Even if it hasn’t been much of a winter here in California, I still crave this season of curling up with a good book by the fire. Here are some favorites from our family so far this winter.
These three novels for adults each stand out for different reasons. In We Are Not Ourselves Thomas breaks your heart slowly in this pitch-perfect tale of the American Dream. I will read anything Hornby writes and in Funny Girl he delves into the comedic television world of 1960s London and the many different lives and hopes of the people within it. He provided a thoughtful look at the complexity of creating a show beloved by the masses (and the impact that success or failure has on its creators). I especially loved the line: “What a terrible thing an education was, he thought, if it produced the kind of mind that despised entertainment and the people who valued it.” With Everything I Never Told You, Ng had me at the title. This is the quickly-paced story of a Chinese-American family in the 1970s whose carefully constructed world starts to shift when their daughter goes missing.
For a unique YA read this winter, check out Katie Coyle’s Vivian Apple at the End of the World. Coyle explores the nature of fundamentalism and the potential threat of a corporate America through the eyes of Vivian who comes home one day to find her parents missing and holes in her roof as if they’d been Raptured. For those of you missing the feels of The Fault in Our Stars, try Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places. I adored her novel for adults, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, so I was excited to read her YA debut – a touching and often funny love story about two very different teens. Each year, our county participates in Nevada County Reads and Writes and this year’s selection is Trash by Andy Mulligan. This dystopian thriller makes for a dynamic family read, raising many different topics for discussion, like poverty and the power of hope.
Anabella has two recommended reads for middle grade. She’s a huge Cynthia Lord fan (author of Rules and Touch Blue) and she equally loved Half a Chance, a sweet tale of friendship and the power of art. For the graphic novel fans out there, she read (and continues to reread) Cece Bell’s hilarious and big-hearted El Deafo, which was also selected as a 2015 Newbury Honor Book.
Please share any books you’ve enjoyed curling up with this winter – we’re always looking for suggestions!