Books… remember those? The rectangle thingies that were made out of paper. The weather outside can be brutal, but entertaining winter reads can take you away from your cabin fever.
Although books were a very big part of my childhood, it seems that younger generations have replaced them with electronic gadgets. I really wanted to share some of the books that I love and hope to inspire a little winter reading!
If I had thousands of children, picking my favorite book would be like picking my favorite child; I like them all for different reasons. These entertaining winter reads are some of my absolute faves!
The books on this list weren’t just entertaining. They changed or had a major impact on my life.
The Hobbit: Imagine a bunch of 8th grade boys, all taller than you, getting excited about story time. Or a 9 yo who doesn’t have illustrations to stare at, asking you to read one more page. I have had so many wonderful experiences reading this book to others. This tale is great for getting imaginations thinking! Film Version: I grew up with the animated tale as a little kid but they were more recently adapted into a trilogy of films better suited for slightly older audiences.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Book 3 of the 7 book saga was my favorite. Mysterious new characters were introduced and my appetite for all things Harry Potter was well satisfied with an entertaining back story and some family history. Siriusly, this book was great. 😉 Film Version: It has been 15 years (yes! 15 years!) since I lined up at the theater to see this. The film is good but the book is way better!
The Chronicles of Narnia: Despite being in college before I ever actually read any of the books, I always appreciate stories that take me on epic journeys to far away worlds. Although there are a lot of fantasy elements, it doesn’t complicate the simple message the C.S. Lewis intended to deliver with the adventures. Great for all ages! Film Version: There is a BBC version from the 80’s and a Disney version from the 00’s. My husband and I have some debate over which version we prefer. Both are awesome, but both are incomplete.
Entertaining winter reads are a great way to make the most of your time indoors!
The Babysitters’ Club California Girls: I have totally read this book more times than any other book in my entire life. If I had an evening, a long car trip, or couldn’t find anything to watch on t.v., I could always be entertained with this book from the extensive series. When I outgrew pretending to be Mrs. Luke Skywalker, I started pretending to be in the club! Film Version: Sadly, this is the only book on my list that has not been made into a movie. With the way everything old has been made new again with streaming services, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this someday!
What To Expect Series: One September 12th, 2010 I found out I was pregnant. On September 13th, 2010 I got my first copy of What to Expect When Your Expecting. An internet search just isn’t the same as the variety of topics this series covers. I still remember the shock of reading about something called vaginal tears and the part that talks about pooping during delivery was also very memorable. These books have been a valuable tool as I navigated the unknowns of pregnancy, infancy, toddlerhood, and beyond. Film Version: Yeah, sort of, but stick to the book for information you had no idea that you needed!
Devil in the White City: I knew so little about the World’s Fair hosted in Chicago in the 1890’s, but was fascinated with the impressive architecture and design process that made a vacant park into a white city of marble. Also, I didn’t know that this beautiful place was haunted by America’s first serial killer. Most author’s have to make this stuff up but this story is actually true and a side by side telling of the fair itself and the murders which took place at… dum dum dum… a specially constructed murder castle! Not a bedtime story for the kids! Film Version: There are some excellent documentaries that you can stream and a flashy Hollywood version is in the works… for-ever!
No time for winter reading? Put the kids to bed and watch the movie versions!
Jurassic Park: For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with dinosaurs and have been an enthusiast since kindergarten. I read Jurassic Park for a middle school book report long ago and my teacher complained that I didn’t need to go to so much trouble. No trouble at all! This book never stops entertaining. Michael Crichton was a wonderful storyteller! Film Version: It is one of the best movies EVER, but you’re really missing out if you loved the movie but haven’t read the book.
Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Darcy. Enough said. Film Version: Many adaptions have been made but most debate their favorite Fitzwilliam Darcy; Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?
Emma: This story has been adapted into many re-imaginings and re-tellings, but the original version already has everything you need; a circle of friends (they called them acquaintances back then) who become tangled in Emma’s match-making endeavors. The Bachelorette before reality t.v. Film Version: There have been many adaptions, but the 2009 BBC version, with Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley to ohhh and ahh over, is excellent.
My latest novel in progress: If two Jane Austen novels on my list doesn’t make the fact that I enjoy historical fiction obvious, I don’t know what will. When I can’t find anything to read, I write my own stories. It is no secret that I enjoy writing and do it a lot. When I’m not writing something for this blog or editing and proofing someone else’s work, I am drafting another novel.
Which winter reads make your list?