18 Must-Read Books to Add to Your Shelf This Winter
Winter here in Boston means chilly temperatures, slippery roads, and lots of time bundled up inside. These conditions can be a little bit of a drag, but they also give me more time than usual to relax and snuggle up with a book. Here are eighteen books that I’m especially excited for this winter!
Winter 2021 Books to Read
There’s never a wrong time to curl up with a good book, but if you ask me, winter might just be an especially right time to do it. The weather is chillier than usual and we’re still staying home as much as possible, and it feels a little like hibernation. This is where good books come in! I’ve collected a list of highly-praised titles you’ll be glad you welcomed into your personal winter wonderland. Happy reading!
Fiction to Fall Into
Looking for a good story this winter? I am, too! Check out these novels, which are getting lots of love this season…
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour: Black Buck recently found its way to the New York Times Bestseller List and to Jenna’s Book Club on the Today show, so you know it’s gotta be good. Main character Darren is the only Black employee at his company in New York City, prompting him to reimagine himself as tough guy salesman “Buck.” Darren’s loved ones don’t recognize this new version of him, but his transformation inspires him to help other people of color break into the sales biz.
The Ex Talk by Rachel Solomon: The Ex Talk just hit shelves in January and has been garnering tons of love from book lovers in that short time! If you’re looking for something on the lighter side that still packs a punch with awesome characters and great writing, this just might be the perfect book for you. The concept? Two radio hosts lie to their listeners about their romantic history in order to host a show about relationship advice. You can probably guess what’s about to happen, but you’ll only learn the details if you grab yourself a copy.
Milk Fed: A Novel by Melissa Broder: The protagonist of Milk Fed is a twenty-four-year-old woman named Rachel who has taken her interest in health too far. (You know how I feel about this, people.) Her therapist wants her to ditch the calorie counting (same!), so she goes on a communication detox from her mother. During this time, she meets a woman named Miriam, who brings Rachel into her circle of food, family, and faith. Milk Fed has earned praise from big-name magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and is bound to be one of the most talked-about books of the next few months.
The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans: If the idea of finishing a whole novel feels overwhelming, you might consider a novella! Or perhaps some short stories? The Office of Historical Corrections gives you a little bit of both, and has also been buzzed about across the book world recently! Author Danielle Evans introduces readers to a wonderful cast of characters from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds and encourages us to think a little more critically about our collective history.
Outlawed by Anna North: Everything Reese Witherspoon touches turns to gold, and I have a feeling that Outlawed will be no exception. That’s right, friends — it’s the latest pick for Reese’s Book Club! Outlawed is a fresh, feminist take on the western, led by an incredible teenaged heroine named Ada. You’ll be turning the pages so fast that you won’t even realize that it’s still winter.
Luster: A Novel by Raven Leilani: If you’re a sucker for absolutely stunning writing, then look no further than Luster. Raven Leilani’s debut novel garnered tons of praise at the end of 2020, and this book is so beautiful that we should help keep that love going. In Luster, we meet Edie, a young twenty-something artist struggling to find her way in Brooklyn. When she strikes up a relationship with a man in an open marriage and ultimately befriends his wife, she has the opportunity to connect with herself and her personal history in a new way.
Love in the City by Jen Morris: I don’t know about you, but something about a rom com book is just hitting the spot these days. Love in the City was published last fall and makes the perfect addition to your winter reading list! It’s a sexy, steamy romantic comedy featuring a newly-thirty-year-old heroine and her relationship with a single dad who lives in her apartment building.
The Paris Library: A Novel by Janet Skeslien Charles: Something about a novel that’s based on a true story just hits different, don’t you think? Enter The Paris Library, which was inspired by a group of librarians who worked at the American Library in Paris during World War II. The librarians come together and use books to stand up for what they believe in amid turbulent times. There’s friendship, family, and everyday heroism… and Paris!
The Four Winds: A Novel by Kristin Hannah: Kristin Hannah has proven her incredible storytelling abilities time and again — and she’s back with another page-turner in The Four Winds. Set during the Dust Bowl, this novel introduces readers to a woman named Elsa who has been written off as too old for marriage who must decide between fighting for her homeland or going west to California. What will she do? You’ll have to read to find out!
Non-Fiction Food for Thought
One of the coolest things about non-fiction is just how diverse it is! Pick any one of these titles up for a taste of true stories and/or real information that can enrich your life…
Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes by Lauren Akins: I picked this one up recently and couldn’t wait to recommend it to all of you! You may know Lauren Akins as the wife of country star Thomas Rhett, but after you read this book, you’ll recognize her for so much more than that. In Live in Love, Lauren takes readers behind the scenes of her love story with her childhood friend turned rock star husband, plus what it means to marry into fame.
Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My LIfe by Christie Tate: I’ve been super open with all of you about my personal therapy journey and how much it’s changed my life. In Group, Christie Tate is equally open about her own experience. It’s a memoir about the time the author spent in group therapy with six total strangers and how it helped her move from overworked attorney to a more fully realized person.
Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand: I’m no expert on the royals, but it’s hard to resist a real-life story of princes and princesses. When I heard about Finding Freedom, I had to get my hands on it! The book takes a deep dive into the story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a polarizing couple that has made their own mark in the monarchy. The authors have spent years reporting on all things royal family, so they really know what they’re talking about.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson: As we all continue in our ongoing journey to learn about and implement antiracism in our daily lives, it never hurts to stay up to date on the hottest books in the category! Caste is a must-read title in this space. In it, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Isabel Wilkerson investigates the caste system that has perpetuated racism in America throughout our history. And since we like to be solution-oriented, you’ll be happy to know that she also offers suggestions for how our country can move forward into a more unified future.
Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross: Like it or not, we all have to deal with those pesky voices in our heads that make us question ourselves, dial up our anxiety, and generally drive us wild. The author of Chatter is a psychologist who’s out to help us get those voices under control. The book will arm you with everything you need to know about how to use those inner conversations to your advantage.
Parenting Books I’m Digging
Ever since Skylar was born, I’ve been getting tons of questions about what parenting books I’m reading. It’s taken me a minute to get to a place where I feel ready to fully commit to these kinds of books — as I’ve told you before, I think the mama instinct is all-too-often overshadowed by the pressure we feel to seek out advice on how to care for our little ones! — but I’m finally ready! Here are a handful of the parenting books Mike and I been especially interested in…
The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children by Shefali Tsabary: The one and only Oprah Winfrey promoted The Awakened Family on SuperSoul Sunday, so I just had to check it out. I discovered that there’s way more to love about this than the Oprah seal of approval! In this book, Dr. Shefali Tsbary outlines her philosophies for cultivating healthy relationships with our children. Her experiences as both a parent and a clinical psychologist make her advice both practical and transformative.
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children by Shefali Tsabary: Before there was The Awakened Family, there was The Conscious Parent, Dr. Tsabary’s first book for parents. Unlike other, more traditional parenting guides, this one encourages moms and dads to dig deeper than the day in, day out routines of parenting, to look closely at themselves and their personal histories to see how getting back to the core of who they are might make them more effective, loving parents.
The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie: Mike and I love reading aloud with Skye. In fact, since the day we found out we were going to be parents, it’s something we pictured ourselves doing! As our baby girl grows, I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make these reading moments as meaningful to her as possible. The Read-Aloud Family offers tips to help families use reading to teach their children about everything from empathy and compassion to academics! Why shouldn’t reading together be the best, most important part of the day?
Nonviolent Communication (A Language of Life) by Marshall B. Rosenberg: This might not be a parenting book per se, but I know that it has so much to teach all of us in all of our relationships… including the ones we are building with our kids! Dr. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication brings together four key elements — consciousness, language, communication, and means of influence — to help us connect in more loving, empathetic ways. I’m excited to learn these tools so I can pass them on to my family.
Looking for our 2020 Winter Book List?
If you need more book inspiration, here is our list from the winter of 2020!
- Followers: A Novel by Megan Angelo
- The Gifted School: A Novel by Bruce Holsinger
- The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett
- Dear Edward: A Novel by Ann Napolitano
- Long Bright River: A Novel by Liz Moore
- Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener
- My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams
- Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier by Victoria James:
- Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews
- The Giver of Stars: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
- You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy
- I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution by Emily Nussbaum
- Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun
- Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond by Lydia Denworth
- More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
February 19, 2021
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