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.
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.
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.
<em>. </em>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.
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.
<em>. </em>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.
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.
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.