My Winter Reading List


THE SUBTLE KNIFE // Philip Pullman
"Will has just killed a man.  He's on the run.  His escape will take him far beyond his own world, to the eerie disquiet of a deserted city, and to a girl, Lyra.  Her fate is strangely linked to his own and together they must find the most powerful weapon in all the worlds..."
I read Northern Lights last December with every intention of continuing the series promptly.  Well, that hasn't happened so I'm looking forward to revisiting the world this month.  And perhaps I'll finish the trilogy next December!  I'm all for creating new traditions and this'll be a nice festive one I think. 

THE SNOW CHILD // Eowyn Ivey
"Alaska, the 1920s.  Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before.  When a little girl mysteriously appears on their land, each is filled with wonder but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?"
Another one I bought last year but sadly never got round to in time, I've been saving this for the wintery months and looking forward to getting stuck in.  It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and I've heard good things...I can't wait! 

CITY ON FIRE // Gareth Risk Hallberg
"Midnight, New Year's Eve, 1976.  Nine lives are about to be changed forever.  Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, heirs to one of New York's greatest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better of worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by the punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbour - and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year's Eve.  Then, on July 13th 1977, the lights go out."
Ok, so this one is a whopper.  I bought it in the summer and have been saving it for Christmas time so I'm hoping that festive feeling features heavily.  If I'm honest I'm a little bit daunted by its size (944 pages!) so will need to get started early on in the month if I've got any hope of finishing in time.

THE VANISHING ACT // Mette Jakobsen
"This is a story about a snow covered island you won't find on any map.  It's the story of a girl, Minou.  A year ago, her mother walked out into the rain and never came back.  It's about a magician and a priest and a dog called No Name.  It's a bout a father's endless hunt for the truth.  It's about a dead boy who listens, and Minou's search for her mother's voice.  It's a story of how even the most isolated places have their own secrets.  It's a story you will never forget."
This one I found in a charity shop and I'll be going in pretty blind.  In the back of my mind I feel like this may have been mentioned on booktube a while ago but it's not one I can remember hearing any reviews of.  But with Erin Morgenstern's endorsement on the cover I'm expecting something whimsical.  

"Read these stories by the fire, in the snow, travelling home for the holidays. Give them to friends, wrap them up for someone you love, read them aloud, read them alone, read them together. Enjoy the season of peace and goodwill, mystery, and a little bit of magic. There are ghosts here and jovial spirits. Chances at love and tricks with time. There is frost and icicles, mistletoe and sledges. There's a cat and a dog and a solid silver frog. There's a Christmas cracker with a surprising gift inside. There's a haunted house and a SnowMama. There are Yuletides and holly wreaths. Three Kings. And a merry little Christmas time. And for the icing on the Christmas cake, there are twelve festive recipes from Yuletides past and present. Red cabbage, gravlax, turkey biryani, sherry trifle, Mrs Winterson's mince pies and more."
Jen Campbell recently featured this book and my interest was instantly caught.  I'm relatively new to short stories but Christmas seems the perfect time to indulge.  I've only read one of Jeanette Winterson's books so far but enjoyed her writing style so am looking forward to picking this one up.  It's a payday purchase for sure!

A CHRISTMAS CAROL // Charles Dickens
""Every idiot who goes around with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding". Charles Dickens' tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is haunted by three spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas has had, along with Dickens' other Christmas writings, a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the season as a time for celebration, charity and memory."
Everybody knows what this one's about, so I'll round off this reading list by confessing I've never read any of Dickens' work and I'm looking forward to getting started with this one.  A Christmas Carol is undoubtedly a Christmas classic and it'll be the perfect way to get festive.

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