My Top Ten Wintry Books

AHH IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT!!! WINTER IS HERE!!

winter is here

(alright that was a more terrifying affect than intended 😉 )

Okay- for reelz, it never normally snows in London, so I’m enjoying how pretty it is right now. And, rather appropriately, the post I had planned for today is actually about wintery books! Specifically my top ten wintery books! Let’s get to it:

snow child

Snow Child– the clue is in the title 😉 This exquisite tale, set in the fairy tale land of the Arctic winter, warmed me from the inside- I seriously recommend Snow Child for a cosy night in. And speaking of fairy tales…

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– as was pretty obvious from my gushy review the other day I LOVED this book. It’s a magical retelling of Russian folklore and if nothing else, you are guaranteed spectacular descriptions of snowy landscapes 😉

secret countess

The Secret Countess– Eva Ibbotson is a childhood favourite of mine and one of the reasons for that is her beautiful, mythical writing style. Her books are always enchanting, but this one in particular is romantic and heart-warming and perfect for this season (NB also known as A Countess Below Stairs)

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone– speaking of childhood books, nothing says Christmas quite like Harry Potter. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t secretly dream of Christmas at Hogwarts?

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The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe– but if we want to talk a Christmasy dream come true, we’d have to go visit Narnia! I know, I know, Narnia is technically cursed to always be winter in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe– yet that doesn’t stop it being so beautiful!

christmas carol

Christmas Carol– yes, yes, I know I’m reeling off the classics now- it’s just this is a classic for a reason. Obviously everyone knows the story, but I finally read this over Christmas last year and can tell you now it was *perfect*.

the railway children

Railway Children– honestly, I think children’s books are great for this time of year. And since it’s already a tradition that they show the movie version on the TV every year (at least in the UK) why not pick up the book? It’s moving, it’s got beautiful themes about family and it’ll make you happy in the end.

little women

Little Women– romance is what I’m looking to read most winters- and I don’t think you can get much better than this classic. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it might even make you do both at the same time. Easily one of my all-time favourite books.

ivan-denisovitch

One Day in the Life of Ivan Densovitch– okay who said anything about all the books on here having to be happy? Sometimes winter gives us the chills- so if you want something a little darker, then this is the book to go for. It’s one of those quintessential books about the Soviet Union if you’re interested. (And at the risk of sounding like a book pusher, this is the kind of book everyone needs to read at some in their lives)

 

murder-on-the-orient-express-agatha-christie

Murder on the Orient Express- I read this the other day (review to come soon) and the atmosphere was exactly right for a cold evening. The intrigue, the characters and the DRAMATIC twist all made for a thrilling read (kudos goes to Lashaan@Bookidote for finally convincing me to pick it up). What a great book for the winter period!

And that’s it! What do you think of my list? Agree? Disagree? And do you have any winter favourites to add? Let me know in the comments!

5 for 5 – May Mini Reviews

Hello all! It’s the first Friday of the month- and for me that’s become synonymous with “time for my monthly mini reviews”. Basically this is my way of catching up on my increasing backlog of unreviewed books.

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It’s heating up now that it’s May and I’m finally paying some lip service to books I read wayyy back at the beginning of the year. So with that said, I should really just get on with it!

ender's game

Ender’s Game– okay, let’s start with the book I read the longest time ago (January *cough cough*). I didn’t review at the time, not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I just didn’t have all that much to say about it. Bearing in mind how little I know about the sci fi genre, was that it felt pretty unique to me and was very enjoyable, with plenty of drama, solid world building and intriguing characters. I recommend it for everyone just getting into the genre (like me) and everyone that’s been a fan for years (though let’s face it, you’ve probably read it by now). I will be honest and say that surprisingly for such a good book, it didn’t leave me with a burning desire to read more in the series. Let me know in the comments if you think the rest of the series will change my life or something and I’ll bump it up my tbr- otherwise this is going to be a “maybe one day” sort of thing.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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The Romanovs– annnd this book reminded me of the times when I thought non-fiction wasn’t for me. I did not enjoy this in the slightest. I was promised intrigue and drama and extreme characters… what I got was an endless stream of wars, hardly fleshed out historical figures and very, very dry commentary. If you like the kind of books that send you to sleep, then this is for you!

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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bluest eye

 

The Bluest Eye– so this book is a realllly really long time coming for me- fun fact I met the author back when I was still at school and have been wanting to read this ever since. Finally, finally I picked it up and I get why this is a big deal now. It’s cleverly written, has intriguing characterisation and a powerful commentary on race. Furthermore, the mixture of the slow reveal coupled with knowing the end result at the start builds up the layers of revulsion and horror as the book progresses. I can also seriously recommend the audio book for this one, because Morrison’s voice is gloriously rhythmic and beautiful to listen to.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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killing fields

Killing Fields– I didn’t know much about the Cambodian genocide, so it was worth reading for that purpose alone. Some of the characters (or I should say people since this is non-fiction) stood out to me, such as Pran, however I didn’t connect much with anyone else and found the journalistic writing style a little dry.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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ivan-denisovitch

One Day in the Life of Ivan Densovitch– so I have mentioned this, briefly, on my blog before, but I totally failed to review it. It’s a quick, but absorbing read, gives an full insight into daily life in a communist gulag. Despite its length, I would say this is one of the most impactful books I’ve read so far this year. Plus, together with The Killing Fields, this should fill most people’s daily quota of reminders why communism is bad 😉

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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So that was a very different array of books. Have you read any of these? Did you like them? And which non-fiction books have you read lately that didn’t make you excited? Let me know in the comments?

Also, I’ve finally done that thing where the book covers link up to goodread synopses- so click away 😉