Wednesday, 15 November 2017

 

5 Books to Cosy Up With on Cold Winter Nights


A few months ago I wrote about 5 Books to Curl Up With in Autumn, which was filled with reads that matched the chill and creepiness of the season. As the days are getting even colder and darker, the time has come for a follow-up with my top picks for the frosty winter months ahead. These are books that evoke the feeling of freezing with snowy landscapes, as well as a dash of heartwarming kindness thrown in to reflect the season of sharing. So grab your cosiest flannel PJs, fluffy bed socks and a fleece blanket as it's time to hibernate with a bunch of wintery reading delights.


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

When I think of cold and snow, the Nordics spring to mind straight away so what better way to kick-off your winter reading than by familiarising yourself with the Nordic myths? Before reading this book I knew very little about the Norse mythologies which have risen in popularity due to the successful Marvel comic books and associated blockbuster films. Detailing some of the most well-preserved tales from the Norse gods, in Neil Gaiman's book we start at the beginning of time and the creation of worlds, and go all the way to the end when Ragnarok destroys it all. Along the way we get to know various pivotal characters from the myths such as Thor, Loki and Odin, the impact they have on the world and even the way they die. True to mythical form there are bizarre relationships, feuds and monsters – and I loved it.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman is published by Bloomsbury. Get your copy here.


A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke

This wintery story takes place on a fairy tale like island called Skane where the Goddess in the sky "speaks" to the islanders through lights in the sky; green means all is fine, blue means a snow storm is afoot, and red... red means danger. 17 years ago, when protagonist Ósa was born, the sky turned red followed by a plague that killed hundreds of people – including Ósa's mother. When the skies turn red again Ósa feels it is her mission to face the dangers in the mountains and seek out the Goddess to ask her for help to save her people. Ósa's journey through other villages, snow fields and finally the treacherous mountains is an incredible adventure, one that reminded me of fantasy epics like The Lord of the Rings, but condensed down into a much more bite-sized novel. With a dark and snowy setting this is the perfect read to chime in the start of winter. Read my full review here.

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke is published by Scholastic. Get your copy here.


The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell

I know Jen Campbell as a vlogger who shares her love for short stories and poetry in a very engaging way. Even though they're not normally the types of reads I'd pick up, her enthusiasm really shines through in her videos. So when I heard that she was releasing her own short story collection I was intrigued. This debut is filled with weird and whimsical fairy tales set in contemporary setting, which makes the darker aspects we often take for granted in old-fashioned fairy tales even more disturbing than they already are. I won't pretend that beyond the references to the most well-known traditional fairy tales I understood all of the links or even the meaning of most of the stories within this collection, but I did fall in love with Jen Campbell's imaginative writing. And, for once, I feel that the short story format worked extremely well here, rather than merely teasing a larger story left untold.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell is published by Hodder & Stoughton. Get your copy here.


Kindness by Jaime Thurston

This beautifully designed hardback contains 52 ideas to spread kindness to others in some very simple ways. From truly listening and apologising to setting up an online wish list for a person in need, or sharing encouraging words to someone who is having a hard time. These 52 ideas are intertwined with real-life examples of similar projects or things that have made a real difference, from strangers sending encouraging video messages to a young boy who was being bullied to donating shoes to schools. The key for all of these projects is that is doesn't have to be time intensive or expensive to help someone else, but just a minute each day or a more conscious approach to a situation can already be the first ripple in creating a kinder world. This book is a stunner inside and out, and surely will melt those ice-cold wintery hearts.

Kindness is by Jaime Thurston published by HarperCollins. Get your copy here.


147 Things by Jim Chapman

Not technically a festive or particularly chilly read, this book jam-packed with weird and fascinating facts is very suitable for the colder season because when else will you have all the time in the world to properly hibernate with a book for hours on end and soak up knowledge from the start of the universe to strange phobias? YouTuber Jim Chapman has broken the content-creator mould with this very different and really wonderful non-fiction read that not only provides heaps of interesting tidbits but funny stories from his own life too; making it a relateable read both for existing fans and people who are not yet familiar with him. Besides, with facts and stories on zombies, why Jurassic Park is all lies, life (and death) and belly buttons – there is something new and interesting to discover within the pages of this book for anyone, regardless of what you're into!

147 Things by Jim Chapman is published by Pan Macmillan. Get your copy here.



And that's it for my winter recommendations! Which books have you read recently, or are on you planning to pick up, that are perfect for the colder months ahead? 


🎵 Listening to: Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up
🔹 Mood: Cold



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