Winter reading is my favorite. There’s something about being barricaded indoors that sets the perfect mood for grabbing a new book and cozying up in a warm spot. I compiled a list of books I have read recently that moved me to think, smile and (I’ll admit) tear up. If you’re looking for a new book to cozy up to on a cold night, I would recommend any of the following five.
Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
This novel by Jodi Picoult follows an African American labor and delivery nurse, Ruth, who is accused of the death of a newborn baby of a white supremacist father and his wife. Picoult wonderfully narrates the novel in the voice of Ruth, the father of the deceased child, and Ruth’s public defender. It was an enthralling storyline and wove in both covert and overt racism that exists in our society, and how it continues to color our views and actions. This was a novel that forced me evaluate my thoughts, and become more consciously aware of social injustices that continue to exist. Picoult knocked this one out the park.
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
This novel by Allen Eskens, features Joe Talbert, a college student who has an English assignment that he desperately needs to finish. The assignment has him crossing paths with Carl Iverson, a Vietnam veteran, that was convicted of murder and has only a few months to live. Joe, along with his neighbor, Lila, begin to discover that Carl may be innocent. Joe attempts to balance his past, including his brother who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and his mother who drinks and wastes away the little money they have. Lila and Joe start to unweave the history of Carl’s past, along with sharing parts of theirs that have been painful, to set all of them free. This was a beautifully written novel that shows true depths of character, the sacrifices we make and the bonds that keep us going.
A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
Ove, Ove, Ove. Will you be my adopted grandfather? I absolutely adored this novel. My heart ached for this fictional character and all that he experienced in his lifetime, but it only made the triumphs more beautiful. Without giving too much away, if you’ve ever had a soft spot for curmudgeon-y old men, this book is for you. You will smile, laugh, and tear up reading about this man called Ove, and wish you manifest him into your life.
Ordinary Grace: A Novel by William Kent Krueger
Krueger has a gift, and it is evident in this novel. Ordinary Grace is told by Frank Drum, as he looks back on his life during the Summer of 1961 in the Minnesota River valley, and the series of deaths that shook the quiet and safe town in which he has his family lived. This book is filled with religious undertones as Frank grapples with his family’s church involvement, his father being the town minister and his mother singing in the church choir. Krueger did a beautiful job of giving us the perspective of an adolescent boy, as he navigates the trials and tribulations of this Summer, how it affected his family and how it shaped his life.
Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
This novel follows a teenage foster female, Molly, who feels very much out of place with her current foster family in Maine. Molly, who needs to complete community service, is linked up with Vivian, an elderly woman with a large estate. To Molly, it seems that they have little in common, but when they start to unpack the boxes in Vivian’s attic, they begin to discover that they indeed have much in common. Vivian, an Irish immigrant, was placed on an Orphan Train, and brought to the Midwest at a young age, separated forever from her family and roots. Their similar stories and mutual beginnings bring solace and grace to each other, forging new bonds and deep-rooted changes within them.
Do you have any good recommendations?
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