3 min read
It's chilly outside, and the time to light the fire and pick up a good book has come. We all have those reads that resonate with us at a certain time of the year for one reason or another, whether it fondly reminds of us of a specific chapter in our lives or gets us in the festive spirit. Here are Country House Library's picks for just that; winter reads that, no matter how many years pass us by, still warm our hearts during the coldest season.
"There is something about the Christmas reading season that turns my mind to crime. I think it's the dichotomy between feeling enclosed at home by a warm fire, safe against the dark world outside. It's not graphic crime you want in these circumstances, but cozy crime - a novel that ends with the criminal found and punished, all loose ends tied up, and all made right with the world again. In my mind there is no one who does this better than Agatha Christie. What many people don't know about Agatha Christie is that she also dabbled with historical crime fiction. My choice of book, Death Comes As The End, is set in Egypt - the time of the Pharaohs. Christie was a keen amateur archeologist, and this book is not only a great underrated mystery but has the effect of transporting you entirely to another time and place." - Ami
"When the clocks fall back and the winter nights draw in, my favourite book to delve into is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. When C. S. Lewis describes the freezing landscapes of Narnia and the evil White Witch who’s spell makes everywhere winter but never Christmas, I am always glad to be cozied up by the fire simply enjoying the magical story." - Cat
"The novel that started it all, Tolkien's The Hobbit is always the first book that comes to mind for me when winter reading is in question. While The Lord of the Rings is an epic masterpiece in its own right, The Hobbit has that perfect blend of fantasy, adventure, danger, and world-building that still stirs a child-like wonder in me whenever I open the pages. Serving as possibly the most essential read in my favourite genre (fantasy), this is a book that never fails to comfort me when the wind blows and the rains falls outside." - Lewis
"When I think of classic Christmas reads, I instantly think of Little Women. With the famous opening line ”Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents”, the novel starts with each of the March sisters complaining about her lot in life. However, their initial self-centered attitudes soon change in response to their mother’s selfless love. They decide to spend their allowance to buy presents for her, and later give up their own breakfast to a needy family. The story follows the ‘little women’ throughout the year, before coming full-circle and ending in another Christmas scene. Much of the book is about money, poverty, wealth and yet the March sisters are determined to have a Christmas full of joy, laughter and love. With a timeless message of goodwill, I think it’s the perfect, endearing story to curl up with over the festive period." - Jo
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