Books to read on cozy winter days

For many, winter is a great season to settle in and pick up a new novel. From romance, to Sci-Fi, to historical fiction, here’s what some TDS associates recommend reading this season.

  1. “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas”by James Patterson, Recommended by Angeline

“A powerfully moving novel of love, loss, hope, and family from bestselling author James Patterson,” this romance follows Kate Wilkinson, a writer and painter who believes she has found the perfect man. But, when he disappears one day, all that he leaves behind is a diary from a woman named Suzanne to her son Nicholas.

“This book is so well done that you sometimes forget there is a whole other story happening when going back and forth between the diary and the person reading the diary,” Angeline said. “It makes you think about your life as a whole, letting yourself love and be loved by another.”

  1. “Dune”by Frank Herbert, Recommended by Garrison

Set in the distant future on Arrakis, a mostly inhospitable desert planet that is the only source of the valuable melange spice, “Dune” follows the story of Paul Atreides, the gifted young son of Duke Leto Atreides—the ruler of the ocean planet Caladan who was assigned Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV to lead Arrakis.

Garrisons said, “It is widely considered the greatest Science-Fiction novel of all time. It was written by a native of my own Washington state and has a movie coming out this year.”

  1. “The Keeper of Happy Endings”by Barbara Davis, Recommended by Sara

When Rory Grant, an aspiring gallery owner living in Paris, leases a new property, she discovers an old box of letters and a vintage wedding dress. After returning the letters, she begins a friendship with the elderly Soline Roussel, the former owner of a bridal salon that was forced to close during World War II.

This book is perfect for you if you are looking for a heartfelt tale of friendship and second chances. “I really enjoyed the book and found it hard to put down,” Sara said.

  1. “Children of Time” by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Recommended by Ben

An epic tale of space and humanity, “Children of Time” follows the survivors of a dying Earth as they discover a newly terraformed planet suitable for human life. However, they face significant challenges when they arrive at their promised paradise.

“Anyone looking for some Arthur-C.-Clark-style sci-fi must check out this book. This author has a lot of good books, and this series is something special,” said Ben.

  1. “Ask Me What’s for Dinner One More Time: Inappropriate Thoughts on Motherhood” by Meredith Masony, Recommended by Liza

Meredith Masony is the founder of the parenting blog That’s Inappropriate. Her book contains a series of relatable, witty essays on the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Masonry empowers mothers to find peace in the fact that everything is not always under control.

“There are quite a few relatable examples of parenting in her book presented in a way that is fun and reminds us that parenting is hard for everyone,” Liza said.

Liza also recommends “How To Do the Work” by Dr. Nicole LePera, a self-help book that encourages readers to recognize their toxic patterns and heal from their past.

  1. “The Forgiveness Journal: A Guided Journey to Forgiving What You Can’t Forget”by Lysa TerKeurst, Recommended by Tammy

A companion novel to “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget,” this journal allows readers to follow along while reflecting on their own experiences. As Terkeurst writes, “Forgiveness is possible. And it is good. Your heart is much too beautiful of a place for unhealed pain. Your soul is much too deserving of new possibilities to stay stuck here.”

“It was gifted to me by a friend who knew that I was going through a situation that involved cutting ties with a former best friend while feeling like I couldn’t forgive the reasons that we went no contact,” Tammy said. “I’ve read it cover-to-cover three times. I always pick up a new coping mechanism with every re-read.”

  1. The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov, Recommended by Erik

Serving as inspiration for the Apple TV+ series and regarded as one of the most influential science fiction series from the last century, the Foundation trilogy follows Hari Seldon, a mathematician and psychologist who developed a new science called psychohistory. This field of study allows Hari to predict the fall of the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire.

Erik also recommends “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas and “1984” by George Orwell.

  1. “I’m Glad My Mom Died” by Jennette McCurdy, Recommended by Parker

Famous child actress Jennette McCurdy details her rise to fame on the Nickelodeon series iCarly in this hilariously heartbreaking memoir. Intimate and candid, Jennette uses dark humor to discuss her struggles with eating disorders, addiction, and her abusive mother.

“I didn’t know much about her prior to the read, but after sitting down with it, I’ve gained a much deeper appreciation for her and the consequences that can follow forcing your dreams on someone else,” Parker said.

  1. “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands”by Paul David Tripp, Recommended by Bobby

“Have you been satisfied by too little? Content with small changes in your life and the lives of others? Unsure of how to help others and uncomfortable when you encounter their needs? You don’t need to start with a strategy or technique, Tripp argues―you need a renewed imagination!”

“It is a great book for looking inward at the root of our heart’s desires, how Jesus’s work of His kingdom sanctifies us through his word, and ministry to others,” said Bobby.

  1. “Mr. Mercedes”by Stephen King, Recommended by Sun

From iconic horror novelist Stephen King, “Mr. Mercedes” follows the story of Bill Hodges, a retired cop who must solve the case after he receives an anonymous letter from Brady Hartfield, a deranged murderer living with his alcoholic mother in a depressing small town. A battle between good and evil, this suspenseful story is sure to keep readers on their toes.

This book is an enthralling new thriller, Sun described this book as “King’s love letter to pulp fiction detective stories.”

  1. “The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida”by Shehan Karunatilaka, Recommended by Dave

Set in Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo during a civil war, this thrilling satire tells the story of Maali Almeida—a photographer, gambler, and closeted gay man. When he wakes up in the afterlife, he seeks to solve the mystery of his death while searching for a series of photographs that would reveal the atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

“It just won the 2022 Booker Prize,” Dave said. “It’s a political thriller, a love story, a family drama, and a ghost story, but it does not follow the traditions of any of those genres. A very rewarding read.”

  1. “Neverwhere”by Neil Gaiman, Recommended by Karly

Based on the BBC 2 television miniseries of the same name, “Neverwhere” tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a man living in London whose world is forever changed after he decides to help an injured girl named Door. He is soon transported to the London Below, an alternate realm, where he must find a way to escape while protecting Door from assassins.

Karly also recommends “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman, the Sprawl series by William Gibson, and the Altered Carbon series by Richard K. Morgan.

  1. “On the House: A Washington Memoir”by John Boehner, Recommended by Kit

Former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, recounts his time representing the opposition party under President Barack Obama’s term. Boehner shares stories of his life in Washington and his opinions on some of the most well-known leaders, giving readers a unique insight into the political realm.

“The book is an easy read and a fascinating look at Congressional politics during his era,” Kit said.

  1. “Project Hail Mary”by Andy Weir, Recommended by Toni

When Ryland Grace wakes up in the middle of outer space, he has no recollection of how he got there. All he knows is that he was asleep for a long time, he is millions of miles away from home, and he alone must save humanity.

If you love action-packed space adventures, look no further. Toni describes the sci-fi filler as “one of my favorite books!”

  1. “White Noise”by Don DeLillo, Recommended by Mindy

Adapted into a Netflix movie, “White Noise” follows college professor Jack Gladney, his fourth wife Babette, and their four children as they navigate contemporary family life. However, when a chemical spill releases a black noxious cloud where he lives, Jack is forced to confront his mortality and fear of death.

Mindy said the book is “an odd but really enjoyable, and the ending is so wildly unexpected!”

By Emma Maring, TDS Communications Intern

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