Hi everyone! It’s blogmas day 2 and I have another recommendations post for you. If you missed it yesterday I shared some Christmas & Winter Romance Recommendations. Since winter is almost here, I thought it would be good to share other books that I think are perfect to read during this season.
When thinking about perfect books to read in the winter 3 things come to mind for me:
- Introspective books
- Chilling thrillers and horror books
- Character-driven SFF
So today, I have 4 book recommendations for each of those categories:
Hunger: A Memory of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
This is mainly a book about Roxane Gay’s relationship with her body, her weight, and food, and how those relationships are linked and shaped by her experience with rape. This book is made up of essays and they are personal, raw, and honest. This is a very hard book to read, but it is so powerful because it talks about her experience as a fat woman in a world not built for her and others like her.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
In this book, Machado does an amazing job of looking into the history of abuse in sapphic relationships and also addressing her own experience with it. This book has a very unique structure, there’s even a part of the book that it’s told in a follow your own adventure structure which was interesting and different from other memoirs. Also, the writing is beautiful.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
This is a book about Queenie, a Jamaican British woman struggling with her mental health, and it depicts the way mental illnesses are not taken seriously by certain cultures. Queenie’s voice is incredibly captivating even when her life is spinning out of control. She makes terrible choices throughout this book until she gets help and goes through a journey to get better and it was a beautiful journey to witness.
We are Okay by Nina LaCour
This is a quiet book about grief and it’s so powerful. It’s told in alternating timelines, in both of the timelines the main character goes through loneliness, hurt and grief in different ways. This book also explores the hardships and awkwardness of second chances, of rebuilding relationships and trust. This is set during Christmas break, and the cold winter definitely helps build the atmosphere of the book.
Chilling Thrillers and Horror Books
An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
This is an isolated closed circle mystery set at a hotel in the mountains during the winter, the main characters get stuck because there’s a storm and then people start to get killed. One of the great things about this book is that the main characters seem like real people, which makes the book feel more realistic overall. This is intense and atmospheric and the twist at the very end was so satisfying.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
This book is full of twisted, dislikable characters, basically everyone but the protagonist, who is not perfect and has a lot of issues. This book balances the mystery at its core, which is about the murder of girls in a small town, with an exploration of Camille as a character and it dedicates quite some time to show her trying to deal with all her issues after returning to her hometown. The revelation at the end is pretty disturbing.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
This is an eerie and spooky book that makes you feel unsettled and doubt what’s real and what isn’t. It’s a very bizarre book, full of intriguing but not very likable characters, an unreliable narrator and a creepy house.
Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
This book is very disturbing because it makes cannibalism seem like something that could actually happen. Bazterrica identifies all the things we do with animals (we eat them, hunt them for fun, use their skins to make clothes, test drugs and procedures on them) and she incorporates all that to the story but changes the animals for humans and explains how everything is done or how it happens. It really is a disturbing and chilling story.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
This is a captivating and thought-provoking book about the crew of a spaceship who create wormholes to distant planets. It’s a book full of adventure that includes so much diversity in an interesting and thoughtful way; there are different species, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, body types, cultures, religions and so much more. This is character-driven, beautifully written and tackles important themes.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
This is the story of a group of scientist that are trying to figure out the mystery behind a giant metal hand that was found buried. This is one of those books where you slowly discover alongside the characters something that changes everything. The best part about this book is that it addresses important discussions related to science, politics and power and how they are all connected. This is thought-provoking, full of unlikeable yet compelling characters and told in an interesting format.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
This is the story of Fitz, a royal bastard who is accepted into the royal family and trained to become the royal assassin. This book does a great job of establishing Fitz as a protagonist and making you feel for him and root for him. There’s also a lot of fascinating side characters, the world this story takes place in is fascinating and the political intrigue aspect is very cleverly done.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
This is the story of a girl who accidentally resurrects her brother and her journey to becoming a bone witch. This is a slow, character-driven story, it has a fascinating world and magic system. The story is told in two timelines, which works really well for the story because there are glimpses of where the characters are going to end up, but you don’t know how they get there and it becomes this very intriguing element.