We celebrated spooky season in September, so you bet we’re diving into the cozy goodness of winter in November. This is my favorite part of the year; the anticipation for the holidays — it feels like everyone is holding their breath and humming a tune. This year is a bit different. It isn’t really safe to see family during a time of the year that begs for everyone to be together. But, in between the Zoom calls and trying out different recipes, this is the best time of year to cuddle up with a book, throw on a blanket and light a candle.
“The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories” by Ken Liu
Often people forget about short story collections or novellas. I often find story collections the coziest — you lose yourself in the writer’s voice traveling from place to place and people to people. This short story collection is introspective, fantastical and absolutely emotional. The recurring themes over the course of the story is the clash of Western and Eastern cultures and the resounding emptiness that is trying to find yourself. My favorites are: “The Paper Menagerie,” “Simulacrum” and “The Regular.”
You will like this book if you like: sci-fi or fantasy stories that leave you questioning reality.
This book is best paired with: Star tea and a bowl of fruit for breakfast.
“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan
Another quick read, this quirky book feels like a warm hug. It’s a captivating mystery for all the book nerds out there. There’s intelligent technology, ancient artifacts, secret societies and a cast of characters who are all distinctly their own. Think “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” for adults! It’s better read if I keep my mouth shut, just know you’ll never stop turning the page.
You’ll like this book if you like: National Treasure and re-watching old favorites.
This book is best paired with: Earl grey tea with steamed milk.
“Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
I could’ve recommended classics like “Pride and Prejudice,” “Wuthering Heights” or “Little Women,” as this is the time of year I gravitate to such books. I still would recommend these titles, but another classic that is often overlooked is “Rebecca.” This thriller pulls you in and keeps you close. Being swept away by a dashing stranger, Rebecca is suddenly married to Maxim de Winter. When she gets to the large estate she now belongs to, the shadow of his dead previous wife haunts the property, her new suitor and soon her whole life.
You’ll like this book if you like: Domestic Thrillers and book to screen adaptations.
This book is best paired with: A glass of pinot noir.