Winter is coming.
There’s something about this time of year that just makes me want to curl up on my giant corner sofa with my teapot and my blanket and a stack of books to devour.
The cold mornings, the dark evenings… it’s perrrrrfect reading season.
So I’ve pulled together a list of seven books I’ve read in the last couple of weeks, as well as the one I’m currently working on.
They’re all cosy, warm and so utterly perfect for this weather.
Harry Potter: The Illustrated Editions by JK Rowling and Jim Kay
For nearly two years I’ve been putting the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on my birthday and Christmas wishlists. And for two years it’s been completely ignored by my family and friends.
So when the new Chamber of Secrets illustrated edition was released last month, I caved and bought both for myself!
AND OH MAN I’M SO GLAD I DID.
It’s the full Harry Potter story, all of JK Rowling’s fantastic words, combined with the most BRILLIANT illustrations by Jim Kay.
He’s illustrated everything from Diagon Alley to Draco Malfoy getting his robes fitted. There are tiny pictures of a pink beach-ball shaped Dudley Dursley, a drawing of Hermione and her blue flames in a jar, a portrait of Ron Weasley, even a technical drawing of a phoenix.
It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I’m so excited for the rest of the collection to be released in the next few years.
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
This book. THIS BOOK.
I picked it up at the airport on our way to Budapest, started it at 9am on the Sunday after we got back, and finished it 6 hours later.
The Forgetting Time is about a four-year old boy called Noah, who has a deep phobia of water and frequently asks to go home and see his Mama… except he already is home and with his mother.
It covers reincarnation and bereavement, and it’s inspiring and heartbreaking all at once. I absolutely loved it.
If you’ve ever been fascinated by the idea of life after death, this is definitely one for you.
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking + Hygge by Marie Tourell Søderberg
I was sent both these hardback tomes by the press team at Penguin.
They kindly included some packets of Christmas tea, a pair of fluffy knitted socks and a chocolate bar. Which pretty much sums up the idea of hygge!
For those of you who haven’t heard of hyyge yet, it’s a Danish word that embraces the concept of cosiness. But it’s so much more than that.
It’s turning on the fairylights and curling up on the sofa. It’s putting a rich savoury stew in the oven and pouring yourself a glass of red wine. It’s hot chocolate by candlelight, toasted marshmallows by the fire, and chatting with friends in a cosy pub booth.
At it’s heart, hygge is about embracing togetherness in the autumn and winter seasons.
Meik’s book is an adorable little handbook of hygge, full of definitions and explanations about the Danish way of life. Everything is carefully split into chapters and sections, from food to interior decorating and everything else in between.
On the other hand, I feel like Marie’s hygge book is more leisurely and personal. There are more family photos, more stories and it moves at a much slower pace. I’ve been enjoying picking it up and reading a couple of pages at random every evening.
Cosiness at its absolute best!
The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell
I love me a bit of Jill!
All Jill Mansell’s books are sunny and warm and uplifting.
It’s the kind of book I read when I’m poorly or feeling down, when I have no energy and just want to be cheered up.
The Unexpected Consequences of Love ticks all the boxes. A romcom with a relatable heroine, a pretty leading man, and a host of quirky friends and subplots that build up to a big ol’ happy ending.
Sunshine. Pure and simple.
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
Before it became a film, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a poem.
Tim Burton wrote the three page story back in the 1990’s, where it was shelved until it eventually became a stupidly successful stop-motion animated Disney film.
The book features some of the original artwork and storyboards, as well as some brand new illustrations by Burton and it is BEAUTIFUL.
I’ve been a huge, massive fan of the film for years, it’s the perfect autumn/winter film to cosy up to on a sick day, and it’s so cool to read the whole poem in full.
My only disappointment? WHERE IS SALLY. WHERE. WHEREEEEE.
(Spoiler: she’s not in the book. Sob.)
The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory
I’ve only just started this one, but so far: so good!
I adore all of Philippa Gregory’s books. My faves are Lady of the River and The White Queen and I’m hoping this one’s going to live up to that.
There’s something about historical fiction that makes me feel all warm and cosy.
Must be all the blood and gore and court drama…
Are you feeling cosy yet? I know I am.
Let me know what your favourite winter books are. I’m always after new recommendations! :)