Winter is Coming.
But look at me, talking about Winter. Since when did Mumbai start having winters? What? But it does become cold. And you can’t go out much because you need a sweater and let’s be honest, how many of us in Mumbai actually owns a sweater? And it does also become boring because the nights become really long. So what should you do when your day is too short to do anything in and your night is too long to do everything in?
You read books!
If that wasn’t already obvious from the title, yes. I’m going to show you seven books that you can read during the winter and it’ll be totally worth it.
1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Price, Donna Tartt‘s The Goldfinch is the 700+ story about Theo, who loses his mother under traumatic circumstances in the starting of the book. The story is about art theft, secrets kept and those revisited. There’s love, loss and redemption. The novel is written beautifully and is a serious coming of age story, bursting with quotes that will inspire you. There’s so many different characters, by the end of the book, you might want to know them yourself.
And, this book is perfect to read in the winter because most of the book takes place in the frigid cold of New York City. And part of it also takes place under the scorching heat of Las Vegas so you can feel the heat secretly through the book.
2. The Luminaries by Emily Catton
This book is 843 page, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, is a book that begins with a dark and stormy night. Perfect build up of tension right in the beginning. The story follows Walter Moody who moves to New Zealand in 1886 to try his luck at making a fortune at the goldfields. When he arrives, he finds 12 men discussing strange happenings that had been going around the place. It instantly turns into a historical fiction and a mystery thriller that will have all of you turning the pages on more than one cold night.
The dark and stormy night sets the perfect mood for lighting some candles and turning into a burrito (curling up in blankets to look like a blanket burrito) and being happy that you’re not stuck in 19th century New Zealand winter.
3. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
This book is only 624 pages long and explores so much that you would probably want it to be longer. Following 15-year-old Holly Sykes after she storms out of the house due to a fight with her mother, she doesn’t realize the consequences of it all. When she out on her, not knowing what to expect from life, she is contacted by voices she knew since her childhood and called them “the radio people.” Holly finds out that she’s receptive to psychic activity and is being hunted down by a group of really dangerous mystics. With time traveling and Holly’s family trying to understand her disappearance, this novel is one that you’re not going to put down anytime soon.
Since the books spans over decades of Holly’s life, it’s good to get lost while the cold wind picks up outside and makes you want to anyways sit at home.
4. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Published in the year 1997, The Wind Up Bird Chronicles follows the story of a newly unemployed man, Toru Okada, as he embarks on the quest to find his wife’s missing black cat. His wife tells him that the cat is symbolic of their relationship and hence, he sets out to find the feline, trying his best to avoid another rift between him and his wife. In his quest to find the cat, Toru stumbles across many mysterious characters and places that he didn’t know existed in the quiet Tokyo suburb. He meets a psychic prostitute, a morbid 16-year-old, and a war veteran are just of the few many people Toru meets in this crazy book.
When else will you get lost in a book with so much mystery other than a cold winter night, when you have nothing to do but unravel it?
5. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Being a 531 page historical fiction, it explores the story of Marie Laure, a young girl living in Paris with her father when she goes blind at the age of six. When the German troops come to occupy Paris, she and her father find refuge in a small town known as Saint Malo, where she meets the orphan Werner. Werner is good at fixing things and understanding radios, also a part of Hitler’s youth. Set during the World War II, the story is about finding beauty where there is only darkness and chaos.
The love the characters have for each other will melt you and make you feel warm, even through the hurt and pain.
6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
A magical and mysterious circus just appears out of nowhere in the middle of the night. Le Cirque des Reves, as it’s called, is only open at night, and it’s filled with breathtaking magic and performances meant to enchant the audience. At the heart of the circus, however, is a magical competition between Celia and Marco, created by their instructors at the time of their birth. Against all the rules, Celia and Marco fall in love, and with that, the fate of Celia and Marco, along with the entire circus is at stake.
Why this is perfect for winter? The books brings out magic and mystery through motifs and symbols, and tells an elegant love story through it all as well. What better way to spend the long nights after the short hectic days?
7. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is 75, but that doesn’t mean she can’t release books – amazing books at that. Stone Mattress follows nine short stories set in the winter – perfect for reading in the cold. it has something for everyone. “Alphinland” is the story of a woman being guided through a forest in the middle of a stormy winter night with the help of her husband. “The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom” is about a man who buys a storage space at auction and finds something very surprising inside. The title story, “Stone Mattress” takes place in the Arctic.
With the stories all having their common theme as winter, it’s easy to relate to the characters in the stories, tucked away safely in your house, while an apocalypse happens in the book.