Whether you call it the winter blues, seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder – it’s no joke. You’re only a few weeks into the fall season and it’s already dark out by four o’clock? No thanks. Not to mention winter’s ice-cold breath that forces you into hibernation mode every year, which is especially true if you live in the midwest! However, the seasons change whether we like it or not, and sometimes staying inside can have its perks and opportunities to do things within the comfort of our own homes.
For some people, that may mean cooking a new dish or learning to knit a sweater; for book lovers like us, this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on that half-read book stash in the corner of our closet. Though, if you’d like to add more to your stash (or actually finish the darn book), take a look at this selection of works that we think might help you beat those winter blues.
1. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
Hygge can be translated into different things, but it all comes down to living better, and I don’t simply mean only eating plant-based meals or going to sleep at nine o’clock every night. In so many words, hygge isn’t just a concept. This can be a feeling or an experience that makes you feel calm, cozy, and at home.
In this not-so-little book (in fact, it’s well over 200 pages), Danish based author, Meik Wiking, guides us through the meaning of a hygge lifestyle and teaches us how to achieve it. If you are searching for a book to motivate you to live a comfortable life in the moment, this one’s for you.
2. Affirmations for Turbulent Times by Sarah Peyton
We are living in turbulent times, and perhaps we always have been, but the issues of today have seemingly become a lot more difficult to grasp in the palms of our fragile hands. In this wonderful little book, Sarah Peyton offers over one-hundred themes of affirmations that are rooted in neuroscience providing support throughout our daily lives.
Raising thoughtful questions and considerations for readers to contemplate over, this book gifts us with masterful language and a deeper resonance to the human experience. I have to recommend this gem, especially as a winter read, for anyone in search of encouragement and self-guidance.
3. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
This is the story of an unnamed narrator who spends a year under the influence of a lengthy list of medications prescribed by one of the worst possible psychiatrists to date. This modern-day sleeping beauty, one of the worst (and best) anti-heroes for myriad reasons, really has zero f*cks to give. I mean, who would when you get to sleep for that long?
This story definitely holds some dark elements – talks of depression, isolation, and drug abuse. Though I think it’s the overarching idea that while many people only fantasize about escaping reality, it is the ridiculousness of this sleep-obsessed narrator who actually tries to pull it off that makes this novel an oddly interesting read during those shut-in wintering months.
4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
You may have read this book once or twice during your childhood days, but I would also consider this a great read for adults that offers a lesson to be learned. Here we have a pilot who works hard to repair his plane after crash landing into a desert; eventually, the pilot-narrator encounters a little boy whom he begins to call the Little Prince: a painfully curious and naive traveler from outer space.
In these magical pages, the Little Prince travels from planet-to-planet and takes us on a journey through the isles of sadness, love, loneliness, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of growing up. If you’re in the mood to taste the bittersweetness that is nostalgia, you’ve come to the right place.
5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Last but far from least, is Amy Tan’s touching, insightful, and oftentimes painful novel that explores generational mother-daughter relationships through the framework of an Asian-American group portrait. The novel’s quartet storytelling divides the perspectives of four Chinese-immigrant mothers and their conflicting relationships with their four American-born daughters.
As someone with a similar immigrant background and a rather tidal relationship with my own mother, this book sent forth deep resonances within myself. However, while this book is very much about the immigration experience, it is also about the older and younger generation’s journey to connect through self-discovery. Full of chaos, comedy, and multilayered characters, this book is definitely one to keep you engaged during the dull winter months.
Winter is coming, so be sure to prepare with some engaging reads to keep you motivated throughout the upcoming season! If you liked these recommendations, be sure to click here for more bookish content.