By Lynn Cadet

If you’re anything like me, having your nose in a book is almost like second nature. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, there is always so much to explore when reading. With the right book in your hands, you can find yourself lost in its world, only resurfacing a few hours later, wondering where all the time has gone. Honestly, that is the best feeling.

Now that the holiday season is here, we will have a bit more time on our hands. And what could be better than cosying up with a good read and a comfy blanket? Well, I have some books in mind to get you started, which are not likely to disappoint. They will teach you a bit about life and the joys of captivating storytelling and range from historical fiction to self-help. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R Covey

We’re starting this list off with an enduring classic. Written over 30 years ago, this book sold more than 40 million copies and continues to reshape how people view their life and the decisions that come with it. The author Stephen R. Covey shares with his readers a step-by-step approach to taking on obstacles and achieving success. 

No matter your background, you can pick up this book and draw inspiration from it, whether you’re a parent or a CEO. By the end of it, you will learn to frame your life and everyday thinking grounded in these principles: integrity, fairness, honesty, and human dignity. Owning this book is almost like having a life coach on deck.

The Forgotten Garden By Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden is one of my favourites. Written by Kate Morton, the story is set in Cornwall, United Kingdom, and spans decades. It follows a woman in her quest to find out her true origins. Abandoned as a young child in 1913, she learns the truth from her adopted father. She seeks to find out who her biological parents were and why they left her on a boat to Australia. 

It’s genuinely a page-turner with many twists and turns as well as a dark family history that will leave you stunned. Kate threads multiple familial backgrounds into a spell-bounding ancestral tale. Every detail keeps you guessing. Buckle up because this book will surely take you on an emotional ride, all while teaching you a few life lessons on love and gratitude along the way. 

Atomic Habits By James Clear

This one may seem similar to the first one on the list, but it provides a more detailed approach to habits themselves. Atomic Habits, by James Clear, narrows down on the daily routines that may seem trivial at first glance but could negatively affect your life.

Instead of looking at the broader scope, Clear, an expert on habit formation, places a magnifying glass on how routine bad habits can keep us in the outfield of life. He uses psychology, neuroscience, and biology to help you understand progress and success and equip you with the tools and strategies to form good habits and banish bad ones for good.  

The House Between Tides By Sarah Maine

The House Between Tides takes on a life of its own. Beautifully crafted by Sarah Maine, this story dives right into the wondrous landscape of the Hebrides and the dark past of the Muirlan Estate that lives in its tides. If wildlife conservation and ancestral rights are written on your picket sign, you will love the underlying themes of this tale. 

The main character, Hetty, inherits the Muirlan Estate and gets stuck between either renovating it into a hotel or conserving it as a wildlife sanctuary for the people and the animals that call it home. Sarah explores this theme with grace and ties it in perfectly with a mysterious murder and a dangerous love story that happened nearly a century before. 

The Vanishing Half By Brit Bennett

In The Vanishing Half, the central premise is the relationship of African-American twin sisters who go down two completely different life paths. The story follows the Vignes sisters and their lives after running away from home at sixteen years old. 

Years later, one sister finds herself back in the community she ran from, while the other secretly passes for white with her husband knowing nothing about it. The author Brit Bennett takes on race issues and passing while also focusing on how history and life circumstances can profoundly affect a person’s life going forward. It’s a lovely story on family and history that will keep you hooked for hours. 

If you want to escape this winter season without leaving the house, these lovely reads will surely do the trick. These authors will take you into a world of beauty and wonder and maybe teach you a thing or two about life. Happy reading!