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If fall is the season for all things cozy, for me winter is a time of reflection and stillness. This is the time of year I most enjoy reading in depth nonfiction like biographies and books about nature. Winter means long books for me–stories you can really sink your teeth into. And of course, it means reading a lot of poetry. Here are ten books on my to-read list that I’m hoping to spend some time with this season.
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas (656 + 689 + 664 + 992 for a total of 3001 pages)
This is a great time of year to binge read (or in this case, binge finish, a series). Plus who doesn’t love to escape the winter weather into a world of magic and dragons? The books are long, but they so far have just flown by–perfect for gloomy winter weekends.
Fairy Tale by Stephen King (599 pages)
The cover for this book is just genius–and I really like King’s writing when it isn’t scary. His science fiction for example is really great. And even the horror still haunts me to this day, so you know he’s doing something right. This seems like a no brainer for my winter list.
I love, love, love cultural and material histories that highlight marginalized communities. There is so much we take for granted about where our US American culture comes from, and this book aims at stripping that thick layer of ambivalent mayonnaise from our cultural history. I am here for it.
Material history? Check. Fashion and fabric have been traditionally looked down upon as topics because of their close association with women but what we wear says a lot about us and how we interact with each other and the world. Historical dress and fabric fascinates me. This will not be the first history of fabric I’ve read and I dare say it will not be the last.
All of these are longer books that have been sitting on my bookshelf
The Poetry of Rilke, translated by Edward Snow (663 pages)
Rilke is a poet made for the winter–lonely, romantic, meditative. And this translation is supposed to be the best.
Selected Poems by Jorge Luis Borges (481 pages)
This volume has side by side English and Spanish pairings, so I can attempt to read the Spanish and then read the translation and start matching them together. I’ve only read a few things by Borges, mostly short stories, but I’m hoping to rectify that a little this coming year.
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, ed. J.D. McClatchy (592 pages)
This is one of two major 20th century poetry anthologies in my collection (the other one is from Penguin) and these primers are always a great introduction to major movements. Their size is a little intimidating, but I’m hoping to read both this year and see whether it’s worth keeping both or choosing my favorite as a reference.
A Little Book on Form by Robert Hass (429 pages)
This book cracks me up because its title is clearly ironic. Except that form could be talked about in volumes and volumes I suppose so perhaps it’s a fitting title after all. Anyway this is less poetry than poetics (though this has a host of other names) basically its nonfiction about poetry.
The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks (560 pages)
A feminist reimagining of one Chaucer’s most interesting characters from The Canterbury Tales? You need say nothing more.
Babel: An Arcane History by R.F. Kuang (546 pages)
I don’t know if there’s any genre I can categorically say I love more than revisionist historical fantasy. I bought the audiobook of this and I can’t wait to listen to it on my way to and from the library. Or while doing dishes. Or doing anything really.
Are you planning on settling in with a long book this winter? Let me know which one in the comments.