Welcome to our annual winter reading poll! Tell us about a great book to curl up with on a frosty winter night, and what fragrance we should wear while reading it.
(If you want more recommendations, scrolling through the literature tag will bring up all the older reading polls.)
My recent reading:
Starting with fiction…I am still reading Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, which I started in spring 2020. It’s a specific sort of reader’s block but I do read a few pages now and then, and I will finish it sometime this year. The obvious scent to match is the one I’ve also been wearing for years upon years, Diorissimo. I did finish The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, which I’d started last fall, and I read Next Life Might Be Kinder by Howard Norman, followed by Phillip Pullman’s novella Serpentine, then Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I read bits, but not all, of The Quarter by Naguib Mahfouz.
I read 8 mysteries: Val McDermid Still Life, then 4 by Michael Gilbert (Smallbone Deceased, Death in Captivity, Death has Deep Root and The Crack in the Teapot), 2 by Gil North (Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm and The Methods of Sergeant Cluff), and then Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.
On the non-fiction front: I read More Was Lost by Eleanor Perenyi, which I think Erin recommended to me years ago, and which I would highly recommend to anyone else, and which calls for something nostalgic like Guerlain Après L’Ondée. Then Latest Readings by Clive James, Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, The British in India: A Social History of the Raj (someone recommended that but I forget who), Hilary Mantel’s Mantel Pieces, and then after watching Pretend It’s A City I re-read bits of The Fran Lebowitz Reader.
Because we took no vacations last year, I have never had a concentrated catch-up period for The New Yorker, so I am currently on the August 24th issue. It is especially weird to read about politics and pandemics so many months after the fact and I am including this here mostly as a nag to myself.