Great books to cozy up with during Winter Break


Photo by Isabella Ngwana

On December 1, 2022 Isabella Phelps reads “The Queen’s Gambit” from her bookshelf, which is on her list of books to read during break.

By Isabella Ngwana, Internal Communications Manager

Bored during the winter break? Stuck on a plane on the way to a foreign destination? No matter what one is doing or where they are going, winter break is the perfect opportunity to read a great book. Treat yourself by picking up one of these amazing books during the holidays. 

“Murder on the Orient Express” – Murder Mystery 

This classic read turned blockbuster by Agatha Christie is set in Istanbul, Turkey, and follows the story of an elegant train stopped by snowfall. At the stroke of midnight, an American tycoon was assassinated in his compartment, stabbed over a dozen times, and locked away. The riders of the Orient Express are kept away, with a killer on the loose. Protagonist Detective Hercule Poirot must identify the killer before he strikes his next victim.

Those familiar with the books “The Maid” and “A Talent for Murder” will enjoy reading this well-rounded murder mystery. If one is looking to enjoy a rush of adrenaline and page-turning drama, then this book would be perfect to snuggle up to.

“Bear Town” – Contemporary Fiction 

Author Fredrik Backman explores the story of the rape of 15-year-old Maya Andersson by the town’s prized hockey star Kevin Erdahl. The pair must deal with the fallout of the situation and how Kevin’s actions harmed not only Maya but the community around them. One thing to note is, due to the heavy topics surrounding the plot, this heart-wrenching story might trigger some students. 

Backman does a wonderful job of guiding the reader through his characters’ lives and bringing them to life. WCHS students who are familiar with “Luckiest Girl Alive” and “Asked for It” would be interested in investigating this novel.

“The Midnight Library” – Fantasy 

In between life and the afterlife, there is a library. Nora Seed has always lived a life of misery and regret and she feels that she has disappointed those around her including herself. After committing suicide Nora finds herself in the Midnight Library. Nora takes this opportunity as a second chance to make her life perfect and redo all her mistakes. But is perfection what she needs?

The Midnight Library’s books allow Nora to relive crucial moments in her life without the faults that were made along the way. Her change of events not only affects her but those around her. With the help of an old friend, she could attempt to undo every wrong decision she has ever made in her life. However, with those decisions comes great danger. 

International Bestselling author of “How to Stop Time,” Matt Haig paints the theme of whether there is truly a right way to live life. Fans of Drew Magary’s “The Hike”, would truly divulge this Good Morning America Book Club read. If plot twists and deception are things to be enjoyed, look no further than “The Midnight Library.” 

“A Little Life” – Literary Fiction

Though this novel by Hanya Yanagihara is 720 pages, it is quite compelling. Four classmates from a small Massachusetts college branch out together and explore New York City to chase love, fame, and fortune. The only thing is that they are broke and adrift; the only thing binding them together is their friendship.

There is the warm-hearted Willhem who aspires to be an actor and JB, a witty Brooklyn painter who seeks a gateway into the world of art. Then, there is thwart Malcolm tired of his long days at his architecture firm. Last amongst the brood is Jude, the glue of the group and the one who connects all of them to each other.

Over the decades, the relationships between the group grow darker and more intense. Yet the greatest challenge the group must face is with their peacemaker Jude. Although Jude has had a successful career in law, past the surface level he is utterly flawed. With layers of trauma to unfold Jude must decide if he will let his past further control him and his relationships.

With so many great options, WCHS students can settle into a great novel to pass time during the break. Even though reading might not be for everyone, winter break is a great time to give it a try.