Books to curl Up with

Everyone loves a good book to curl up with on the sofa on a cold winter’s night. These are my picks for whiling away the winter evenings by the fireside:

1. I Capture the Castle

By Dodie Smith. Publisher: Vintage Classics, Random House. ISBN: 9780099572886

A book which starts ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ and ends ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’, cannot fail to capture the imagination. Let Cassandra Mortmain, a most charismatic protagonist, transport you to the bohemian world of the Mortmain family; penniless creatives who live out their colourful lives between the backdrops of their dilapidated Suffolk castle and 1930s London. This is a richly descriptive, beautifully observed coming-of-age story; both funny and moving in its handling of family, friendships, love and loss. A modern classic.

I capture the castle

2. One Night, Markovitch

By Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Translated by: Sondra Silverston. Publisher: Pushkin Press. ISBN: 9781782271635

Captivating, poignant and warmly witty, this is true storytelling at its best. This debut novel, inspired by historical events, is richly woven with brilliantly realised characters and vivid, intoxicating descriptions. Join the ‘gloriously average’ Yaacov Markovitch and his only friend, the charismatic Zeev Feinberg, as they embark on a mission to help women flee Europe, before war descends. It was supposed to be such a simple plan; meet, marry, return to the Jewish homeland and then separate. But love and lust have a habit of complicating things.

3. Atlas of Remote Islands 

By Judith Schalansky. Publisher: Particular Books. ISBN: 9781846143489

Embrace armchair travel and fall in love with cartography in this unique and exquisite atlas. Previously voted Germany’s most beautiful book, this is a poetic work of alluring images, typeface and prose. Schalansky, an art historian, graphic designer and typographer, grew up in 1980s East Germany and could travel only in her mind, aided by her parents’ atlas. This book expands on the concept and presents fifty remote islands, each printed on a double page, with a map, relevant data and anecdotes from the island’s past. The prose is vivid, seductive and at times bittersweet: ‘Paradise is an island. So is hell.’

Atlas of Remote Islands

 4. Jump Book

By Philippe Halsman. Publisher: Re-published by Damiani. ISBN: 9788862084208

This stylish and energy-fuelled selection of portrait photographs by acclaimed portrait photographer Philippe Halsman cannot fail to raise a smile. Not content to ask his subjects to merely sit for him, Halsman instead asked people to jump. Halsman believed when movement was involved “…the mask falls. The real self becomes visible.” From Audrey Hepburn to Richard Nixon, Brigitte Bardot to Salvador Dali, this book reveals a photographer who could capture a sense of vitality in a single shot.

Jump Book

5. Public Library

By Ali Smith. Publisher: Penguin. ISBN: 9780241237465

An engaging collection of short stories on the wonder of words, of books and the doors that they open to worlds both real and imagined. This collection is a thought provoking and moving exploration of why we read, how we read, the impact books can have on us and how their interpretation and meaning can continue to evolve. It also poignantly celebrates our public libraries; each story is interspersed with anecdotes from individuals on their experiences and use of this community asset, which can make us all ‘citizens of thought’.

Public Library

6. The Liberty Colouring Book

By Liberty. Publisher: Viking. ISBN: 9780241249987

Take time out and lose yourself in being creator of your own gorgeous Liberty Print colour schemes. If you haven’t yet embraced the adult colouring book trend, then a book of Liberty prints is a stylish place to start. It is a pocket-sized gem, packed with their signature patterns just waiting for you to add your own colourful twist. Give yourself some headspace this festive season by indulging in a bit of restorative colouring, and an appreciation of the Liberty archives!

Liberty Colouring Book

What are you reading at the moment? Tell us your top recommendations for winter nighttime reading in the comments below.

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Caroline is Khoollect's resident book reviewer. This lady has had her noses in books since she can r...

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If you’re an avid reader and want more great book recommendations, check out Caroline’s review of Happiness by Design, her pick of books it wouldn’t be Christmas without, and her all time favourite reads

You can also read more about the book reviewer herself, Caroline Woodward-Court.