The cold weather, seasonal drinks and treats, and free time due to holiday break means that the prime season to read is finally here.
I don’t know about you, but settling in my bed with a cozy sweater and peppermint mocha with Christmas music and a candle burning in the background while I read sounds just like heaven to me. Here are some book recommendations that are perfect for this time of year to help you take advantage of this atmosphere while it lasts.
1. Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
As a super Harry Potter fan, I read at least one book from this series every year around this time. I especially recommend The Prizoner of Azkaban and The Order of the Phoenix, or any book which heavily features Sirius Black, basically. The series is full of magic, family, friends, and love. It reminds me of some of my favorite childhood memories. What could be better? I especially recommend this series to anyone who hasn’t read it before (in which case I would ask why not, a question I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred times). To those who have read these books, I’m sure you can imagine how the holidays and Harry Potter go together so well.
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
In a similar vein as Harry Potter, this book is about a magical travelling circus that shows up unannounced in towns all over the world. The main characters are Marcus and Celia, two magicians who are forced to compete against each other to create the most extravagant attractions for the circus. There is some serious romantic tension between the two that creates a really complex and interesting story. An atmospheric book with some dark undertones and a lot of magical intrigue, The Night Circus is the perfect book to read during cold days inside and you won’t be able to put down.
3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Okay, I promise this is the last Harry Potter-esque book on this list. A companion novel of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Carry On is about a college girl named Cath who writes fanfiction about the Simon Snow book series (a series that is basically meant to be the fictional version of the already fictional Harry Potter series). I would also highly recommend reading Fangirl this season too. Carry On is meant to be the fanfiction that Cath is writing, basically about a love between Simon and Baz, who are meant to be representing the characters of Harry and Draco. It’s pretty similar to the world of Harry Potter, with an orphan who’s told he’s a wizard and brought up to be the Chosen One, living in at a magical boarding school. A really smart and different take on this world, Carry On has all of the same themes as Harry Potter that make this book perfect.
4. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The perfect book to read if you’re ready to be in your feels, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is full of strong themes with family, friends, grief, and all that comes along with it. It follows Sal and his best friend Sam, seniors in high school who are both struggling with loss in their family as Sam’s mother dies and Sal’s grandmother suffers from cancer. This is a heavy book that deals with a lot of topics, such as death, and homophobia when it comes to Sal’s gay father. In the end, it’s a really beautiful story about the importance of family and making new friends in time of hardship.
5. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
This is a super fun and hilarious book about a girl whose deep voice always keeps her from being cast into female acapella groups, so instead decides to dress up as a boy and join a male acapella group at her school. This leads Jordan on a journey of juggling her two personas as both a boy and a girl on campus as she struggles to keep the people from both of those lives separate, as well as finding love with one of her ‘brothers’ within the group and all that entails. Jordan’s story is one of finding acceptance as result of making close friends out of the most unexpected people, who eventually become a family to her. Noteworthy is not only a lighthearted and fun book, but it’s also filled with substance and deals with important topics. It’s a book I would recommend at any time, but especially for the Holidays.
6. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
This is a very unique story about the seven lives of two souls who always seem to find a way back to each other one way or another. The souls of Eric and Merle have been searching for each other ever since their first untimely parting. Each of the seven parts of the novel are influenced by a moon (the flower moon, the blood moon, the hunter’s moon, etc.). The relationships between these two characters is always different and unexpected, happening during different time periods spanning centuries. Sometimes they are lovers, sometimes twins, sometimes a little girl and elderly neighbor. Either way, it’s beautiful to see how these two intermingle and their story really makes you think about whether this could all be possible. With all seven scenes taking place in the dead of winter, this is a perfect atmospheric book to match your chilly surroundings.
Whether you are in the mood for a lighthearted, magical read or some intriguing, emotional novels, here are some great books that I hope will get you started. Enjoy your time snuggling under warm blankets and a good book this holiday season. You deserve a break, so why not pick up a great book to keep you company?