Read these books instead of going outside

Let’s be real – winter weather is terrible and unpredictable. There’s a few more weeks of winter left, so while it’s still cold (or rainy or windy, depending on the day), put the Netflix fireplace movie on loop, cozy up with a mug of something warm and pick up one of these books.


“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

This was by far the best book that I read last year, and it lived up to all of the hype it got in literary circles. Ng tells the story of two families whose lives intertwine in the idyllic and precisely planned town of Shaker Heights, Ohio. The book opens with the wealthier of the families standing outside their home that has been set on fire and the other family leaving in the middle of the night. Ng weaves together the two families in unimaginable ways and tells stories about love and impossible decisions that we have to make. The book has something to draw everyone in: mystery, love (both familial and romantic) and questioning what it means to follow the rules. I fell in love with Ng’s writing and the characters she created, and I’ve thought about this book nearly every day since I read it.


“The Georgetown Ladies Social Club” by C. David Heymann

If you’re like me and you saw “The Post” and can’t stop thinking about it, this is the book for you. It tells the stories of “power, passion and politics in the nation’s capital” through the eyes of some of the most powerful women who lived there toward the end of the 20th century. Katharine Graham is one of the women that the book focuses on, and after learning more about her family and husband, you’ll want to buy another ticket to see “The Post” again. The author dives into female friendships and power dynamics of women whose names you may be unfamiliar with but whom you won’t soon forget.

(A note: if you’re looking to dive even deeper into who Katharine Graham was and the powerhouse she became, her autobiography “Personal History” is an excellent read as well.)


“One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” by B.J. Novak

Although this book of short stories came out a few years ago, I didn’t read it until winter break. Novak, who you probably know as Ryan from “The Office” or the probable father of Mindy Kaling’s baby, delivers a great mix of short stories. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll think, “How in the world does someone come up with the idea to write this?” Stories range from a few pages to a few lines long, including a story about how to become Kate Moss and how to move on, both of which made me laugh out loud. And if you think it’s easy to make me laugh out loud, you’re wrong. I frequently tell men that they are not funny. But B.J. Novak is not one of those men, and I like this book. Another standout story is about a young boy who wins $100,000 in a box of Frosted Flakes, only to uncover a family secret while trying to claim the prize. This book was nothing like I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised by it.