I love reading all year round but there is something so special about curling up on the couch in winter with a warm blanket, hot drink, and a good book. Extra points if I find a great audiobook so my hands are free to multitask and chip away at a crochet project too.
The best winter reads tend to evoke a cosy feeling and for me that usually means some kind of murder mystery or fantasy book. Making the most of the long nights, I have an excuse to tackle some of the longer books on my shelves that I don’t always have time to immerse myself in in the summer months. I’m not above some seasonal escapism though and still pepper in some light-hearted summer romances too as a pallet cleanser.
Check out the list below for some of my recent favourite reads!
Grace Bernard’s millionaire father abandoned her and her mother before she was born to avoid scandal and having to divorce his actual wife. When she finds out who he is and that he denied her dying mother’s pleas for help, Grace vows to get her revenge. Obviously, the best way to do so is to kill every member of his/her family.
This part hilarious, part horrific tale holds many twists. It takes place across two main timelines as we follow Grace through her teen years to her late 20’s, managing to kill 6 members of her estranged family in increasingly elaborate ways, and in present day where she is in prison for a murder she didn’t actually commit.
While she might make some questionable decisions along the way, it is somehow hard not to root for Grace in her endeavour.
A modern twist on the vampire story, ‘Woman, Eating’ explores the complicated relationships between a woman and her mother, her body, her past, and her future.
Born to a vampiric mother and accidentally turned just after she was born, Lydia never had the chance to know what it is to be fully human. She was raised on pigs’ blood and taught that the demon inside of her was not worthy of the life it stole from her human body. When her mother starts to lose it a little though, Lydia puts her in a rest home and moves to London so she can pursue her dream of becoming an artist, like her late human father.
Sourcing fresh pigs' blood in London turns out to be a little harder than anticipated and without a reliable food source Lydia starts to wrestle with the conflicts within her; between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans if she is to find a way to exist in their world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.
Definitely a good idea to read this one with a snack or two nearby as there are many detailed descriptions of food peppered throughout.
I’m a big fan of Henry’s writing but this one is my new favourite of her romance novels. I also can’t sum it up better than the back of the book does but I will say that if you are after a book that will make you smile, and laugh, and long for long summer days, this is the one.
“Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple. They go together like bread and butter, gin and tonic, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Every year, they take a holiday from their lives to drink far too much wine with their favourite people in the world. Except this year, they are lying through their teeth, because—for reasons they’re still not discussing—Harriet and Wyn broke up six months ago.
And they still haven't told anyone.
But the cottage is for sale so this is the last time they'll all be here together. They can't bear to break their best friends' hearts so they'll fake it for just one more week.”
This book is just bizarre, but in the best way. It is also a very quick read as it is written as a stream of messages on a company Slack server.
What starts off as messages of employees in this New York-based PR firm calling in sick or asking which conference room the afternoon meeting is supposed to be in, quickly takes a turn when Gerald somehow uploads his consciousness to the Slack server and can’t find his way out.
People assume it is just an elaborate bit to exploit the new work-from-home policy so don’t really notice at first. Plus, they have their own problems to deal with.
Chaos steadily builds as their biggest client, a high-end dog food company, has to recall a bad batch of food that’s allegedly poisoning Pomeranians, the Slack Bot AI starts to show an intense interest in experiencing a sunrise, and someone keeps hearing wolves howling around the office that no one else can hear…
A hard book to describe but wildly entertaining.
“When a Reaper appears to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.”
Wallace Price’s life ended without much to show for it; aside from perhaps a collection of nice suits and impressive number of billable hours spent at the office. After being brought to Charon’s Crossing, a peculiar tea shop in the middle of nowhere run by an equally peculiar man named Hugo, he starts to discover all the things he missed in life.
‘Under the Whispering Door’ is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with. Apparently, it is never too late to make the most of life, even if you’re already dead!
I don’t know what I love more about this book, it’s sense of humour or the truly kind way Klune is able to broach some of life’s heavier topics. Either way, it is incredible and 100% worth the read!
Some of my favourite books and recommendations from past years have recently been adapted into TV shows, so if you are also looking for something new to binge I would recommend checking out ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’, and ‘The Power’ on Amazon Prime. On the flip side, if you’ve seen the shows already and liked them, you should absolutely check out the books because they are so worth it!
Remember to support your local booksellers and if you are ever stumped for your next read don’t be afraid to ask them for a recommendation. If you can’t bear to brave the wild weather to find your next read you can also check out the Libby app. As long as you have a library card you can get access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks for free on your phone or tablet.
If you have any recommendations you’d like to share with the WT family, feel free to leave them as a comment below. You can also pop in to the store during the week to tell me in person. It always puts a smile on my face when someone comes in to share a new favourite read. It can be quite dangerous for my wallet and bookshelf space though…
I just picked up a copy of ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ by Bonnie Grams that someone recommended to me at the end of last year and I can’t wait to get to it!
- Grace x
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There are three body measurement points that you need to know to ensure a great fit – bust, waist, and hips.
When taking your body measurements, wear the undergarments you normally wear for the most accurate results. Use a flexible tape measure, or a piece of string and ruler, and hold it around each body point so it is comfortably snug. If the tape is cutting into your flesh, it is too tight.
To ensure an accurate measurement around your body, keep the measuring tape as level as possible from front to back. We recommend measuring yourself in front of a mirror so you can check this from a side view. If you can, get a friend to help you to ensure the most accurate measurements.
Bust: Wrap the measuring tape around your back and where the tape meets across the fullest point of your bust is your bust measurement.
Waist: Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waist, the slimmest part of your torso, pulling the ends to the front. Where they meet is your waist measurement.
Hips: Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your bottom – this is usually low down towards your thighs. As with your bust and waist measurements, where the tape meets is your hip measurement.
Length: To measure the length of individual garments against your body it is best to measure down the centre of your back. To do this, start the measuring tape at either the base of your neck for dresses and tops, or at your waist for skirts. Measure down your body to the measurement listed in the garment description. This will show you where the garment comes to on you. When you are measuring for length, remember to make sure you are standing completely upright – it is best to have someone help you with this. Alternatively, compare the measurement with the length of a garment you already have.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Annabelle – email@example.com, she is here to help.