Combat Cabin Fever with this Winter’s Must-Reads
I am all about best-laid plans and my goal for conquering the cold fronts this season is to power through this list of the lit that’s got the world all a-buzz. Read on for our recs for those solo dates to keep you chill, A.K.A.: relaxed -- inside, where it’s warm.
- The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – Okay, so this rec (and the next one, for that matter) comes straight from a friend with impeccable taste. Seriously, like this Hermoza has never steered me wrong on a page turner. If you’re stuck seeking what’s next, find you a friend whose wit is as refreshing as it is hilarious, a Hermoza who is one-of-a-kind kind of awesome. She’ll help you cut through all the ho-hum choices on the shelves to get to that earth-shattering, ground-breaking book that gives you the feels or makes you ROTFL, or both, at the same time, because she just gets you.
This novel gives me the heebie-jeebies from the get-go. With a tagline of “Be careful who you let in,” I have goosebumps and chills and can’t bring myself to open to the first page. Reading only in daylight might make it even easier to finish this book in one sitting. Described as a “can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets,” I am equal parts ecstatic to get going with this one, and nervous to read things that will keep me up at night watching cartoons just to get to sleep. Fortune favors the bold, Hermozas. Seize the day. Put on a brave face. Tell yourself all you need to hear so you don’t miss out on what is sure to be that, “OMG. I couldn’t put it down!” kind of experience.
- Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – With an engaging cover that already has me eager to give it a shot, this novel seems distinctive enough to have me asking questions and just going along for the ride. The protagonist is asked by a friend to help take care of her stepchildren, who, BTW also “spontaneously combust when agitated”. Wait, what? A fresh look at superhuman abilities without forcing the superhero narrative, this book seems to be exactly what you need to stave off the boredom of those “it’s too cold out-won’t be leaving the house anytime soon” kind of afternoons.
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – Part of me is hesitant to read another work of historical fiction set in Europe during WWII, but there is something about this one that has me thinking twice. The summary suggests that the protagonist must make a series of difficult choices that prove terrible, so I can’t wait to see how that unfolds. The tagline reads, “In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.” I am intrigued, especially when this gives me serious The Zookeeper’s Wife vibes (which was one of my absolute faves from 2007.
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – This is definitely the “it book” of this year. Everyone keeps asking if I’ve read it and it’s clear they want to talk about it. I have issues sorting through the hype of it all, but I am not beyond giving something a try at least once. With mentions of hauntings, survival, violent secrets, and the unthinkable happening, I doubt I’ll resist for much longer. I like a good coming-of-age story that is also full of suspense, plus it takes place in North Carolina which is a setting sure to prove a character all on its own.
If you’re still struggling to find something that’ll have you hooked over the holiday season, try reading the list-toppers for your favorite genre. Oprah’s our go-to Hermoza for something that’ll have us rethinking all the things. Goodreads is perfect for all readers since the platform allows you to custom fit your experience in a reading community. Their winners from several categories include:
- The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Best Fiction) – You’re either a fan or you’re not and if you know, you know. Margaret Atwood takes you from required reading in high school to that fear and realization that the world could unravel quicker than any of us could even grasp. With a hit TV show based on this sequel’s predecessor, The Testaments promises answers to long-carried questions readers have had since Atwood’s first publication. Taking place fifteen years later, this novel revisits characters who have inspired 21st century readers/viewers to stand firm against oppression, to speak truth to power, and to fight at all costs for the right to survive. We would all show up for that kind of fierce Hermoza energy all day, every day, am I right?
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Best Mystery/Thriller) Also on our Summer Book List! – If you still haven’t read this one, you are certainly missing out. Again with the “you won’t believe this, but you can’t look away” type of read. Taking a deeper look at the mysteries of an artist who seems to have it all at first impression, to a series of deeply unfortunate events (huge understatement) that are as mysterious as they are unbelievable. I get a feeling that out of all the books on this list, this is the one you will hand over to your bestie who could use a riveting plot twist that’ll have her texting you all the shocked emojis when she finishes. And, out of all the books on this list, we can’t wait for a film version to watch at a future girls’ night out.
- Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis (Best Non-fiction) Her previous work, Girl, Wash Your Face was another of our Summer Faves! – Mixing things up a bit will have you making time and space all winter long for your must read list. Rachel Hollis’s uplifting take on rethinking and redefining our approaches to acceptance, confidence, and growth. Being female is difficult, LBH. Hollis’s work suggests we can know better and do better by believing in our capacity to be enough for all things and to redirect our focus from feelings and needs to be validated and confirmed by others. Similar to the style of Girl, Wash Your Face, Stop Apologizing comes at you like the real talk you get from that Hermoza you can count on to give it to you straight. Funny, honest, and personal, this book is a perfect read to help you see what is keeping you stuck in habits, behaviors, and thinking that limits you, keeping you from embracing the Hermoza within.
The Booker, the ALA, the NY Times, heck even Amazon has book lists for what’s trending. You know us though, we aren’t all about what everyone else is doing, so if you need something that takes you off the beaten path, try one of these:
- Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) on Song by Sara Bareilles
- The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh
- Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
Whether you are staying in for the season or are hanging out in the terminal on that unexpected layover, consider repurposing that reusable Hermoza bag you receive with every purchase. Your carryon/travel essentials couldn’t look more chic any other way. Our new zippered pouches turned book covers are perfect for your pens, highlighters, snacks – everything you need to get through another season of reading that’ll help you recoup, refresh, and renew your year’s end spirit.
What page turners do you recommend to all the fave Hermozas in your life? Tag us in on your book list excursions with #hermozawoman, #thehermoza, and #wellsuited.