Good books are essential! – so we’ve selected 7 brilliant reads for cosying up with on a frosty night or wet weekend.

7 books to cosy up with

Grab a large cup of coffee and a bar of chocolate, and snuggle down with our current favourite books:

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Here’s Looking at You by Mhairi McFarlane

Contemporary sparkle glitters throughout this ugly-duckling tale. Aureliana – nicknamed the Italian Galleon by school bullies – bumps into old crush James at a class reunion. He fails to recognise her, and as fate continues to cause their paths to collide, Aureliana wonders if there’s a nicer guy below James’ brash exterior. Or is he just the same old schoolboy? A fun read that will have you laughing out loud.

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Slavery, freedom and injustice are all tackled in the latest novel from the Girl With A Pearl Earring author. Honor Bright is an English Quaker, used to the simple life. After an uncharacteristically impulsive decision, she finds herself in Ohio, inadvertently drawn into a secret network helping plantation slaves find freedom. Chevalier effortlessly recreates the time period, pulling us into Honor’s angst between her religious beliefs, and the strictures of the society she lives in.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Bleak Icelandic landscapes, hard living and the consequent hardening of emotions are intricately depicted in this slow-burning novel. Agnes Magnúsdóttir is to be publicly executed for the brutal murder of her lover, Nathan Ketilsson. Held with a local family, Agnes gradually reveals the deeper truth about Nathan’s cruel and obsessive form of love. Entwining different narrative viewpoints, Kent keeps the sense of desolate isolation ever-present in her debut novel.

The Proposal by Tasmina Perry

Fleeing a bruised heart, Amy responds to an advert to accompany 70-year-old Georgia to the Big Apple. As their stories – past and present – unfold, can the two women help each other find personal peace and happiness? A fun chicklit read, crossing between modern New York and the sumptuous world of the 1950s London debutante scene. Perfect escapism for dark winter nights.

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The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison

Chronicling the darker side of marriage breakdown, this pacy storyline is imbued with a distinct sense of unease. Through Jodi’s (the ‘silent wife’) subtly obsessive routines, and her husband Todd’s narcissistic justification of his self-serving actions, Harrison exposes raw emotions with piercing, chilling accuracy. Absorbing reading for a train journey or quiet Sunday afternoon.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

A warm, witty and clever re-working of Jane Austen’s classic. Pragmatic Eleanor, romantic dreamer Marianne and stroppy teen Mags are all given a modern makeover, whilst keeping true enough to the original for Austen fans to still enjoy. The cast of fantastic side characters will have you laughing out loud with their personality quirks. An enjoyable, easy page-turner for a rainy weekend.

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Weaving between pre- and post-Taliban Afghanistan, modern-day USA and spinning out to Greece and Paris, Hosseini delivers all the dramatic narrative twists we’ve come to expect following The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. This novel feels less pacy, but you can expect the same tricky moral questions, and explorations of human pride and suffering. Its impact remains long after you finish reading.

So there you have it – our top reading picks for these short, dark winter days!

Read any of these? Share your thoughts with us @tweetjanes


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