Looking for something to read over winter break? Look no further. Here is a rundown on some fantastic, well-written books across a plethora of genres.
If you want to feel empowered: “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
Highly rated among book lovers and a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, this book is sure to emote a powerful response. It focuses around what happens when you stop striving to reach other people’s expectations of you and instead listen to your inner voice. Doyle uses her own life and navigation through this process to teach, empower and inspire women to become more free, confident and full of life.
If you want to see what the hype is about: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab
If you look up the hashtag title of this book on social media platforms, a swarm of highly rated reviews will fill the screen. Ever since its release, everyone has been talking about the journey this book takes the reader on. Set in 17th century France and modern day New York City, the story follows a woman named Addie who makes a deal with the devil in order to escape a forced marriage in Parisian society. Addie can then live forever but is forgotten by everyone she meets. That is, until 300 years later, when she runs into someone in a New York City bookstore that remembers her name. With over 30,000 reviews on Goodreads with an average 4.46/5 rating, this book is not one to miss.
If you love fantasy and want to read the book before the television premier: “The Shadow and Bone” series by Leigh Bardugo
Stealing the hearts of fantasy lovers everywhere, this book series, along with its overlapping “Six of Crows” by the same author, have been picked up by Netflix to bring the fantasy stories to the visual world. The first book centers around Aline Starkov, an orphan and new soldier who must undertake a dangerous trek full of mystery, monsters and a new magic she has found within herself.
“As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation,” describes Amazon’s summary. “Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.”
In order to fully embrace the fandom surrounding these series, read the books before the show airs early next year.
If you’re a Springsteen fan: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen takes readers on a journey through his entire life. From his small town upbringing in Freehold, N.J. with a tumultuous father-son relationship, to his early nomad musician days and eventual rise to major stardom, Springsteen brings his story to life on every page. A true lyrical genius, he saturates his autobiography with lush detail and profound prose about life, love and, of course, rock and roll. If you are a lover of the lives of epic rockstars, or even if you have no prior knowledge, Springsteen’s book will take you on an unforgettable journey that will leave you changed on the other side.
If you want a callback to your middle school book fair: “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins
Finally, the long-awaited prequel to the insanely popular “Hunger Games” series. Unbelievably, it has already been almost a decade since the final entry of the trilogy, “Mockingjay,” was released. If it set any precedent, then Collins’ newest book is certain to be adapted for the screen sometime soon. In a departure from its previous style, it follows the series’ primary antagonist, President Snow, as a young man during the early days of the Hunger Games. It is a fascinating insight into Panem and a must-read for anyone sentimental about their middle school reading choices.
If you love to see the other side of history: “The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz” by Erik Larson
A stunning historical fiction about Sir Winston Churchill and British leadership in the early days of World War II, when the German Lutwaffe was beginning to conduct air raids on Britain. Larson is a master at spinning historical narratives to be thrilling and illustrious, opening his readers to a different perspective of history. “The Splendid and the Vile” is his latest work, and he is well-known for “Devil in the White City.”