The book industry always seems to make a big push for summer beach reads, but I think good winter reads are almost more important. I don't know about you, but I just can't read about bikinis and boats while I'm pale and shivering. It just makes me angry (with a strong side serving of jealousy). Since there's still snow on the ground in my backyard, I wanted to let you know what I loved reading this winter. By the way, if I was two years and adorable this is exactly the face I would make to sum up this past winter:
The Winter People, by Jennifer McMahon.
An eery, gripping, awesome page turner. My husband and I went to a wedding this weekend and I picked this up at the airport. Even though I'm always grateful for a break from my kids, I get nervous traveling without them. I know it's not rational, I just do. This book was such a blessing because I literally spent every free moment totally absorbed in this story that takes place in the snowy woods of Vermont. Just be warned, it's a little haunting. When my daughter came into our room in the middle of the night last night I had almost had a heart attack because I was convinced she was a sleeper child. Curious what I'm talking about? Read the book!
The Paris Winter, by Imogen Robertson
A wonderful historical fiction mystery that takes place in... wait for it... Paris! In the winter! Shocking, I know! But really, this book was totally transporting and included such a great peak into the life of women artists in the Belle Epoque era and the unique challenges they faced. A swirling story of art, jewels, and opium with a heavy dose of deceit. Made me want to go back and read more of Robertson's work.
I've also really enjoyed: Us by David Nicholls (he wrote One Day and is a genius at dissecting family relationships); Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty (I can never resist a suburban mama drama); The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (nor can I resist a book that gets this much hype); and Life Drawing by Robin Black (which I've written about before but still need to mention because it deserves a read!).
The Rapscott Girls, by Elise Primavera
I'm reading this with my seven year old and we both love it! The premise is brilliant - a school for daughters of the busiest parents in the world. The girls are actually shipped in boxes because their parents are just too busy to deal! And get this, the girl with the absolute busiest parents has a mother "who writes a very popular blog about the trials and tribulations of being a mom." It's funny and fast paced with well spaced drawings of the girls and their enchanting new school. A new favorite in the chapter book space for sure.
The Princess and The Pig, by Jonathan Emmett and Poly Bernatene
My brand new five year old (big sigh) and I have been reading this book every single night. On its face it's the story of a princess and pig who accidentally swap places as babies. But on a deeper level it's a hilarious commentary on all the crazy, totally illogical things that happen in fairy tales. As you all know, I've got a special place in my heart for children's books that also entertain adults and this definitely falls into that category. Wonderful illustrations, a unique take on an old tale, and the icing on the cake is a smart young woman who happily turns her back on the chance to be a princess.