As we slip into December and Jack frost is waiting to bite off your nose, a great book and a hot toddy are the perfect excuse to stay indoors and keep warm.
At the Lady Wimbledon Book Club, we have curated the best wintertime reads just for you. Whether you prefer feel good fiction, icy tingles down your spine or the magic of Christmas love, there is the perfect read just for you. So, what are you waiting for? Get a hot mug of luxe chocolate and sip away as you browse our fabulous recommendations.
Winter Tales. Kevin Stevens.
Perfect for when you haven’t enough time to binge read!
A stunning collection of short stories and poems set in several different countries revealing the power of the seasons upon the readers inner self.
Each tale is beautifully crafted and although stand alone, contain recurring themes each enriching the other. The perspectives shift as they reveal different layers of the human experience. Filled with ambiguity, mystery and soul searching throughout this edition as well as touching on betrayal, lostness, the miraculous, hope and the power of love.
Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte.
In our opinion you can’t beat this perennial classic for a snuggled up read.
For Jane Eyre Being seen as a poor “Plain Jane” isn’t going to hold back her indomitable spirit, great wit and huge courage. Having been raised by a cruel guardian she finds employment as governess to the daughter of Mr Rochester, whom we all know is enigmatic and wildly attractive! She must fight against the aftermath of her previous life, a cruel employer and the inflexible rules of society. Set against the marvellous backdrop of the Yorkshire moors, we readers will discover an epic tale of love and kindness. Jane and Rochester are caught in a grand passion that must survive a cruel revelation, loss and reunion only to be faced with tragedy.
Hogfather. Terry Pratchett
From the Discworld series it is the night before Hogswatch in the late great Sir Terry’s story from the death series. A fun seasonal story that will transport you into a land of pure fantasy.
‘Twas the night before Hogswatch and all through the house…something was missing.
Superstition makes things work in the Discworld and undermining it can have consequences. When Death realizes that belief in the Hogfather is dangerously low, he decides to take on the job. But it’s just not right to find a seven-foot skeleton creeping down your chimney and trying to say ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’.
It’s the last night of the year, the time is turning, and if Susan, gothic governess and Death’s granddaughter, doesn’t sort everything out by morning, there won’t be a morning. Ever again…
Hogfather is the fourth book in the Death series, but you can listen to the Discworld novels in any order.
The Shape of Darkness. Laura Purnell
Wicked deeds require the cover of darkness….
Agnes, a struggling silhouette artist in Victorian Bath, searches out a renowned child spirit medium to speak to the dead and attempt to identify their killers.
Life is difficult as she struggles to keep her business afloat. Having recently recovered from a serious illness she has to make enough money to support not only herself but also her elderly mother and orphaned nephew Cedric. As if she doesn’t have enough to contend with, one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for her, and then another, and another….
Agnes is desperate to discover answers and approaches Pearl, the child spirit medium who lodges in Bath with her older half-sister and ailing father. Agnes and Pearl hope to contact those who have died and find the mystery killer. They soon discover that they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back.
Just what are the secrets that lie hidden in the dark?
A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens.
Can any Christmas story convey the true spirit of the season better than A Christmas Carol?
First published in 1843 meet Ebenezer Scrooge as he encounters the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
Truly an essential on your Holiday reading list.
Midwinter Murder. Agatha Christie.
An all-new collection of winter-themed mysteries from the master of the genre, for the festive season.
There’s a chill in the air, and the days are growing shorter…. It’s the perfect time to curl up in front of a crackling fireplace with this winter-themed collection from legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie. But beware of deadly snowdrifts and dangerous gifts, poisoned meals and mysterious guests. This compendium of short stories, some featuring beloved Detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, is an essential omnibus for Christie fans and the perfect gift for mystery lovers.
Includes the stories:
‘The Chocolate Box’
‘A Christmas Tragedy’
‘The Coming of Mr Quin’
‘The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest’
‘The Clergyman’s Daughter’
‘The Plymouth Express’
‘Problem at Pollensa Bay’
Last Christmas in Paris. Hazel Gaynor. Heather Webb.
This unforgettably romantic novel that spans four Christmases is perfect for a cosy reading binge curled up by the fire. We guarantee that this will become your Christmas staple!
Set between 1914 and 1918, the story explores the ruins of war, the strength of love and the enduring hope of Christmas time.
August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how? —and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war, he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?
Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…
The Christmas Escape. Sarah Morgan
It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas escape – a dream trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband, Seb. Her solution? Alix, along with Seb’s oldest friend, Zac, can take Christy’s daughter on the planned Lapland trip, and they will all reunite there for Christmas Day. After all, what are friends for?
There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy, but Christy’s plan to save Christmas is testing their friendship. Especially as Alix and Zac have a difficult history of their own.
As long-held secrets unravel, and unexpected romance shines under the Northern Lights, can Christy and Alix find the courage to fight for the relationships they really want? And could this Christmas escape save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?
A Song Below Water. Bethany C. Morrow
Described by Dhonielle Clayton as “an enthralling tale of Black girl magic and a searing social commentary ready to rattle the bones”, A Song Below Water is the story for now — a bewitching contemporary fantasy about Black sirens, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today’s racism and sexism.
In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.
Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.
But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.
Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.
1 Day in December. Josie Silva.
Loved by Reese Witherspoon and Marian Keyes, Josie Silva has reached over a million hearts around the world with her uplifting and immensely moving love story. Settle down and be prepared to be whisked off your feet!
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist. After all, life isn’t a scene from the movies, is it? But then, through a misted-up bus window one freezing day, she sees a man she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.
Laurie thinks she’ll never see the boy from the bus again. But at a party later that year, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus.
Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life. But what if fate has other plans?
The Hunting Party. Lucy Foley.
Keep your friends close ……. but how close is too close?
Here at the Book Club The Hunting Party was unputdownable; be prepared to hunker down, turn your phone onto silent and immerse yourself into this riveting yarn.
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.
The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.
Now, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.
The Winter Sea. Susanna Kearsley
Bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator who restores the lost voices of real people to the page, interweaving romance and historical intrigue with modern adventure.
A hauntingly beautiful tale of love that transcends time: an American writer travels to Scotland to craft a novel about the Jacobite Rebellion, only to discover her own ancestral memories of that torrid moment in Scottish history…
In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. When young Sophia Paterson travels to Slains Castle by the sea, she finds herself amid the dangerous intrigue.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of that historic Scottish castle, she starts to write. But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be the only living person who knows the truth–the ultimate betrayal–that happened all those years ago.
A sweeping historical fantasy of love, danger, and time travel, Susanna Kearsley masterfully weaves Scotland’s past into Carrie’s present in this stunning book.
WRITTEN BY JANIE SMITH – ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR