5 On My TBR is a weekly meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. Every Monday, we get to rave about five books on our TBRs that fit the prompt, and this week the prompt is…
As usual, I felt a bit frantic as I was compiling this list of books, because I felt like I don’t have any that fit the prompt. Winter symbolism isn’t something that I organically gravitate towards, much less the “celebration” aspect of the prompt. However, I have done my best, and I hope you find some interesting books on this list!
A Winter Book by Tove Jansson
Tove Jannsson is a sapphic Finnish writer best known for her stories surrounding the adventures of Moomintroll, Snufkin, and other residents of Moominvalley. I have been meaning to read the Moomin books for ages but have never quite gotten around to it, and a friend recommended this book of Jansson’s to me when we were discussing short stories. I’ll admit, as far as I know there isn’t much “celebration” going on with the wintry theme, but I couldn’t resist adding it.
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
I absolutely adore the Discworld books and have been in the mood to re-read Hogfather lately. For those who are unaware, Hogfather is about how the in-universe Santa Claus (the “Hogfather” whose sleigh is pulled by boars rather than reindeer) is kidnapped, and the Grim Reaper has to take over the task of distributing Christmas cheer and ensuring the holiday is successfully performed… or else the universe will end. There’s also a lot of examination of the origins of midwinter celebrations + the power of belief + a very interesting origin story for the Tooth Fairy. I love this book and really want to come back to it.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Another book that is definitely “winter” but not so much “celebration.” I’ve heard mostly good things about the Winternight series, and I’m really eager for this historical fantasy about the clash of “modern” conventions vs. traditions and folklore in pre-revolutionary Russia. I am guessing from the blurb that there is/are some sort of creature(s) with a heavy connection to winter that lurk beyond the village border, and that Vasilisa, our protagonist, has to defy authority in order to fight them and save everyone.
A Royal Christmas Quandary by Samantha Hastings
I found out about this book thanks to Haley @ The Caffeinated Reviewer!
In the year 1860, England, a young noblewoman nicknamed Drina must convince the Queen that she deserves to inherit her father’s estate (since she is the only child of her family). Unfortunately, her cousin, a visiting prince from Germany, has gone missing, and Drina must team up with the another noble, George, to find him in time for the Christmas celebrations. I’m describing this like a murder mystery, but it’s really not. Haley describes this as “a perfect holiday pick” and it sounds so cozy and sweet!
Under the Mistletoe by Everly James
Two women go to a winter writing retreat expecting a single-occupancy cabin in which to be alone with their drafts. One is an experienced lesbian romance author, and the other is an aspiring writer who is trying to finish her first novel. It’s hate at first sight, but unfortunately Gia and Samantha are doomed to be roommates for the entirety of the retreat. Can they turn their relationship around in time for Christmas? As an aspiring writer myself, I’m really intrigued at how much craft is going to be discussed in this novel, and whether or not the characters are going to analyze their situations as writers. It’s a really interesting scenario for me!
And that’s all! Of all of these, I’m most excited for Hogfather and The Bear and the Nightingale. I hope a few of the books on this list piqued your interest, and that you have a fantastic week of reading!