A Reading List For Winter

A Reading List For Winter

Don’t expect any cosy novels to warm the heart there aren’t any here. This reading list reflects the growing darkness and bitterly cold nights of winter. Curl yourself up in a warm bedroom, perhaps with a cosy dressing gown on and a candle burning, but remember to make sure your doors are locked tight...

A Reading List For Winter

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

A group of six college students studying Ancient Greek at an elite Vermont college become intense friends, and - under the influence of their professor - cross the boundaries of morality where obsession turns into corruption and betrayal leads to evil. The Secret History is a murder mystery in reverse; not who done it but why did they do it, and how the consequences of their actions have lasting effects on the isolated students.

The Shining by Stephen King

A psychological horror classic to plunge you into the depths of winter. Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel; an isolated hotel in the Colorado Rockies, which becomes cut off from the world when the snow sets in. Danny, Jack’s son, possesses “the shining,” a psychic ability allowing Danny to see supernatural forces. The hotel’s past haunts the family and slowly erodes Jack’s sanity.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

An epic novel exploring love, guilt, freedom, redemption, poisonous rivalry and self-destruction. East of Eden focuses on two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, from farmland in California’s Salinas Valley and how their destinies becomes deeply interwoven. Enduring and memorable, Steinbeck’s has created a sprawling and intense story that will seep into your heart and stay with you forever.

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

A hard-to-read gripping tale of motherhood, sacrifice, and blame. Written from the perspective of the killer’s mother, Eva Khatchadourian, the reader learns Eva's son, Kevin, has committed a school massacre. Through letters written to her husband, Eva documents her attempts to come to terms with what Kevin has done, why he did it, and whether she - or the family - were responsible.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

A dystopian classic where the world is in a perpetual state of war. Under the omnipresent government surveillance of “Big Brother," a political system founded in dictatorship under the control of a privileged elite called the Inner Party; individualism and independent thinking is persecuted and stamped out by any means necessary by the authoritarian state. Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party working for the Ministry of Truth, secretly hates the Inner Party and attempts to rebel against Big Brother and everything it stands for.

What Was She Thinking? by Zoƫ Heller

Barbara is a history teacher at a comprehensive London school; lonely, desperate, and leading a solitary life, Barbara clings to the friendship she builds with the new art teacher, Sheba. When Sheba confides in Barbara about her affair with an underage student Barbara decides to defend her friend through documenting an account of the events, which she hopes will “protect” Sheba from the media circus. Not only does Barbara reveal Sheba's secrets, she also reveals her own.

A Reading List For Winter

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Defined as a love story by the author and a tale of horror by readers, House of Leaves is a peculiar and unconventional book with stylised page layouts, strange formatting, and multiple narratives, creating a disorientating, twisted story that dips in and out of time zones, places, and accounts. Condensing the plot to a few lines is impossible without underselling the book. House of Leaves is primarily about a young family that moves into a new home, which they discover is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. But House of Leaves is so much more that that, you just have to read it to find out why.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

From an Oregon psychiatric hospital, “Chief” Bromden - a deaf/mute half-Native American inmate - narrates the antics of Randle Patrick McMurphy, a rebellious convict guilty with battery, gambling, and charged with statutory rape, who fakes insanity to avoid prison to instead serve out his sentence in the hospital thinking he would have a much easier life there. Randle’s boisterous, fun-loving nature leads him to take over the mental hospital inciting rebellion and bringing joy but the consequences are too horrific to bear.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

A dystopian science fiction novel about three Hailsham boarding students who share a special gift. The less you know about this book the better; resist reading reviews or excerpts, head in blind and pray your heart doesn’t get broken.

The Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft

Named after the fictional grimoire created by H. P. Lovecraft, The Necronomicon is a collection of his original writings including tales of horror, science fiction, and cosmology. Strange, harrowing, and dreamlike, Lovecraft's tales of horror are beautifully written and horrifying to read - perfect bedtime reading for adults when night has set in, the wind is howling, and you're safe indoors with the doors locked.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

On first appearance, Frank and April Wheeler are the perfect couple - a professional working man and housewife with beautiful children and a wonderful new home. Set in 1955, these self-assured suburbanites consider themselves better than their neighbours with great ambitions and dreams of success in their near future. Slowly their perfect life crumbles and disintegrates when their start to argue, Franke begins an affair, and prospect of a third child causes their world to fall apart.

Fairy Tales From Around The World by Andrew Lang

A compilation of folklore and fairy tales to transport you into a world where animals talk, people find true love, and evil can (sometimes) be triumphed over. Bedtime stories aren’t only for children and especially not this collection; traditional fairy tales are intensely dark and deliciously frightening. It’s a compilation of stories to dip in and out of, short reads for winter nights when you want your mind to wander into a realm of fantasy where anything can happen.