Winter break book recommendations

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Tue Dec 05 2023
Image Credit: Jonathan Bean

Written by Sylvia Miller

With winter break around the corner, it's the perfect time to snuggle up with a new book by the fire and watch the snow fall (if you have a fireplace or are going somewhere where it snows). 

I have five suggestions on what that book could be, depending on your mood. 

  1. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Poet and Essayist Ocean Vuong's first novel is written in the form of a letter from a son to his illiterate mother. Vuong's brilliant story blends fiction and memoir and evokes a range of emotions that will have you smiling, laughing and weeping. Vuong takes you through his childhood, adolescence and early adult life as a Vietnamese-American navigating race, class, masculinity, 

This book is a story about surviving and the aftermath of trauma. It explores themes of addiction, violence, sexual identity, culture and much more. This is a painful yet beautiful read I truly recommend to all.

  1. The Bell Jar

If you are looking for something uncomfortably comforting in the form of a depressive episode, I recommend this coming-of-age fiction/autobiography novel. Sylvia Plath's only novel is popular, and with good reason. This book reaches the deep angst rooted in change, graduating, choosing a career path, conformity and the expectations that come along with being a young woman in society. 

“The Bell Jar” follows nineteen-year-old Esther Greenwood through her journey as a young woman battling mental illness and societal pressures.

It is also essential to note that this book contains racist sentiments and themes of suicide and self-harm.

  1. I'm Glad My Mom Died

You probably have heard of this one. It took a friend bugging me for a month for me to finally pick it up, and as soon as I did, I wished I listened right away. Jennette McCurdy, who many know as Sam from the Nickelodeon show iCarly, tells her story. McCurdy shares the struggles she faced in childhood stardom and her relationship with her mother, who orchestrated it all. 

I felt as if McCurdy was speaking to me on the phone the way this memoir was written. It's deeply personal, well-written and impossible to put down. 

Note: this book discusses eating disorders, addiction and sexual assault. 

  1. One Last Stop

If you are in the market for a queer time-traveling romance this is the book for you. “One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston is about a woman living in New York City named August who falls in love with a woman named Jane, whom she meets on the subway. The only problem is Jane's from the 1970s and can't seem to get off the subway. 

This book has a diverse cast of characters which is extremely refreshing in a romance novel. It celebrates drag and queerness as well as discusses the AIDS epidemic and police violence against queer folk.

  1. Ice Breaker

Another romance I recommend for the winter season is “Ice Breaker”by Hannah Grace. Figure skater meets hockey player, meets enemies to lovers. This college romance features main characters Anastasia and Nate, both successful D1 athletes who butt heads when they are forced to share a rink and divvy up ice time. 

This book doesn't have the deepest plot but it definitely is the perfect book if you are looking for a more sensual read for winter break.