Winter, and the holidays in particular, are a pretty stressful, hectic time for just about everyone. It’s also quite easy to forget to make time for yourself when you’re so busy.
This year, the holidays look a bit different because of the COVID-19 pandemic that’s still ravaging the United States. Family gatherings are basically out of the question this year, so it’s becoming a predictably lonely time for most. Winter already signifies the coming of winter blues and seasonal depression for some, so not being able to spend time with friends and family isn’t particularly helpful.
My biggest comfort since the beginning of the pandemic has been reading, and as someone who’s dealing with her own bout of winter blues, I’ve been turning to books. With that being said, I thought it would be helpful to share some books that bring me a lot of comfort during times like these.
1. Get a Life, Chloe Brown and Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
There has been so much hype surrounding these two books and let me tell you, even as someone who hasn’t been the biggest romance fan, the hype is not exaggerated. Both books (and the unreleased third) are about a trio of sisters facing romantic woes and each book focuses on one sister. I read both of these a few months ago and I saw so much of myself in both characters (particularly Dani). They made me feel so warm and comforted and happy. And there’s also the amazing bonus of Black, POC, and disability representation!
2. His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
I am very late on the “His Dark Materials” train. As a child, I wasn’t allowed to watch or read “The Golden Compass,” but when HBO’s “His Dark Materials” series came out last year, my mom wanted to watch it with me, so when I got my hands on the books I read them all in a single week. The series consists of “The Golden Compass,” “The Subtle Knife,” and “The Amber Spyglass” and centers on a young girl named Lyra and her adventures. Frankly, it would take years to explain what this series is about but I will say that it involves commentary on religion, alternate realms, the Underworld, and talking animals. At its core, though, the series is about love and all its forms. I cried at the end and it’s quickly become a huge comfort read for me.
3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I haven’t read this in so long, but this is probably the funniest book I have ever read. Amy Poehler is such a genius and she radiates this super self-aware energy that’s intoxicating. She also just has a way of telling stories and explaining things that is so funny. This book might not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of “Parks and Recreation” or “Saturday Night Live” you HAVE to read this. It’ll make you feel so good.
4. The Harry Potter Series
I think we can all agree that J.K. Rowling is a piece of shit, a TERF and no one should support her.
However, the Harry Potter books and movies will always be huge sources of comfort and nostalgia for me. They have so much heart and are such an amazing way to escape and I don’t even need to explain why. With that being said, I will not support putting any more money in the author’s pocket. If you’re a Harry Potter fan or want your friend or child to start getting into the series, buy your books and movies from thrift stores or anywhere you can get them used. Basically, in order to divulge any time into Harry Potter, it’s important to do so without buying official merch or anything that could put more money in the author’s pocket. Harry Potter is an incredible series and its a huge source of comfort for so many of us, and it’s okay to still love Harry Potter, but it’s important to also be a conscious consumer and not put your money into problematic pockets.
I know these books don’t seem like much, but they are the heart and soul of my reading addiction. They’ve all gotten me through a lot and my only hope is that they will get someone else through their struggles, too.