Winter Reads

My most favorite thing to do is read, especially when winter weather keeps us indoors most of the season. I do love to bake, but reading is definitely my favorite way to relax. I can always find snatches of time in my day for a little reading break! Here is a selection of some of my favorite reads this year.

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One of my favorite things to read is a cookbook. I like a memoir with recipes but I like to simply read a cookbook as others would read a novel. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is not strictly a cookbook, although it contains many recipes. Rather, it is more of a textbook of cooking. The author, Samin Nosrat, takes the four title elements — salt, fat, acid, and heat — and teaches how to use each one to improve the quality of your cooking. I watched her 4-part documentary by the same name on Netflix and loved it so much that I rewatched it several times and bought the book! It has made a remarkable difference in the way I cook! Not only is the book informative, it also has beautiful illustrations and helpful charts to demonstrate the science of cooking and how to combine ingredients in different ways. Samin is an excellent teacher, funny, and personable, so it’s an enjoyable experience to read the book and learn to use these basic elements in new ways.

I owned Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin for quite a while before I actually read it. During 2020 when we were at home so much, I decided to read it slowly and attempt some of the projects. The hilarious subtitle of Happier at Home is: “Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life.” This book essentially has a project every month, helping you to organize your home, improve family relationships, or renovate yourself so can identify what makes you happy and establish some habits to help you maintain those things. It is not a Christian book, but I found it to be helpful. I had planned to work on a few of the projects while we were in quarantine, but I wound up doing one huge project that took months, but made me so happy when it was finished. I think this book is worth reading in January if you feel motivated to tackle some issues in your home, both with possessions and with the people you love and you feel the need to work on some better habits.

Elizabeth Goudge is an author I enjoy reading. Her books are usually pretty long, so they are good for winter reading. Last year, I read The Dean’s Watch and thought it was one of the most endearing books I’d ever read. The description on the back of the book says: “In a remote mid-nineteenth-century English town, cathedral Dean Adam Ayscough holds a deep love for his parishioners and townspeople though he is held captive by an irrational shyness and, ironically, an intimidating manner. Yet when an obscure watchmaker who does not think he and God have anything in common strikes up an unlikely friendship with the Dean, it leads to an unusual spiritual awakening in both men that eventually reaches out to the entire community.”

My very favorite author is D. E. Stevenson. She was Scottish and wrote books from the 1920s to the 1960s. Her books are set in Scotland or England and are charming stories. One that I read over and over is Miss Buncle’s Book. It is a book about someone who writes a fictional book about people in her village, but then the things that happen to the characters in the book start happening to the real-life people in the village. It’s quite funny and is a great book to read first as an introduction to D. E. Stevenson.

I hope you’ll enjoy making a hot drink, pulling out a warm throw, and settling down with a good book this winter! I’ll be in the den with my coffee, my favorite white blanket and my ever-present book, too!

Published by Joy Allison

I am a Christian, a wife and mother, a daughter and a friend. I love my husband and best friend, David. In 2020, I finished 34 years of homeschooling our nine children. I love sending mail and talking on the phone to our 11 grandchildren. My favorite things are reading, chocolate, coffee shops, and being with all my people, especially the little ones.