Frigid temperatures, staggering snowfalls, whatever the hell a bomb cyclone is – it’s shaping up to be a particularly indoor friendly winter. Snow days, like rainy days, are built for books. What better way to spend a lazy snowed-or-rained-in day than curled with a well-read and well-loved novel? Unsurprisingly, there are no shortage of great reads for just such an occasion. From mysteries and thrillers to character driven dramas, here are a few of our favorite recent “time for me to be a weather-driven recluse” novels.
“A missing God. A library with the secrets to the universe. A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.” That’s the tagline for Scott Hawkins’ labyrinthine and delightfully bizarre thriller centering on a woman caught in the middle of a supernatural battle with reality itself hanging in the balance.
With HBO’s “Big Little Lies” sweeping through the Emmys and Golden Globes, a rainy (or snowy) day is the perfect time to delve into the bestseller the series was based on. With acid-tongued suburbanites, sharp commentary, and a captivating mystery at its center, Big Little Lies is the very definition of a page-turner.
A Land More Kind Than Home is the sort of novel grips the reader by the throat from its earliest pages, and slowly but steadily ratchets up the tensions as it careens toward its conclusion. Wiley Cash’s debut novel features a charismatic and ruthless preacher, small-town secrets, and a simmering volatility that makes it nearly impossible to put down.
For fans of mystery/thriller maven Sue Grafton, the alphabet will end with Y. Grafton’s unfortunate passing on December 29th, 2017 means Y is for Yesterday will most likely be the final Kinsey Millhone mystery. Y is for Yesterday is also a perfect spot to dive into the often brutal world of Millhone. And once you’ve finished, you can head to back A is for Alibi and see where it all started.
Andy Weir blew up the publishing world with his relentlessly readable, edge-of-your-seat debut, The Martian. He’s now followed it up with a wildly inventive heist thriller set on humanity’s first and only lunar colony – Artemis. Artemis centers on a Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara, a small-time smuggler pulled into a far reaching conspiracy with the colony of Artemis itself hanging in the balance.
What better way to spend a snowbound day than with a Pulitzer prize-winning piece spanning decades of grand human drama? Elizabeth Strout’s bestseller tells the story of Olive Kitteridge and the small Maine community she lives in through a series of thirteen expertly woven and interrelated tales of secrets, loss, and family.
While Mr. King is best known for his nightmare-inducing bestsellers, it turns out he also has a deft hand with the mystery genre as well. This 2014 Edgar Award winner is a classic howcatchem mystery built around a game of cat-and-mouse between a delightfully curmudgeonly retired detective and a brutal killer who escaped justice.
Joe Hill has followed up his masterful bestseller NOS4A2 with another genre-defying romp into the supernatural. This time around, Hill imagines a world ravaged by a spore that infects a person with intricate tattoo-like gold tendrils before eventually forcing them to spontaneously combust. The novel centers on an infected nurse named Harper fighting for the survival of her unborn son in an increasingly perilous world.
If you were a fan of Gillian Flynn’s searing, mind-bending thriller Gone Girl, a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to dip into her earlier, and equally as compelling, novels. Dark Places follows Libby Day, a woman whose mother and sister were viciously murdered when she was only seven. The killer? Her older brother, Ben. Or so Libby thought. When Libby is pulled back into her own tragic history, it becomes clear that things may not be as they seem.
George Saunders’ debut novel unsurprisingly did not disappoint. At turns somber, hilarious, and surreal, Lincoln in the Bardo centers on the titular sixteenth President grieving the loss of his eleven year old son, Willie. While attempting to come to terms with this shattering loss, Lincoln enters the Bardo – a transitional spiritual state – and steps to the center of a struggle for his son’s very soul.