Top 5 Winter Reads (And Cocktail Suggestions)

Winter. It’s cold, dark and miserable. We’ve just left my favorite season. I’m not winter’s biggest fan.

The one good side to the winter is that it gives you a good excuse to stay in where it’s warm and cuddle up with a good book or series of books and maybe a toasty (or alcoholic) beverage. You’ll see several series in this list. I think winter is the perfect time to really dig into a series and binge read. A few of them even have TV shows or movies that you can watch, as well.

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And yes, I realize it’s not officially winter yet. Close enough.

Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

This series is absolutely wonderful. Claire Randall is on vacation with her husband in the 20th century when she finds herself suddenly in the 18th century. There she finds adventure and surprise romance in the form of studly Scot Jamie Fraser. Reading these are pretty big task to take on. There are currently 8 pretty long books (with the 9th forthcoming), several novellas and short stories, a graphic novel, and TV show. Not to mention there is a spin off book series with one of the secondary characters, Lord John Grey. They are more mysteries and shorter than the original series, but good reads, nonetheless.

Cocktail: My vote is for a Bonnie Prince Charlie, however, my mother’s suggestion is the whiskey smash, so I’m including it as well. It’s a long series. You’ll have plenty of time to try both.

The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)

This book fit perfectly in with my love of books that are dark, mysterious and dreamy. It’s truly a wonderful book. There is an ice palace exhibit in the circus that makes it wintry enough for me to give it a spot on this list. It will give you a fantastic, magical reason to lose yourself in a book on a yucky winter day.

Cocktail: A Magic Hour. A little fancy and sophisticated, like the circus itself.

A Song of Ice and Fire (George R.R. Martin)

If you haven’t jumped on board with the Game of Thrones madness, it’s never too late. It’s a great, complicated series. I’m still trying to avoid the TV series until after the final book comes out… which may not be any time soon, unfortunately.

Cocktail: Straight anything. It will help sooth the sorrows that yet another of your favorite characters has been killed off. And that you may be waiting until the end of time itself for the Winds of Winter to come out while trying to avoid any spoilers that might have been on the show.

Brillant (Marne Davis-Kellogg)

This is the first in a series centering around jewel thief Kick Keswick. They are fun, decadent reads, which, face it, after the last entry, we might all need. This was one of my favorite series, right up until the most recent book, which didn’t really seem to fit for me. At any rate, the first four are great.

Cocktail: Cafe Amaretto. Similar to the drink Kick enjoys in Perfect. It also happens to be perfect for a cold day.

The Princess Dairies (Meg Cabot)

I’m a sucker for Meg Cabot books. I love her. The Princess Diaries is a good place to start for the Meg Cabot neophyte and there are quite a few books in the series, including a more recent adult entry. Many women my age loved the Disney movie. It’s a great movie, the but book series is quite different.

Cocktail: What else? Grandmother’s drink of choice, the sidecar.