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Prep your winter reading list with Baking Fiction’s Kate Young

Winter is the ideal time to tick items off your must-read list and delve into a well-told narrative. And, with the season fast approaching, its time to get your winter book stash ready.

Better known as Baking Fiction, Kate Young is a women who knows how to embrace the changing seasons. Pairing delicious recipes inspired by literature with captivating reads, Kate’s blog, The Little Library Cafe, is a cosy corner of the internet to visit. Here she shares her wintry reading list, to prep you for the season ahead:

It wasn’t until I moved to England that I discovered the true joy of seasonal eating. I grew up in a tropical country and, while a handful of extra fruits were to be found in the market every summer, it was hard to tell what season we were in, solely by the produce on offer.

Here in the UK, though our supermarkets stock a variety of produce year-round, my greengrocers’ shelves change constantly. The arrival of English asparagus in April, fragrant peaches in the summer, and the first crisp apples in autumn herald the changing seasons as much as much as a pair of 60 denier tights.

When the pumpkins are piled up, and the chestnuts appear in the shops, I retire to an armchair with a pile of books. I often read seasonally too, saving re-reads of To Kill a Mockingbird for summer, and The Secret Garden for the spring. In late autumn and winter, these are the books I want by my side.

Crooked House – If you’re on the hunt for a book that can be read in a single afternoon, under a duvet, you can’t do better than Agatha Christie. Her books are an ideal comfort for a lazy Sunday, as good as a bowl of soup or loaf of freshly baked bread. This is one of my favourites (and Christie’s too): the murder of a patriarch, and the impact it has on everyone left in the house.

The Essex Serpent In fits of excitement, I generally buy more books than I can read. Many of them, of course, spend the next months lining my shelves, or stacked up on my bedside table. Each Christmas, I set aside time to work my way through them. Though I have a considerable pile to be getting through this season, I will also be revisiting this, my favourite book published in 2016. Set in Victorian London and Essex, it is a beautiful novel, with a cast of characters I fell in love with instantly.

Danny, the Champion of the World – I’ve spent the past year working as a nanny, caring for a ten-year-old and a six-year-old. Alongside time in the kitchen, the park and a number of forts, we have spent time in the worlds created by Enid Blyton, Dodie Smith, Noel Streatfield, Lemony Snicket, and Roald Dahl. Danny is new to both of them, and a perfect one for autumn – set just as the leaves turn and the pheasant season begins. It is a book that makes me want to wrap up, walk out the front door and set off on an adventure, kicking piles of leaves as I go.

Rebecca – One of my all-time favourite novels, so moody and dark that it is a perfect match for winter. It’s the kind of book I want with me on a driving holiday through the misty English countryside.

A Christmas Carol – This is the book I save for Christmas Eve each year. If your only experience of the story is via The Muppets (perfectly valid – it is a superlative adaptation), do seek out the original story. It should be read in December, with a glass of mulled wine, a pair of bed socks and a crackling fire in the grate.

What would you add to Kate’s winter reading list?

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Check out Kate’s blog, Instagram and Twitter. And try her macaroni cheese recipe.

Then, read Caroline Woodward-Court’s view of The Beautiful Ruins.