Six books perfect for beating the winter blues
There’s nothing quite like cosying up with a good book and letting your imagination run wild, and as we all come to terms with life during another lockdown, there’s never been a better time to hunker down with a good read. So we’ve put together the best fiction and non-fiction picks to add to your bookshelf!
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Midnight Library is an uplifting and captivating story of a young woman who sees no place for herself in the world anymore. Her life has been filled with misery and regret, so when she ends up in the secret library she seizes the moment to take a different path, to try and find out what makes her truly happy.
This is one of those thought-provoking reads that makes you ponder on the choices you’ve made in your own life, and will keep you thinking long after you’ve put it down.
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell
With everything that’s going on in the world right now, has there ever been a better time to be transported to a completely different era? Purcell’s latest offering takes us to Bath in Victorian England where we meet struggling artist, Agnes, who finds herself at the heart of a mystery when her clients are murdered shortly after sitting for her. In her search for answers, she seeks out a renowned child spirit medium in a bid to speak to the dead and identify their killers. Purcell has established herself as a master of Gothic page-turning fiction and her latest novel is no exception, providing some much-needed escapism for those long, wintry nights.
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
In Alderton’s first foray into fiction after her bestselling memoir Everything I Know About Love, we meet the novel’s protagonist, Nina, a privileged thirtysomething with a seemingly perfect life. Beneath the surface, the cracks are beginning to show as she navigates online dating apps, generational conflict with her parents, fading friendships and the gendered double-standard of her biological clock. Many of Nina’s observations will remind you of Alderton’s previous work, so if you loved that you will surely love this.
Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh
If you’re looking for a gripping thriller to keep you hooked, Fifty Fifty does just the trick. Part of the bestselling Eddie Flynn series by Cavanagh, you don’t need to have read the other books to completely immerse yourself in this one.
The novel tells the story of two estranged sisters both on trial for their father’s murder, and both accusing each other. We see the story unfold from Flynn’s viewpoint, interspersed with chapters narrated by “She” – the killer. This is a pacey and twisting read which will keep you guessing right until the very end.
No Shame by Tom Allen
For guaranteed laughs, beloved comedian Tom Allen’s memoir sees him retell hilarious and sometimes heart-breaking stories from his life as a child growing up in 90s suburbia, the insecurities that can dominate teenage adolescence and life as an adult navigating the gay dating scene.
He writes with real wit and charm, recounting stories from his past that we can all relate to; standout moments include his trip on the flumes with Joyce and his tales of travelling to America as an 18-year-old. It’s the perfect uplifting read to make you feel a little brighter in these uncertain times.
Not The Type by Camilla Thurlow
After first rising to fame following her stint on TV dating show, Love Island, in 2017, Thurlow has since made a name for herself by shining a light on a number of important issues, such as her work as a bomb disposal expert clearing landmines for the HALO Trust and her support for other humanitarian charities, including Choose Love/Help Refugees.
This memoir provides an engaging reflection on her life before and after Love Island, but most importantly, offers an inspirational insight in confronting one’s own anxieties in a world dominated by the trappings of celebrity culture and social media.