19 Books We're Reading During This Cozy Season

19 Winter Book Recommendations to Add to Your List

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If you find yourself with some downtime this season or if you need a break from any holiday activities, grabbing a book and hunkering down on the sofa is always a good idea. In fact, it might be the more superior option if you want to avoid mindlessly scrolling on your phone or want to give your Netflix queue a breather.

Personally, I'm looking forward to spending my low-key holiday season this year crossing off books from my To Be Read list. Maybe that's your game plan, too. And the options are endless. It's both a blessing and a curse to have so many great books to choose from—both new releases and classics. To help you sort it all out and perhaps narrow your choices, our editors shared the books they're reading this time of year. What are you reading right now? Send us a DM or comment at @thethirty. We're always looking for new book recs!

"The book I'm most excited about cracking open over the holiday break that I ordered from a local bookshop is Kamala Harris's memoir. Being able to witness her historic victory has been a joy, and I can't wait to curl up with a cup of cocoa and learn more about her." — Jasmine Fox-Suliaman, Audience Engagement Editor

"International writers are slowly becoming my new favorites, and this dystopian novel from Argentinian female author Agustina Bazterrica is one I highly recommend. It's not hyperbolic when I say you will not be able to put this book down because that's exactly what happened to me. It's equally disturbing and riveting." — Fox-Suliaman

"While this year has been incredibly arduous for everyone, my one personal win is how much I've been able to read. Of all the books I've read, the one I'll probably be sharing with family is Bell Hooks's book around feminism and masculinity. It's something that has altered how I view everything from feminism and family to gender performance." — Fox-Suliaman

"The Hunting Party is the perfect winter read and a true page-turner! Set right after Christmas at an isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands, it's definitely one of my go-to book recommendations for this time of year!" — Alexandra Flowers, Analyst II, Commerce & Content

"On my list is One by One by Ruth Ware. She's one of my favorite authors and always guarantees an addictive read." — Flowers

"I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the Instagram sensation–turned–IRL book HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style by Elizabeth Holmes. There's so much more to what the royals choose to wear than meets the eye, and it takes an astute former fashion editor to break it down. This beautiful hardcover will also make an equally lovely gift for my royals-obsessed family members." — Drew Elovitz, Director of Content Strategy & Senior Managing Editor

"I just finished Luster by Raven Leilani, which I highly recommend for anyone looking for a quick escape… to New Jersey or New York's East Village or Comic-Con at the Javits Center. Given that I haven't been to any of these places since March of 2020, I especially appreciated the setting of this fast-paced, pre-COVID times romp through familiar territory. I was truly captivated, however, by Leilani's clever writing and authentic dialogue, which made this totally nuanced narrative about yet another 20-something trying to make it in the big city an absolute page-turner. I tore through the novel in one quiet quarantine weekend and wish I had savored it a bit longer." — Elovitz

"Somehow, I overlooked Plain Bad Heroines in my Kindle queue during the Halloween season, but I'm glad I saved it to extend the spooky season into winter. While the three main characters are modern, 21st-century women, this queer love story has two distinct timelines that are connected by several threads, including the picturesque setting of the haunted Brookhants estate in Rhode Island. The magic of Hollywood, Victorian ghosts, and teenage romance collide to make this one of my favorite reads of 2020." — Elovitz

"Orion Carloto's Instagram feed never ceases to fill me up with style and beauty inspiration, so I'm excited to add the writer and influencer's sophomore title to my reading list. Film for Her, aside from being a beautiful addition to any coffee table, is an assortment of words and film photographs that celebrate the beautiful feeling of nostalgia." — Anna LaPlaca, Associate Editor, Who What Wear

"The first in Barack Obama's highly anticipated memoir series has just come out, and you can bet that I'll be one of the first to get my hands on a copy. I finished Michelle Obama's Becoming over the summer and found her discussion of life in the White House too fascinating, so I'm equally, if not more, curious to read about it from the 44th president's perspective." — LaPlaca

"I know I'm not alone when I say that 2020 has really forced us to do a lot of self-reflection and think about the deeper meaning of life and all that good stuff. In that spirit, I'm looking forward to reading a classic that's been on my list for a while and recommended by so many people, The Four Agreements. If you were a fan of books like The Alchemist or The Secret, this might be right up your alley, as it falls in that category of self-help and attempts to, as the summary notes, 'reveal the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.'" — LaPlaca

"This is one of those rare books that is both column A (fun, enjoyable, page turning, light enough that you want to pick it up and then when you do, you stay up way too late because you can't put it down) and column B (smart, nuanced, well written, thought-provoking). It was longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, yet I would still call it the best version of a beach read. I'll let you read the summary to get a more complete idea of what it's about, but it deals with themes of privilege and in The Atlantic's words, the 'white pursuit of wokeness.' I'll just say I can't wait to read more from this debut author!" — Kat Collings, Editor in Chief, Who What Wear

"If you're clamoring for more royal-adjacent content after finishing the newest season of The Crown, let this fun, cheeky, and downright hilarious book be the answer. The novel takes place in an alternate modern day, dealing with the first American female president running for reelection and the unknowing pressures that fall on her children being in the political limelight. Like any good literary rom-com, there's tension, chemistry, and bitingly witty dialogue from the two leads: the first son of the United States and… the prince of England. I'll leave it there for you to devour (and I mean it) the rest." — Candice Aman, Social Media Editor

"Lately, I've found myself interested in fiction deeply rooted in historical moments, so I turned to Nina Revoyr's critically acclaimed novel Southland. It's a beautifully told story about a Japanese American family who at one time lived in Crenshaw (then known as Angeles Mesa) and eventually ended up in the South Bay. Revoyr weaves so much racial history—from the Watts Riots to the first mixed-race neighborhood—into a multigenerational story about family, love, and death, making a city's past come alive in a way that should really inform how we see it today. It's a book I couldn't put down." — Aralyn Beaumont, Copy Editor, Branded Content

"I've been saving this devourable collection of Jerry's favorite material, categorized by decade and going all the way back to the '70s. I received a copy of this with my New Yorker Festival ticket to see him and Steve Martin in conversation a few months back (from the comfort of my sofa since everything was virtual this year… which weirdly felt like I was on a work call with them, but I digress). A quick flick through the pages sucks you in and promises that it's filled with all the mundane and relatable musings that made his show about nothing so great. You know the kind: I'll never understand why they cook on TV. I can't smell it, can't eat it, can't taste it. At the end of the show, they hold it up to the camera. 'Well, here it is. You can't have any. Thanks for watching. Goodbye.'" — Natalie Cantell, Senior Director, Branded Content

"As a wee reminder (admittedly, there's been quite a lot of news these past few years, so I wouldn't judge you for needing one), Preet Bharara is the super-cool (IMO) former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who became a bit of a hero after being famously fired by Trump after he refused to take the president-elect's extremely inappropriate phone calls and then refused to resign. He's kept rather busy since, hosting a couple of wildly popular weekly podcasts (Stay Tuned and Cafe Insider with my other podcast host crush Anne Milgram) that feed the appetites of super nerds like me who can't get enough of the overlap of law and politics. He does it all in an approachable and funny way that any schmuck without a law degree can get into, and his book, which I read last holidays and recommend to everyone, follows suit. He writes conversationally about the idea of justice, illustrated by walking through a series of fascinating tales from his years as a federal prosecutor involved with some of the most famous cases in recent history—from mob trials to financial crimes to terrorism—as well as anecdotes from parenting and other such things. His insider knowledge and plain-spoken common sense are just so enjoyable, and rereading it makes me so relieved and excited that people like him will once again be in charge of important things after January 20, 2021. Thank God." — Cantell

"Back in 2015, Kate Sylvester (one of my favorite designers from back home in New Zealand) was so captivated by this book that her waspy autumn/winter collection was inspired by it. An orange-covered copy of the Penguin Classic awaited me on my seat at her show, and somehow, five years later, I've still never managed to sit down and read the damn thing. I've also never read Donna Tartt's far more famous, Pulitzer Prize–winning (and notoriously difficult to get into) novel The Goldfinch… and to be honest, I suspect I never will. But this novel, Tartt's first, is at the top of my reading list for the holidays. It promises to be part college satire and part psychological thriller, set in a New England university. It seems that a group of elitist, debaucherous friends accidentally kill someone and later must grapple with killing someone else to cover it up. It's a slightly daunting near-600 pages, but I'm looking forward to getting into it." — Cantell

"The legendary Dolly Parton is a national treasure. Not only has she written and sang the most iconic songs of all time, but her philanthropy is also literally life changing (hello, COVID-19 vaccine?). I can't wait to dive into this book, where she gives an inside look into 175 of her songs and the stories behind them." — Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY

"Another one on my list, this book is about a daughter learning about her deceased mother's past and history. Add to that the mystery of why her mother died and themes of the American dream, immigration, identity, and family secrets, and you've got a page-turner in my opinion." — Yang

Next up: The Best Self-Help Books for Your New Year's Resolution

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