epic fantasy series is currently five books strong, with another two novels in the works. Confession: this series can make a daunting read, especially given the number of characters and places to remember, but the pay off is well worth the effort.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
First published in three volumes, 1Q84 is a novel for those who aren't afraid of tackling something they can really sink their teeth into. Intrigue, mystery, cultural references and religious themes are woven throughout the plot, which focuses on an alternate version of reality. The two protagonists, a pair of long-lost lovers, must work their way out of the distorted reality (which they call 1Q84) and back to their original world.