The stretch of time between Halloween and mid-December – when the anticipation of Christmas will kick in and all will be brightly lit and well – is the dreariest time of year. The leaves fall off leaving bare brown skeletons, it rains, it snows, it’s dull. There are also no holidays to look forward to in Canada, except Christmas, which still seems impossibly far away, despite shopping outlets declaring otherwise.
To get through this next dreary month or so, I’ve put together a “To Read Before Christmas” list. I’ve purposefully chosen books that I imagine will keep spirits up or offer some literary form of cozy fall warmth that is so desperately needed in these chilly, dark days. I may make a similar list once February hits; the other “longest” month of the year, in my opinion, even though it’s only 28 days long.
1. Ru by Kim Thuy. Strongly recommended by my lovely friend and housemate, this tells the story of a Vietnamese immigrant to Canada from childhood to motherhood, with all kinds of beautiful reflections on life, from sorrowful to hopeful.
2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Mindy Kaling is hilarious. There’s no better way to break up the weather-induced blues than to watch or read something funny.
3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. This is a re-read, but definitely justified during this season. In my most recent reading of the series, I left off at this book, and since it is also one of my favourites and the most successfully comical, now would be a great time to indulge in the lives of my favourite fantasy characters.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The same housemate who recommends Ru also re-reads this book every Christmas because it is just so delightful. I have never read it. And I obviously trust her good judgment in books.
5.) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book sounds like a magician-love-story meets Hunger Games. At the breathtaking Night Circus, two young magicians have trained to compete against one another in a high-stakes battle of magical prowess. Could be great, or it could really fall flat – either way, it sounds like an entertaining and vividly-painted read.
Any other recommendations for fall/winter reading, new books or old? I’d love to hear more suggestions.