By McKenna Casey
The time for ghouls and ghosts is just about wrapped up (although is it ever, really?) and it's time for cozy books. I have come supplied with some picks to make the cold months warmer, and some to make them a bit chillier, if that’s your vibe.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a classic for the winter, especially those stormy nights when the power threatens to vacate the premises. Shelley’s famous work is a timeless and accessible read for newcomers and familiar readers alike. Frankenstein recounts the story of Victor Frankenstein’s life, including the creation of his creature and the numerous consequences of that breakthrough. Tragic, lyrical, and eerie, this premier work of science fiction is perfect for curling up and seeming cultured.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has some of the most compelling setting descriptions I have ever read. The titular circus is the star of the novel, operating as the ever-changing center stage of a competition between two rival magicians. This book is like a cup of hot tea on a frigid day, and gets better as it steeps. Perfect for fantasy readers who like the flavors of romance and historical fiction.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers reignited the cozy space opera genre. It follows an eclectic cast of characters as they travel through space on the wormhole-building ship Wayfarer. Found family in space, what more could one want? Not without its political intrigue and tense moments, The Long Way fills the void in your heart as it traverses the endless void of space.
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien is warm bread and knitted scarves and blizzards. Even for first-time readers, entering Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth feels a bit like coming home. At its heart, The Hobbit is a story about hope, bravery, and friendship – it makes you feel warm on the inside. I also recommend carrying on to the Lord of the Rings series after finishing The Hobbit, because if you’re snowed in, what else are you going to do?
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery might seem like an autumn book (it is) but if you spend winter reminiscing on more colorful times, Anne of Green Gables is for you. I read this book as a young girl and it changed my life with its lyrical descriptions of nature and its headstrong protagonist. While tragic at times, Green Gables’s story of orphan Anne’s growing relationship with her adoptive family and new friends will make your heart grow at least three sizes.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one of those books that leaves you feeling like you witnessed genius. Destined to become a future classic, Piranesi’s tale of a man living in a world of endless halls is unequivocally new and wonderfully imagined. With only a small cast of characters, none of whom are particularly reliable, the vast setting shines. Reflective and mysterious, Piranesi is a book to pick up and not put down until it’s finished. But what else can you expect from the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell?
That’s it, for now! Read your hearts out.