There are few things in life as pleasurable as curling up on a cozy sofa by a crackling fire. The best companion for this activity? A good book of course.
Here is our list of top reads for those rainy days or chilly evenings …
Fireplaces and Mantels.com Support Team
1. “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion
In this non-fiction tale, the author recounts the year following her husband’s death from a massive heart attack. While the book is a new classic in the “mourning” literature style, it is far from being a downer. Didion’s writing style is exhilarating and her deadpan sense of humor is evident even as she tackles difficult subject matter.
2. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë
This darkly passionate gothic novel can aptly be described as an anti-romance novel. The protagonists in Bronte’s tale are anti-heroes; selfish, petty and tragically flawed yet somehow the reader finds them both compelling and intriguing.
3. “Random Acts of Kindness” by Danny Wallace
In this follow-up to Wallace’s best-seller “Join Me” the author delivers a volume of 365 random acts of kindness. Wallace’s cause is simple, to be nice, at least once a week, to someone else, for absolutely no personal gain whatsoever. You can’t help but feel good when you read this book.
4. “The Stranger” by Albert Camus
“The Stranger” is considered by many to be one of the most important philosophical novels of the 20th Century. For those interested in philosophy, especially in Existentialism, this novel is a must-read.
5. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
The charming fantasy and inventive language make this a classic that can be enjoyed at many different levels. Get swept-up in the creative imagery and characters and unleash your imagination!
6. “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand
Part mystery, part romance, part science fiction, Rand’s fourth and most philosophically detailed novel is the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. This book tends to elicit strong reactions whether you agree with or oppose Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism.
7. “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold
This book is a narrative about the aftermath of the loss of a child to violent crime. Told in the voice of the victim, it depicts a ten year journey from grief, despair, anger and the desire for revenge towards healing, acceptance and forgiveness. It is a truly unique book and one of hope for many families.
8. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde
Combining morality and wit, Wilde’s novel focuses on the concept that everlasting beauty is more important than a beautiful soul. We find this work to be beautifully written, insightful and evocative.
9. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” by Mark Haddon
This is the story of Christoper Boone, a 15-year old with Asperger’s Syndrome who uses his exceptional logic to solve the murder of a neighbor’s pet. The reader is exposed to insights of a mind not equipped to understand jokes or fully grasp human emotion. It is a funny, sweet, quick read and especially poignant for anyone who knows someone with special needs.
10. “American Pastoral” by Philip Roth
“American Pastoral” tells the tale of a businessman whose upper middle class life is overturned by the domestic social and political strife of the 1960s. At times bleak and bitter, this Pulitzer Prize winner is a powerful meditation on a pivotal decade.