With Christmas around the corner, the work parties over and all (well, maybe most!) of your preparations for this busy time of year sorted, now could finally be the time to relax into the holidays. And what better way to do it than to switch off from the outside world for a while with a good read.
We don’t know about you, but the thought of snuggling up on a wintry day with a tablet or a good book gets us pretty excited. With our lives being so busy during the working year, it isn’t always possible to get stuck into a really good book. So taking advantage of these precious quiet moments can help us to get in some me-time and recharge from what can sometimes be such a stressful time of year.
Aside from the enjoyability, reading also offers a number of health benefits. According to a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Sussex, reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by as much as 68%. And, another study that was published in Social Science and Medicine in 2016 actually found a correlation between reading and long lifespans.
So with this in mind, we have come up with our essential reading guide for these holidays to help you on your way.
As the sequel to Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, this deeply moving book is said to be jarring and dramatic and one that is hard to put down. Blessed be the author! Find it here>
Quichotte: A Novel
The New York Times best-selling author Salman Rushdie gives us this exquisite satire on the world we live in today. Quichotte is a metafiction that tells the story of an addled Indian American man who travels across America in pursuit of a celebrity television host with whom he has become obsessed. Find it here >
City of Girls
By the author of Eat Pray Love, this big-hearted and wise novel is set in the 1940s where frivolous and fun-loving Vivian Morris arrives in New York with the goal of “becoming someone interesting” – and in short order she is, but for all the wrong reasons. Find it here>
Although there were personal websites that came before hers, certain elements conspired to make Heather Armstrong’s Dooce one of the biggest public diaries. Armstrong became one of the first high-profile cases of somebody being fired for writing about her job. Now covering such subjects as family life, postnatal depression, motherhood, puppies and her Mormon upbringing, and with an army of personal bloggers perhaps not directly influenced by, or even aware of, her work – she represents the hundreds of thousands who decide to share part of their lives with strangers. Find it here >
Run Away – Ebook
Master of suspense Harlan Coben brings us this thriller from the view of a parent whose daughter goes missing and doesn’t want to be found. Then spotted by chance, playing the guitar in Central Park is the drug-addicted girl, leading you into a dangerous world you never knew existed. Find it here>
Everything Inside: Stories
A master of the short story form, Danticat has long excelled at crafting rich and surprising interior lives for her characters, and her latest collection of lively stories is no different. In these eight narratives of unexpected romance, personal tragedy, and family complications, Danticat’s compassionate sensitivity to the ties that bind us shines through. Find it here >
Conviction – Ebook
One of Reese Witherspoon’s top book picks of late, Conviction by Denise Mina is said to be a story that combines suspense, international intrigue and the murder of an entire family aboard a ship, following the one woman who may just have all the answers. This one will be hard to put down. Find it here >
Adapted into a film this year, Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep reached the first position on The New York Times Best Seller list for print in 2013 and won the 2013 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. As a sequel to The Shining, this book is an instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. Find it here >
Goop – Blog
Still a firm favorite, Goop was started in 2008 by actor Gwyneth Paltrow and is one of the top lifestyle and wellness blogs around. It has incredible advice related to food, beauty, style and work. It was initially started as a weekly newsletter which later transformed into a one-stop platform for lifestyle enthusiasts. Find it here >
Get Busy Living – Blog
Created by entrepreneur Benny Hsu, this blog shares everything from lifestyle, diet, and dating to motivation and money. Another great platform where you can improve your lifestyle, health, and income. Find it here >