Truth: Winter without Christmas trees, presents and hot chocolate (not that we’re saying you have to give it up) isn’t quite as cozy as the first half of the season. The remedy? Stocking up on some literary escapades to keep your soul warm until spring. From tear-inducing prose to bibles of comfort food, here are 20 of winter’s most magically intoxicating books to indulge in. Make yourself a hot drink and get (page) flippin’.
1. The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle ($16): Tragedy runs deeper when it’s surrounded by lies and deception. When Iris’s husband’s plane disappears — a plane he wasn’t supposed to be on — she’s left to piece together the disturbing puzzle that reveals a shocking truth. This wildly thrilling novel is the opposite of #relationshipgoals.
2. Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel ($26): If you think your career is intense, we promise you won’t want to do what Kate Pearson does: sitting on the admissions department of the prestigious Hudson Day School, an elementary school in NYC. This charming Manhattan tale of an ambitious grad student trying to learn the ropes of her career, dating and herself (simultaneously) is pure comfort food for the heart.
3. Magic Flute by Patricia Minger ($17): Music lovers in need of winter reading material: You just found your literary soulmate. Liz Morgan’s flutist career is derailed when tragedy strikes, but fate sends her down an even more dramatic musical path: singing. Crafted to perfection with enchanting harmonious prose, Magic Flute is music to our book-loving ears.
4. Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini ($17): We just can’t get over this literary darling’s new novel, which has gotten lots of attention since hitting the shelves in November. Eugenia Panisporchi was born with a supernatural gift we’re all on board with: the ability to remember her past lives. This witty contemporary tale dives into Eugenia’s journey to discovering the shocking true meaning of her life… all of them.
5. The Amateurs by Sara Shepard ($18): Craving another dose of sensational drama from the wordsmith behind Pretty Little Liars? Wait no longer. The Amateurs follows Seneca Frazier as she traces down the truth behind one of New England’s most high-profile cold cases. Add romance, complex friendships and dark danger, and you have a truly addictive read.
6. Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde ($15): The bestselling author of Pay it Forward delivers a feel-good story once again with her latest gift to the book world: Say Goodbye for Now. This moving tale of four outcasts (and a wolf) finding hope in one another, even when society tears them apart, will give you all the feels.
7. Tell Me a Story by Tamara Lush ($1): Christian Grey who? That’s the question you’ll ask yourself when you close this steamy, yet tasteful (and lightly erotic) gem. A romance blossoms between a Floridian bookshop owner and a swanky businessman — and trust us: The rest of the story is a risqué reading experience you won’t forget.
8. The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell ($16): And the most beloved debut of 2016 award goes to… The Mad Woman Upstairs, obviously. This brilliantly spun tale follows the last remaining descendant of Emily Bronte as she embarks on a whirlwind treasure hunt to discover a long-hidden family secret.
9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling ($25): Harry Potter fans thrive on anything J.K. releases, and her screenplay of Fantastic Beasts is the most magical fix since the seventh book itself. Even if you’re a wizard-obsessed muggle who already saw the theatrical version, this screenplay will take your imagination on an entirely different ride.
10. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen ($30): In addition to being an ultra-feminist Instagram star and our Hollywood #girlcrush forever, Chrissy Teigen is now our go-to cooking guru. Fuel your winter reading with some of Teigen’s go-to comfort food, including John Legend’s favorite fried chicken.
11. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead ($27): If Oprah’s reading it, you know it’s going to be next-level good. This stunning work of historical fiction chronicles the inspiring life of Cora, a young slave who risks it all to escape from the Antebellum South.
12. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ($15): We’re exploding with adoration for every word, sentence and page of Milk and Honey. This courageous and intimate collection of prose and poetry explores violence, loss, love, abuse and femininity. Reading doesn’t get any more beautiful than this.
13. Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Backman ($26): Are you navigating a personal crisis? Then you’ll relate fabulously to Britt-Marie, a socially awkward woman full of dreams who just walked out on her scummy, cheating husband. This hilariously sweet tale about finding a connection during a period of isolation will leave every reader inspired.
14. Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner ($27): The best way to spend winter is cozied up to a sensational thriller, and this is it. Sharlah May Nash must face the ultimate family scandal: the possibility of her brother being a cold-blooded killer. From the captivating first sentence to the shocking conclusion, this is addictive reading entertainment at its finest.
15. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella ($28): New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns with a hilariously charming workplace drama that has just enough romance in it to make our hearts swoon. You’ll fall in literary love with character Katie Brenner as she clumsily navigates the tricky politics of love and work and deals with the illusions of social media.
16. How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell ($27): Being a successful beauty editor in Manhattan appears to be the dream life on paper, but Cat Marnell dishes on reality behind her glitzy Manhattanite facade — one that includes an addiction to prescription pills, battling bulimia and drowning in self-pity. A bold memoir that exposes the pitfalls of wanting it all, How to Murder Your Life is destined to be the “it” memoir of 2017.
17. Make It Up by Marie Rayma ($20): Is your beauty routine in need of a major DIY makeover? Organic cosmetic guru Marie Rayma spills her foolproof recipes for over 40 essential all-natural cosmetics you can make right in your own home. You’ll never have to Christmas shop again.
18. The Mistress by Danielle Steel ($29): Rescued from the streets of Moscow by Russian billionaire Vladimir Stanisla, Natasha Leonova lives the life of luxury and devotion to her hero — that is, until she meets complicated artist Lorenzo Luca. With a powerful wave of emotion, passion and unpredictability on every page, The Mistress is a stunning international affair that readers will cherish forever.
19. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly ($26): This moving narrative centers around the lives of three remarkable young women: a New York socialite, a carefree Polish teenager and an ambitious German doctor, whose lives all change when World War II strikes. A read you won’t be able to put down, Lilac Girls was one of the most dazzling historical fiction releases of 2016.
20. My Life As Eva by Eva Gutowski ($23): YouTube sensation Eva Gutowski proves she can charm her fans on both the computer screen and in the pages of her hilarious (happy tears will flow) new memoir. The internet starlet reflects on her rise to fame and shares every awkwardly laughable life lesson she learned along the way.
Which of these reads will you be adding to your must-read list? Find more of our fave reads on Pinterest!
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