9 Best New Reads to Get You Through Winter
Crisp mornings and hot coffee, getting wrapped up in heavy duvets and big throw blankets on the couch, staying indoors with a good book. Winter is just as full of romance as summer, especially when you have something transporting to read on a freezing Sunday afternoon when the only thing to do is get straight back into bed.
Here is our pick of the best new releases to keep you warm all winter long.
Did you love Three Women? Because author Lisa Taddeo is back, this time with her first novel. Animal definitely won’t be for everyone: it has subject matter that is shocking and confronting at times, all written in Taddeo’s trademark haunting prose. But its core concerns of sexual desire and female rage are fascinating ones, and fans of Three Women will no doubt find a lot to enjoy here.
This is a book about love, and life and Italy – basically all the most important things, really. By the author of the beloved Tin Man, Still Life is a gorgeous novel set between London and Florence during WWII and just after it, following two completely disparate characters, a young soldier called Ulysses Temper and an ageing art historian (and maybe spy) named Evelyn Skinner. A chance encounter in Tuscany between the pair will change both of their lives forever.
For fans of Margaret Atwood and George Orwell, Widowland is a dystopian alternative-history novel, in which English history is shifted imperceptibly after a German victory in WWII – the Queen is now actually, um, Queen Wallis Simpson – and which follows a young woman named Rose Ransom charged with rewriting works of classic literature to remove female characters. An epic novel that crackles with electricity and a great plot, this is one that you could lose a whole afternoon to reading.
Christine Mangan’s first novel Tangerine, a haunting The Talented Mr Ripley-esque tale of mystery and mistaken identity set in Morocco, was one of our favourite novels in the year it was released. This new book, set during the Venetian floods of 1966, seems to tread similar territory: a reclusive and solitary writer named Frances welcomes a younger female admirer into her life, despite not knowing that much about her at all. Soon, their lives will be entangled, and it will take everything that Frances has to keep her head above water.
All fans of Rachel Cusk’s clear and precise writing will be clamouring to read Second Place, her latest novel. It’s the story of the relationship between a woman and a famed male artist, and opens up conversations about privilege, creativity, art and power. It’s a small, but perfectly formed novel and one that will be on everyone’s reading lists this winter.
One of the most anticipated releases of the season is The Other Black Girl, billed as a cross between The Devil Wears Prada and Get Out. The story centres on Nella, a young black woman who works at a prestigious publishing house in New York, where she is the only woman of colour. When another black woman joins the firm, Nella is initially elated – until the threatening notes demanding that she leave her job start arriving. Who is behind them? And is her job as toxic as she believes? This novel is a compulsive thriller and a great read.
Speaking of thrillers... Alex Michaelides is the author of The Silent Patient, one of the highest selling thrillers in recent memory, and he’s back with The Maidens, a new book about jealousy and obsession, which follows a charismatic university professor and the group of young students who are enthralled by him. There are shades of Greek mythology to this book, as well as echoes of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.
We will never stop raving about Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue, a sexy and enjoyable royal romance novel that we can’t wait to be turned into a television show. Her latest book is One Last Stop, a just-released romance read that is billed as Kate and Leopold in the Tinder age, about a woman from the ‘70s who finds herself transported to modern day New York via a subway carriage. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? We can’t wait to spend all weekend reading this.
Could there be a more perfect book cover for a Bed Threads journal book? Early Morning Riser quite literally has a bed on the front cover, and a bed with a multi-coloured contrasting bedspread to boot. This book is a romantic comedy for fans of Laurie Colwin and Nora Ephron, about a woman who gets married to her small town’s number one lothario, hoping that he’ll change his ways. It has drama, jokes, hijinx and antics galore, and it also has a lot of heart, too. We love this book.