Georgia just got its first snow of the season. I’m laying in bed, under three blankets and cozy socks on, tea with milk and honey on my nightstand, Spotify playing in the background, candle burning nearby… *contented sigh* Honestly, does life get any better? No. No it does not. Except maybe if I was finishing the novel I’m pulling my hair out over, which I’m NOT going to mention because it’s driving me crazy. Then life MIGHT be better.
That being said, if you’re curled up by the fire with tea or coffee or hot chocolate or whatever floats your boat, still lacking something in life this year (and you already have Jesus ’cause he makes everything better, even more than chocolate I must admit)… then allow me to make your life better. I don’t know what you’re doing with your life and it’s not my place to judge, but if you haven’t read any of these four books, I’m totally judging you.
#4: ABSOLUTELY TRULY BY HEATHER VOGEL FREDERICK
Absolutely Truly, in one word, it the “coziest” middle grade wintry book. Just look at that gorgeous cover. (Please take a moment to appreciate my mad iPhone photography skills. And the fact that, even having moved six months ago, wherever I live, my neighbors still probably know me as “that girl who takes pictures of books in her backyard.” That awkward moment when I made eye contact with a guy next door was WORTH IT. Now excuse my introverted self as she hurries back indoors.)
A tiny town named “Pumpkin Falls,” an endearing character named “Truly,” a rag-tag team of friends, a small bookstore with first edition books and a mystery surrounding it – what more could one contemporary middle grade need?! As an added bonus, anyone who knows me or has followed FTB for a while knows how much I adore Heather Vogel Frederick, and when the sequel to Absolutely comes out on January 30 (!!) I’ll be the first to snatch it up.
#3: ALWAYS EMILY BY MICHAELA MACCOLL
I read Always Emily last January. I’m always interested in the concept of writing fictional stories surrounding a main character who actually existed. It’s one thing to write about a fictional character who briefly runs into real people, but an entire book about Emily Bronte? Impressive! Michaela MacColl pulled off every detail beautifully. The mystery in the book kept me hooked – can you think of a better plot perfect for holding your breath, cozied up under blankets while it snows outside, than a murder mystery? There’s also something about nineteenth-century historical fiction that makes me think of winter. Besides, a main character with a name like “Emily” is bound to be phenomenal.
#2: BALLET SHOES BY NOEL STREATFIELD
Is it the tender classic children’s story voice, or the graceful ballerinas, or the way my copy of the book smells vaguely of peppermint that makes me correlate Ballet Shoes with winter? I sat here thinking and thinking about why this one needed a place on this specific list, but I still can’t place my finger on it! Ballet Shoes is the first in the Shoes books, and the rest of the books are on my TBR for 2017 – maybe even this winter, because I would love to revisit Pauline, Petrova, and Posy again. Whatever the exact reason Shoes makes me think of winter, its cover does pop in the snow.
#1: BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY BY RUTA SEPETYS
(When it snows in Georgia, you take your slim opportunity to take pictures of books in the snow and run with it.) Here’s a heads-up: Between Shades of Gray is bound to rip your innocently beating heart out and proceed to stomp all over the poor pitiful bodily organ with its vicious boots. Meet Lina, a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl in 1941 shipped off to a frozen wasteland described as “the coldest reaches” of Siberia. Through her art and gift of storytelling, she sets out to make sure her family’s story is not forgotten. If the setting alone isn’t enough to give you goosebumps, Ruta Sepetys (whom I rave about all. the. time. on For the Bookish) is amazing with words. The book is, as my March 2016 review puts it, “raw, realistic, and memorable.” Also: perfect for the winter months.
What are your favorite books to read during winter? Are you a cold weather person? DO YOU GET SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE? (The real question is whether you’re so done with snow, or get giddy over the first sign of flurries. Then I could probably guess what region of the country you live in. 😀 )
P.S. So far in 2017, I’m doing good with my Wednesday/Saturday blogging schedule. I’ll be back Wednesday with another rant, and the winner of the Salt to the Sea giveaway! Don’t forget to enter. 😉