Five Winter Reads for a Fireside Chill Out

Looking for your next winter getaway read? Cozy up by the fire with these 5 books recommended by the salt + snow staff. Happy reading!


1. The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennet

The Vanishing Half follows the lives of the Vignes sisters; two identical, light-skinned Black twins from Louisiana who run away home at the age of 16. One sister marries a Black man and has a daughter, while the other lives a life passing as white. It did take me a while to get into, but one I was about ⅓ of the way in, I enjoyed so much about this story, particularly in how it explores complex topics like race, class and identity in such a compelling and thoughtful way.

 2. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert 

City of Girls is the story of Vivian Morris, who, after dropping out of Vassar, leaves her privileged and structured life to live with her free-spirited Aunt. Taking place in 1940s Manhattan, Gilbert does a stunning job depicting the New York City theatre scene and all of the thrilling adventures that come with it. The story is as glamorous as it is gritty, with a main character who will stick with me for a long time.

 3. Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult hits home in her newest novel, Wish You Were Here. Released in 2021, this book explores the life of a young woman whose life, which was going according to her plan, completely changed at the offset of a global pandemic. I was hesitant to pick up a book centered around COVID, but Picoult never fails me so I gave it a go. She does a stunning job of depicting the difficult emotions that come with isolation and loneliness, but how time alone invigorates self-discovery.

 4. One by One by Ruth Ware 

One by One is a mysterious thriller set in the French Alps. And while this might seem like an ideal location for a startup company's corporate retreat, tense discussions regarding a buyout, followed by a destructive avalanche, leads to a whodunit murder mystery. Reserve an entire weekend for this one, because you won’t be able to put it down.

5. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

A page-turning, psychological thriller, The Silent Patient is the story of a well-known and well-liked photographer, who one day, out of nowhere, shoots her husband in the face five times after work and never speaks again. It’s the sort of book that makes you forget you’re reading. If you like stories with mystery, murder and unimaginable plot twists, this one’s for you.

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