Books to cozy up with this holiday season
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
The holidays are fast approaching and it seems that the warm scent of sweet treats, the bustling crowds of happy faces and the spreading of holiday spirit will be lost to us this year. We are again, like countless amounts of times in the year left with a ton of time on our hands. Time that we'd often hoped for but when it's forced upon us seems completely suffocating.
With all this time, I'm planning on delving into the books that are piled, one on top of the other, in the corner of my room with the invisible note on their colourful spines that reads 'To be read', and I think you all should do the same.
I've compiled a list of some of my favourite books; books that'll make you feel warm, cozy, emotional and in love, in an attempt to fill the void that holiday traditions would have normally filled.
The Starless Sea - Erin Morgenstern
This book is almost as magical as it gets. It's a love letter to the world of books, storytelling and imagination. A book about secret libraries with doors that lead you from the dreariness of reality to the world of fantasy and adventure. I had moved away from fantasy novels shortly before this book but as soon as I opened the pages, Morgenstern's captivating and beautiful words unlocked my buried love for the genre. The book follows Zachary Rawlins and his quest to solve the puzzles he uncovers within the pages of a mysterious book he finds hidden in his university library. The clues take him to a glittering hotel, a masquerade ball, a secret club and magical doorways leading to a labyrinth filled with stories. A labyrinth that is soon to be in need of saving. The fate of storytelling rests in Zachary's hands.
“But the world is strange and endings are not truly endings no matter how the stars might wish it so.”
A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
I have never, in my many years of reading, experienced the vast array of emotions I felt when I held the pages of this book in my hands and the words spilled into my brain with all the profound intensity that Yanagihara intended. Yanagihara presents some of the darkest themes in life yet still manages to cut holes in this darkness to make room for the light. The book centres around four friends and their journey from their college years to their later lives. In the beautiful, harsh city of New York, the four friends struggle to keep afloat; their lives being held up by their close friendships. These friendships shift and change and evolve throughout the course of the book into something deeper and darker. Past secrets are revealed, loves are reciprocated and the fragility of life is placed into the forefront. Yanagihara writes about mental health, childhood trauma, addiction and sexuality with such depth and realism that you find yourself feeling the very emotions that Yanagihara projects onto her characters.
Side note: you'll need a whole box of tissues, trust me.
“...things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.”
Night Sky With Exit Wounds - Ocean Vuong
Reading poetry books while wrapped comfortably in your favourite throw blanket in the comfort of your home provides you the warmth that you need as the days become colder and darker.
Vuong's debut full length poetry collection tackles the many subjects romance, hunger, sexuality, war and family with such beauty that his words and powerful, enthralling verses will be embedded in your memory for eternity. Vuong's collection includes narrations of the Vietnamese war and the subsequent diaspora that followed. He intertwines the personal experiences of sexuality, family and romance with the public experiences of war, immigration and politics. The collection allows the reader to deep dive into the inner workings of Vuong's mind and understand the hardships faced by a young immigrant in the fast paced American society. Vuong suggests that there is beauty in suffering and survival and it is one of my favourite poetry collections to this day.
“If you must know anything, know that the hardest task is to live only once.”
The Dark Between The Stars - Atticus
Atticus delves into the dualities of human experience, the bridges between our highest and lowest moments in life. The exhilaration of beginning relationships, the stress of commitments and the nostalgia one finds themselves swimming in when they’re alone. Filled to the brim with honesty, romance, connection. He illustrates that in order to appreciate life, you must appreciate it in all its whimsical, beautiful, painful glory. Atticus by combining the visually satisfying art of instagram poetry with enchanting, romantic verse, creates a masterpiece sandwiched by amazing photography.
It is beautiful in the least overwhelming way, leaving you feeling how you would after a first date, or a good romance movie.
"The day I met you I began to forget a life without you"