Winter weekends are for basking in the sun, all snuggled up on comfy cushions with a soft blanket and a hot cup of tea. It’s also a good time to read some old favorites that you know will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Here, I share with you my winter (re)reading list.
This children's classic begins with the main character, a young pig, almost getting slaughtered by a farmer. But Fern, the farmer’s daughter, convinces him not to kill the pig and names him Wilbur. Wilbur goes on to live in a barn that belongs to Fern’s uncle where he befriends a gray spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur finds out he’s on the next Christmas dinner menu, Charlotte comes up with a plan to save him. This powerful book on what it means to be a good friend and love someone wholeheartedly is just the kind of cheer you need on a sunless day. The good thing about this book is that you can read it in one sitting and then you can read it over and over again.
I read Anne of Green Gables and its seven sequels when I was in school and I remember being fascinated by the protagonist. She was kind and she was funny but she was also like every other rebellious girl her age—falling off roofs and dyeing her hair green. There is a lot the free-spirited 11-year-old Anne Shirley can teach you about love, family, friends and life in general. The novel has sold over 50 million copies and has been translated into at least 36 languages. Anne of Green Gables takes you back a couple of decades but the message is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1908.
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologizes by Fredrick Backman
Elsa is “almost eight years old” and her best and only friend is her grandmother. Upon her death, she leaves Elsa a series of letters to be delivered to their intended receivers. The main purpose of each letter is to say sorry to the receiver. The book is basically Elsa’s journey and discoveries along the way as she goes about her mission of delivering the letters. Backman’s writing is amazing. Elsa is fascinating. And the story is just the right amount of romp and melancholy. You won’t be able to put this one down.
I can’t believe I’m recommending The Alchemist. I didn’t find the story engaging even though it became an instant bestseller. But the graphic novel is super fun and makes the story a whole lot more interesting than it actually is. Coelho himself said the graphic novel exceeds his expectations and is a beautiful manifestation of what he originally imagined while crafting the story. If you already know the story, you can just dip in and out of this and watch scenes come alive before you.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
I don’t usually underline sentences or highlight passages when I read. Bird by Bird is the one book where I’ve written on the margins and gone crazy with highlighters in different colors, on almost every page. This is also a book that I pull out when I need some perspective. It’s a treasure trove of contemplations that are timeless. Though essentially a guide on good writing, Bird by Bird is also crucial life advice by one of the finest writers we have today. You don’t have to read this book cover to cover. A chapter here and a page there is enough to get you thinking and looking at things a little differently than before.