With winter finally upon us, now is a great time to dive into a cozy book. LARL librarians share their favorites here:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester. However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors.
Swiss Vendetta by Tracee de Hahn
Inspector Agnes Luthi, a Swiss-American police officer in Lausanne, Switzerland, has just transferred to the Violent Crimes unit from Financial Crimes to try to shed all reminders of her old life following her husband’s death. Now, on the eve of the worst blizzard Lausanne has seen in centuries, Agnes has been called to investigate her very first homicide case. On the lawn of the grand Chateau Vallotton, at the edge of Lac Leman, a young woman has been found stabbed to death. The woman, an appraiser for a London auction house, had been taking inventory at the chateau, a medieval fortress dripping in priceless works of art and historical treasures.Agnes finds it difficult to draw answers out of anyone the tight-lipped Swiss family living in the chateau, the servants who have been loyal to the family for generations, the aging WWII survivor who lives in the neighboring mansion, even the American history student studying at the Vallotton chateau’s library. As the storm rages on, roads become impassible, the power goes out around Lausanne, and Agnes finds herself trapped in the candlelit halls of the chateau with all the players of the mystery, out of her depth in her first murder case and still struggling to stay afloat after the death of her husband. Swiss Vendetta, Tracee de Hahn’s mesmerizing debut, is an emotionally complex, brilliantly plotted mystery set against the beautiful but harsh backdrop of a Swiss winter.
Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to housesit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous-and mysterious-owner. Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings … This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?
To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
In the winter of 1885, Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester sets out with his men on an expedition into the newly acquired territory of Alaska. Their objective: to travel up the ferocious Wolverine River, mapping the interior and gathering information on the region’s potentially dangerous native tribes. With a young and newly pregnant wife at home, Forrester is anxious to complete the journey with all possible speed and return to her. But once the crew passes beyond the edge of the known world, there’s no telling what awaits them. With gorgeous descriptions of the Alaskan wilds and a vivid cast of characters — including Forrester, his wife Sophie, a mysterious Eyak guide, and a Native American woman who joins the expedition.
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Søderberg
One little word is the secret reminder of what really matters in life: Hygge. This Scandinavian concept, pronounced ‘hye-guh’, helps Denmark to be the happiest nation on earth. With no equivalent in English, this word describes a moment of happiness, warmth or togetherness, and is found in the little things in life.