The hustle and bustle of the holidays has settled down and I’ve put away the last of the Christmas decorations. Family has left and it seems like the days drag on. Wearing my camel colored knee-high boots is not nearly as fun as it was in October and putting on my coat seems laborious. The crisp mornings aren’t nearly as enchanting.
Around the beginning of February, I try to be mindful about my free time in order to stomp out the winter blues. For example, this year my husband bought me two cooking classes for Christmas. I attended my first class at the beginning of January and it was a delightful deviation from my normal winter routine. My friend Ulla and I ordered new gym equipment to keep our workouts fresh and entertaining. Another thing I love to do is select several new books.
Some nights I just want to turn the damn TV off, get in bed early, and read. It’s a relaxing escape. When I wake up and there is a fresh dusting of snow, I do a little baking and curl up with my coffee and a book while I am waiting for my treats to finish in the oven.
I wanted to share some of my favorite picks for fun reads during these gloomy winter months. These are not my all time favorite books, or books that I believe to be masterpieces. They are just page-turners that I have enjoyed.
- The Cuckoo's Calling. My first pick is by an author named Robert Galbraith… aka, J.K. Rowling… aka Harry Potter. J.K Rowling decided to write several adult novels using a pen name. My favorite is a trilogy known as The Corman Strike novels. All three books are about a private detective named Corman Strike. My favorite of the three is The Cuckoo’s Calling, and lucky for you, it is the first book in the trilogy. It’s a mystery (obviously) about a famous model who dies from falling off of her balcony. The authorities believe it is a suicide. Corman sees things differently. The characters in the book are well developed and the pacing is quick. I could not believe how it ended. If you like mysteries, I would give The Cuckoo’s Calling a try.
- A Dog's Purpose. This next book may seem a little cliche because the movie is coming out this month, but I promise you I read the book about three years ago. It’s called A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron. The whole story is written through the perspective of a dog who continues to get reincarnated as new dogs. Each of his “lives” is unlike any of the others. He is even sometimes a she. If you own a dog or have ever owned a dog, this book will make you laugh and cry. It is a tender story about the relationship formed between dogs and their owners and how precious and unlike anything else that exchange can be. If you are an animal lover, you will love this book. And don’t just wait until the movie comes out.
- Born to Run. This book was recommended to me by one of my friends who recently married a runner. She was not a runner, but her new husband gave this book to her in hopes of inspiring her to give it a try. Within weeks she had signed up for a couch to 5K program and was giving it her all. Her motivation was contagious and, although I have been a runner for years, I was curious about this book that had moved her to action.The book is about the Tarahumara, an indigenous tribe of elite runners that lives in the canyons of northern Mexico. They have an uncanny ability to run hundreds of miles without the typical training that we do in the United States. They can even drink copious amounts of alcohol the night before they take off on a 50 mile run. The book is a true testament to the human body and how strong we really are. It’s non-fiction but it reads like a story. If you haven’t read Born To Run, by Christopher McDougall, it’s time. It will inspire you to sign up for that marathon in May and maybe even coax you outside for a crisp, winter run.
- A Man Called Ove. A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman, is a humorous book about an extremely grumpy man named Ove. He has routines and rules and the spontaneity and unpredictability of life is unacceptable to him. His life seems to be a series of run-ins with neighbors or strangers or animals that he must deal with. At times the book is darkly funny but also familiar and touching. Not only do I know people who have a bit of Ove in them; I can be Ove-ish at times myself. While reading this book, I could not stop from laughing out loud or having the warm fuzzies.
So there you have it, four books to make you think and keep you entertained during the cold winter months. Stay warm, happy, and positive. Keep mixing things up. Here’s to an #Awesome2017.
Do you have any book recommendations? Share them in the comments section or tell us on Facebook.