There is a cool crispness in the air, announcing the arrival of a season signified by blues and sunless hues. Yes, winter is almost here, with its fireplace warmth and hot cocoa swirls. It is time to curl up in woolen comforters and hibernate for months to come. The snowy nights, shedding their blankets of quiet over the suburban hubbub, call for a new kind of imaginary awakening. A fantastical spark to banish the dullness and bring ideas to life. A harbinger of human history and a safe haven for many a lost soul. In other words, books! Yes, accounts of characters and repository of eternal stories. If you are wondering about the best reads to stock up, then check out our top recommendations below.
An Ember in the Ashes ($11.51 at B&N)
Written in the first person narrative, ‘An Ember in the Ashes’ follows the story of a young scholar, Laia, who spies on the ruling Martial Empire for the rebels in the hopes of getting her captive brother back. The narrative, then, shifts to an enforcer of that same tyrannical regime, Elias, who is an excellent soldier yet most unwilling to carry out the tasks he is forced to. There are factions in the story and interesting points of conflict. More importantly, the story’s world resembles the dark locale of an upcoming TV series, The Witcher, which has engendered enough hype as it is. So, refresh yourself with Sabaa Tahir’s fantastical novel before catching the season on Netflix, powered with the best double play packages.
Where the Crawdads Sing ($15.60 at B&N)
This coming of age tale is written by Delia Owens and endorsed by Reese Witherspoon as one of the most loveable books she’s read so far. It is described as an ode to the natural world—highlighting the violent wildness and the awe-inspiring beauty of it. The story centers on a ‘Marsh Girl’, Kya, and the murderous rumors that the townsfolk have created around her. Are those true or not? You’ll have to read this book to find out.
White Rose ($16.18 at B&N)
Kip Wilson’s debut novel takes the reader down the historical lane right into the heart of Nazi-controlled Germany. The story is told from the perspective of Sophie Scholl, a college student, who is caught in the midst of an oppressive propaganda wave, and forms a non-violent resistance movement, named the ‘White Rose’, to criticize the Nazi regime. She and her brother use the anonymous lettering technique to hide their identities, yet they’re caught and severely investigated later on. White Rose circulates with humanistic themes, which definitely warrant exploring.
The Art of Simple Living: 100 Daily Practices from a Japanese Zen Monk for a Lifetime of Calm and Joy ($9.72 at B&N)
Shunmyo Masuno brings the light of Zen to your life through this book. What is Zen? It is the art of enhancing awareness through meditation, of leveling your chaotic energies and of regaining your inner peace. By following the practical points laid out in this self-help book on a daily basis, you can be sure to say goodbye to stress and let your spiritual-self roll about in tranquility.
Gingerbread ($17.47 at B&N)
Helen Oyeyemi is a master re-teller of mythologies and classic tales. Already famous for her twist on the “Snow White” story, this time she brings to you the popular ‘gingerbread’ phenomenon, a recurring motif in the children’s folklore. Perdita Lee and her mom make the most amazing gingerbread, which has taken the shape of a family legacy. Certain ups and downs centered on jealousy, family grudges, wealth, real estate and ambition leave the Lees looking around for stability that only their heart-warming gingerbread provides.
So, what are you waiting for? Begin your reading game to par with the aforementioned recommendations right away!
Rimsha Ather is a professional writer with two years’ worth of practical experience in content creation, curation, and marketing. Her blogging interests range from technology to travel, with the latter gaining special attention from the readers. On the side, she is a metal-enthusiast, an occasional painter and a culinary freak with flavorsome stories up her sleeve, which she occasionally pens for this site.
LinkedIn: Rimsha Ather