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Five of my Favorite Books Perfect for Winter

November 16, 2022

To define a wintery book isn’t just having a snowy setting but instead a book that feels like the season. The mood of the story to me has to be slightly pretentious but in the best way possible, it has to feel like a classic novel. Mostly for me these books are tragedy-like with spiraling plots and characters and sorrowful endings. 

THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt

For starters, this novel is my favorite of all time so I am going to be extremely biased when I say that every single reader needs to have a copy of this. The characters are melodramatic, and selfish but I love them all so much. Personally the allusions to ancient Greek literature and language created such a specific atmosphere that leave you feeling like the book is much older. Tartt is such a wonderfully gifted author and I recommend all of her books and watching her interviews (especially the 1992 one). 

WE WERE VILLAINS M. L. RIO

A tightly knit group of Shakespearean theater students at an exclusive school in a New-England esc setting. What is more of a winter read than this?? Similar to The Secret History this novel turns into something dark and mysterious however I appreciated how the relationships were more realistic and modern. The seven main characters really formed the book for me with their complex dynamics and personalities. It is a novel that fully immerses you as you read it, leaving you in the woods with the characters as they perform Shakespeare. 

THE COMPLETE POEMS by Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton is a poet who reaches many different kinds of poems (formats, etc,) as well as many different subjects but still manages to captivate the reader with each one. Her subject matters are normally very relatable for women specifically and leave this collection to be one of my favorites. Sexton’s simple but powerful language makes the collection very easily understandable but also incredibly compelling. My personal favorite volumes are All My Pretty Ones and The Death Notebooks, although I would recommend reading these poems in order. 

EILEEN by Ottessa Moshfegh

Moshfegh has been quite popular in the past years because of bestsellers such as My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I am very grateful for this because her novels are very unique and filled with character narration that brings them to life. This specific novel is set during the Christmas season and so the imagery is right on point for winter. However, beware of the fact this is no fun Christmas book, it revolves around themes of obsession, crime, and loneliness. It is a book that seems to spiral and spiral (plot-wise and character-wise) that haunts the reader. 

IN THE CAFE OF LOST YOUTH by Patrick Modiano

This novel is a glimpse into post-war France in the 1960s however it is no normal historical fiction. This novel brings in four different narrators, all affected by one elegant and mysterious woman, Louki. They are told like memories which holds a melancholy almost nostalgic feel to the novel. An invisible string is tied to each of the characters in the novel and it untangles with lovely words and atmosphere. There isn’t a true plot to this novel, more of a detailed novel looking at characters and historical settings in a very well-written way.

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