With the even semester finally over, the chilly winters compel you to curl up in the warm cocoon of your blanket. This sets the perfect ambience to skim through an array of paperbacks and hardcovers. Consequently, we’ve compiled a list of books that are perfect for the season. These books are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee/hot chocolate!
Marley and Me – by John Grogan
You’ve probably heard about the movie, starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Still, we can assure you that the book is better! In this heartwarming account of a very playfully destructive dog’s (Marley’s) life, author John Grogan binds his family life and lessons from Marley’s life masterfully. John and Jennifer Grogan bring Marley home, and he’s immediately a riot. He’s a labrador pup, after all!
However, the dog has a heart of gold and knows when to stop gnawing on the furniture in the house. His death and how the family deals with it is a particularly moving part of the story. A great winter read.
Very Good, Jeeves – by P.G. Wodehouse
On some winter days, you feel awake and joyful, revelling in the long nights and short days, but there are also times when the cold gets to your bones, and you feel clammy and useless. Lay your lethargy to rest, for when it comes to uselessness, there is no match for Bertram Wooster. Bertie and his fellow friends from the idle wealthy British bourgeoisie rule these eleven short stories. Each page is a riot of laughter with the sticky situations that only the brainy and faithful valet Jeeves can get Wooster out of. From outrageous drunk escapades to crazy fiancees, these masterpieces of characters beckon you to their world of the 1920s. In one of his uncharacteristically bright moments, Bertie writes “The voice of Love, seemed to call to me, but it was a wrong number.” Perhaps yours is the right one, for it is impossible not to love the impeccable writing. It makes you snort at each sentence and leaves you with tears, if not a bellyache as you finally close the book.
The Alchemist – by Paulo Coelho
Often considered as the Brazilian author’s magnum opus, The Alchemist is an allegorical story of a shepherd on a quest to find a treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. Our protagonist, Santiago, has a recurring dream about a treasure beneath the pyramids in Egypt. A gipsy and her prophecy for the shepherd lead him on to his journey, a journey where he finds love, gains wisdom, and realises his personal legend. An uplifting book full of lessons for life, it makes for a motivating read.
Who Moved My Cheese? – by Spencer Johnson
The aroma of hot tea and a bunch of blankets often make us wistful and melancholy. We yearn for lost time, friends and places. We all accept that change is inevitable, but still find ourselves yearning and grasping at shadows. “Who Moved My Cheese?” is an adorable creation that condenses the concept of change into a parable involving two mice and two “littlepeople” who resemble humans. The sole purpose of their lives is to run through a maze and find cheese. The mice Sniff and Scurry prove extremely resourceful, while the littlepeople Hem and Haw emulate their names when their cheese station runs out. The mice’s little guidelines about the comfort zone and stepping out of it are surprisingly enlightening. Of course, on the flip side, the novella does imply that mice are better than humans, but what of it? We love cheese, too!
A Man Called Ove – by Fredrik Backman
This is a story about a stern old man named Ove. He is grumpy, he follows routines to the tee. However, his tough exterior reveals a sad personal history, for he grieves for his late wife. When a family of four moves into the neighbouring house, a new friendship emerges. A tale about loss, grief and eventual reconciliation, author Frederick Backman weaves a comical story, sprinkled with the occasional tearjerker. A must-read for this winter.
Kane and Abel – by Jeffrey Archer
Jeffrey Archer is a stalwart on dramas involving family, politics and money, and Kane and Abel is one of his classic masterpieces. While the size of the book may daunt new readers, there is never a dull moment in this tale that sinks with the Titanic and rises through an escape from a concentration camp. As the name suggests, there are two sides to this story, but you feel like a parent with your inability to choose. From their births to their deaths, we witness the highs and lows of the eponymous characters, cringing with embarrassment and smiling stupidly with joy as the book progresses. There is strange contentment as you finally reach the end. As Archer wrote, “Never seek the wind in the field—it is useless to try and find what is gone.” Luckily for you, this book is a tornado that you will want to meet again and again and again.
Eragon – by Cristopher Paolini
An epic fantasy novel, the first of the Inheritance Cycle, this epic follows Eragon, a boy who found a dragon egg and becomes a dragon rider. He names his dragon Saphira. Eragon soon sets out on a quest for vengeance after his uncle is killed and his home destroyed by King Galbatorix, who is the only other dragon rider in the realm. A gripping novel, you are sure to get hooked to the series after reading this one!
The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) – by Robert Jordan
Medieval realms with majestic sovereigns and hypnotic enchanters are a cliché in the Fantasy genre, and yet they never fail to impress. The Eye of the World is yet another foray into a world of silk dresses and hunting leathers, with the wide-eyed wonder of every magical tale. The main characters Rand al’ Thor, Perrin and Egwene, are as innocent as Tolkien’s heroes. Yet the sombreness of the plot is reminiscent of A Game of Thrones (the book, not the HBO series). Robert Jordan’s world is a black hole that will draw you in. “The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass”, and you will be oblivious, lost in a saga of sorcerers and otherworldly battles.
The act of skimming your eyes over pages and pages of black letters often seems like a chore, but hidden behind those words are exciting dimensions of joy and awe. The weather is cold and the days short, so snuggle with one of these gems and send your mind to soar, relaxing your bones in the process. Of course, you don’t really have an option but to take our suggestions. If you don’t, well, in Wodehouse’s words, “Unseen in the background, Fate was slowly slipping lead into the boxing glove.”
~ Written by Avaneesh Jai Damaraju and Ankitha Giridhar for MTTN
~ Edited by Rishi Kant
~ Featured Image by Yashovardhan Parekh