As we move past the holiday rush and the New Year, we find ourselves suddenly thrust into the middle of winter, and with quite a bit more time on our hands while we wait for spring. This tends to be the hardest stretch of winter for us; when spring is in sight, but still so miserably far away. To beat the winter blues there's nothing we love more than a big, cozy book to go live in for a while, and ignore the drizzly gray (or snow, lately!) outside. You can find us curled up on the couch with blankets, tea, and these books until the sun returns!
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1. Anna Karenina | Leo Tolstoy- This is one of my very favorite books of all time. It's chunky, immersive, and dramatic. You get glimpses of rural Russian life, glittering society parties, family dynamics, love affairs, and tragedies all in one big book that will swallow you up. Be mindful of which translation you pick up though; there are some duds out there!
2. The Once and Future King | T. H. White- If you're a fan of Arthurian legend, this is the book for you. One of the most epic love stories of all time, and one of the most cutting betrayals plays out on the page against a backdrop of knights, kings, magic, and prophecies. What more could you want?
3. Harry Potter | J.K. Rowling - This is pretty much the ultimate comfort re-read for most of us, but if you haven't read it it's a huge, magical (hah!) series full of delightful details, great characters, and a brilliantly complex plot. It's lucky the series is so long, because the pages absolutely fly by.
4. Lord of the Rings | J. R. R. Tolkien- If you've only seen the movies, it's time to dive into the books. They're big, but they read quickly, I swear. There is so much happening in these, but they're easy to follow and completely absorbing. Plus, Tolkien does world building like no one else. The third book is by far my favorite, and always makes my heart swell past capacity with all the feels.
5. Middlemarch | George Eliot- This is on my TBR for this year and looks like it's set to explore major themes of humanity through a cast of characters all in the fictional town of Middlemarch. I love books where multiple storylines weave and cross, so I'm really looking forward to picking this up and hibernating in it; i've heard Eliot writes with exceptional warmth and wisdom, which sounds about perfect for these cold months! P.S isn't this edition gorgeous?!
11/22/63 | Stephen King- This is also on my unread shelf and I've heard nothing but rave reviews for it's intricacy and it's well done romance. It's enormous and I'm very much looking forward to getting lost in this historical time travel novel. I really want to watch the mini-series, but am holding off till I get through the book!
American Gods | Neil Gaiman- We are both huge fans of Gaiman and this book is no exception. It's such a unique concept and is in turns unsettling, strange, wonderful, and gasp worthy. There's angry gods, tourist traps, road trips, the ugliness of technology, and old, deep magic all at play here. Gaiman explores American culture and all the tangled bits that comprise it brilliantly. Again, there is a mini-series out recently that was shockingly well done if you need some Netflix in your life.
Winter's Tale | Mark Helprin- If you're in the mood for a hefty tome of gorgeous, glitteringly beautiful prose, this is for you. It's snow covered New York, and impossible loves, and wispy tendrils of magic, spanning generations and crossing genres as it blends historical fiction and fairytales into one big beautiful package.
Jane Eyre | Charlotte Brontë- A cozy favorite of ours, Jane is such a great heroine who overcomes so much. It's definitely a classic for a reason and if you haven't read it yet, you should. We're certain most of you have encountered or heard of this book at some point so we're simply adding our voices to the chorus of it's admirers.
The Book Thief | Markus Zusak- Beloved by pretty much everyone, this book is huge, but is an effortless read thanks to its lyrical prose and a good dose of levity. It's got a highly unusual narrator who follows the life of a girl who loves books, and goes to great lengths to preserve them against the backdrop of Germany during WWII. Heartbreaking and beautiful in equal measure and well worth picking up.
What are your favorite big books to pass the winter evenings with?