Just as summer might require light, superficial reading, winter can offer the opportunity to get lost in books that transport you to another world, time or place. No Twighlight-esque frippery will do when you're hunkering down to wait out the blizzard of 2013. You've got candles, a flashlight and some serious time on your hands, what do you do? You reach for one of the books mentioned below and lose yourself in a world created by some of today's (and yesterday's) most creative storytellers. If you've thought about creating a Saturday Brunch book club, here are six reasons to get started. From science fiction to historical dramas, this is stick-to-your-ribs food — for your brain.
Food For Thought
Yes, "Artful" is a book for art lovers, but it also provides serious brain food for lovers of literature and intellectual discourse. Ali Smith has created a character who is literally haunted by an ex lover — one who writes essays about (you guessed it) art and lit. The book unfolds as dialogue between the two characters who discuss everything from Michelangelo to Charles Dickens. Not only will you learn as you read, you'll be enthralled by the topics that deal with the natural relationships humans have with art.
Artful by Ali Smith $15.26
The Historical Drama
"The Other Boleyn Girl" started a firestorm of popularity for the historical novel genre. If you can't get enough of Tudor history and Henry VIII's love affair with Anne, here's a book to sate your needs. Rather than detailing the seven-year struggle and seduction that led to Anne and Henry's marriage, this book covers the three-week trial that eventually cost Anne her head. If you remember from your history lessons, she was accused of adultery and other incredibly scandalous deeds. Must read!
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel $16
The Epic Romance
Brought to the silver screen this winter in an updated version with Keira Knightly, if "Anna Karenina" wasn't on your radar before, it is now. This epic book takes place in 19th century Russia and manages to transport you there with vivid, highly detailed characters. Oh yeah, Anna's involved in a mad love affair with a dashing officer while being trapped in a loveless marriage to a dowdy diplomat. Personal complications and moral struggles abound for an intensely dramatic denouement.
Anna Kerenina by Leo Tolstoy $2.99
secrets and consequences that can destroy a man's and "a nation's" dreams. Settings span from the seedy brothels of London to the poshest rooms of upper crust society. Sounds juicy, right? Ken Follet is the renowned author of "Pillars of the Earth." Sweeping, extremely detailed plots that happen in a world entirely his own are what he does, which is why he's one of our favorite authors to snuggle up with.
A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follet $7.99
We know there have to be some honest-to-goodness Bond lovers out there. You know who you are, you've seen the films and read the books. But do you know about John Le Carre? He's only one of the best spy thriller writers out there and his Karla Trilogy is no less fast-paced or exciting than anything Ian Flemming penned. A three-book storyline with an international spy's adventures in espionage is definitely a reason to stay indoors.
The Karla Trilogy (3 novels) by John Le Carre $23.99
Interplanetary colonization, civilizations on Mercury, ring-surfing moon dwellers...in 2312, the sky is literally the limit of human technology and development. In the midst of it all is Swan Er Hong, the female engineer who helped develop Mercury, but who ends up in a complex plot to investigate a series of mysterious incidents happening throughout our solar system. Sounds intense, and something we can find ourselves completely lost in.
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson $9.99