On behalf of all the cold-weather lovers out there, I will be the first to express my relief that it has finally become cold enough here in Albuquerque to whip out our soft blankets and piping hot tea mugs. While you are sitting in front of the fireplace (or in my case, sitting in front of a candle) looking wistfully out the window searching for signs of snow, what cozy activities can you do to pass the time? Here are some wintry reads to dive into during the break, and some hot drinks to go along with them.
If you are in the mood for:
Cold Historical Fiction*, then try….
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
A must read for anyone regardless of age, gender, or personality. This story takes place in Germany during WWII, and follows the protagonist Liesel, who steals novels from Nazi book burnings. Despite the heavy historical content and the dark wintry atmosphere, the emotional impact of the story will leave you feeling warm.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This Pulitzer-Prize winning novel also takes pace during WWII but follows a blind French girl trying to escape the horrors of the war. Her perspective is contrasted with that of a German boy’s, whose journey leads him to cross paths with her in France. Filled with intricate metaphors and darker themes, this piece of historical fiction will consume your thoughts, giving you plenty to think about over your winter break.
*Best paired with a cup of Earl Grey or black tea
Light-hearted Holiday Adventures*, then try…
My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
Do you love holiday TV specials? How about feel-good, family movies? This anthology is a collection of Young Adult vignettes that all take place during the winter months. In this light-hearted read, you get to know (and love) the characters quickly, as they deal with everything from finding romance, to making the perfect snowman.
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Imagine wondering through New York City in the snow looking for clues in a winter scavenger hunt. This is the kind of adventure that this book encourages readers to experience. If you take a page from Dash and Lily’s book, you can get ideas of how to have winter fun with your friends during the long break from school.
*Best paired with Hot Cocoa or coffee
Introspective Seasonal Reads*, then try…
Blankets by Craig Thompson
For those winter readers who appreciate the beauty of the passage of time and the changing of the seasons, then Blankets is the graphic novel for you. This coming-of-age autobiography tackles themes of winter love, religion, and growing up. Just like the title suggest, this story MUST be read undercover of a warm blanket.
Winter Town by Stephen Emond
Because winter is the last season of the year, it provides an opportunity to self-reflect and acknowledge all the ways we have grown over the past year. In Winter Town, two characters who have been friends their entire life meet up for the holidays and examine the ways in which they have changed. Read this book and think about what you have accomplished in 2017. What do you want for the New Year?
*Best paired with a cup of jasmine tea
Yearly Winter Classics*, then try…
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
What better way to feel the comforts of childhood then to re-read the first book in your favorite series? Remember the joy Harry felt when he was included in his first Weasley Christmas. Imagine the Great Hall tables covered in holiday dishes. Envision yourself in your own woolen Christmas sweater.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Although everyone knows the story of the holiday ghosts and Mr. Scrooge, many people have yet to read the original source material. Well this winter is your chance! Learn the true meaning of Christmas with help from Charles Dickens. Then, feel free to follow up with fun some fun TV and movie adaptions that have attempted to reinvent this story.
*Best paired with classic peppermint tea
Regardless of what you decide to read, make sure to cuddle up in a cozy blanket with a warm drink. Have a good winter!
Written by Shayla Brooks