Oh, the weather outside is frightful — which means reading inside is delightful! As long as you’ve remembered to charge your e-reader, that is, because in this snowy mess you’re not going to be running out to your local indie bookstore — or any bookstore for that matter — anytime soon.
But I’ve got some great, Kindle-ready recommendations that will keep you riveted to the page (or should I say screen). Here are five of the best recent books to get you through a bitterly cold week:
1. Longbourn by Jo Baker. Is your idea of heaven Season Four of “Downton Abbey?” Look no further and pick up this “downstairs” peek into the world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. You may not be surprised to learn that there’s just as much social scheming in the servants’ quarters as there is among the Bennets, but you’ll enjoy it every bit as much.
2. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. If you like to keep current with your reads, you’ll want to get a copy of Kidd’s latest, which is also Oprah’s Book Club’s latest selection. When eleven-year-old Sarah Grimké of Charleston is given a slave called “Handful” for her birthday, she decides to set that girl — whose real name is Hetty — free. Electrifying and edifying.
3. The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes. Last year it was Moyes Ahoy in the USA, when her wonderful story Me Before You was released in January, followed by this book in August. Yes, this is one more novel about a painting, and we’ve all read those before — but this one has Moyes’s unmistakable stamp and flavor, which includes a knotty but never incomprehensible plot.
4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Perhaps your idea of great media is on TBS instead of PBS; never fear. Love The Big Bang Theory? Meet Professor Don Tillman, a brilliant bundle of contradictions, pathologies, and emotions, who has decided it’s time to meet the perfect woman. His 16-page survey seems scientifically valid, until one Rosie Jarman comes on the scene…
5. The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan. This one’s for movie buffs. It’s already in production with Reese Witherspoon set to star, and for good reason. Sullivan’s follow-up novel to Maine details several story lines, including one based on the real-life story of Mary Frances Gerety, the woman responsible for the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever.” Make sure you read until the very end; it packs a wallop.