Warm Books For Cold Nights

The winter solstice – the darkest day of the year. However, there is a little bit of hope in every low. By reaching this darkest point, we’ve also reached the halfway point. For the next six months, the days will only grow longer and more sunny. We’re halfway out of the dark! To get those dreams of warmth and splendor going, here are five reads that feel to me like a much needed cup of tea.

Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High fantasy and Low Stakes by Travis Baldree

I once played a Dungeons and Dragons game with a friend whose character was a cleric of “the god of cozy vibes,” and I think that this cleric would be right at home in this story! Legends and Lattes tells the story of Viv, an orc barbarian who has decided to leave behind the dramatic high fantasy battles in her world and open the first ever coffee shop in the bustling city of Thune. At first, she struggles with this new life, and it’s only through connecting with her new friends-turned-family that she truly finds herself at home.

The Bee Book by Fergus Chadwick

Listen, I’m not about to start an apiary. It’s an aspirational hobby – right up there with alpine skiing. But gosh, that doesn’t make it any less fun to read about. This book is primarily intended as a how to guide, but the vivid illustrations and friendly tone make it a dream of summer honey in 200 pages. Enjoy learning about the diverse types of bees, how to raise and care for them, and of course what do with all that wonderful beeswax!

Evolutions in Bread: Artisan Pan Breads and Dutch-Oven Loaves at Home by Ken Forkish

This is a literal heart warmer. I’ve owned Ken Forkish’s first treatise on bread baking since 2012, and he continues to deliver with the sequel. There’s a strong thread of process in all the recipes – and while the suggested equipment can be pricy, adapting what you may own can net you hours of warmth and bread!

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

This was probably the best rom com in a book that I’ve read all year! The perennially cynical August finds her world turned upside down when she encounters Jane, an enigmatic, leather jacket toting dreamboat of a woman who just so happens to be an accidental time traveler from the 70s trapped on the New York City subway.  Can August and her obligatory gang of wacky NYC roommates band together to save Jane? Yes, and it’s adorable.

Plants Are My Favorite People: a Relationship Guide for Plants and their Parents by Alessia Resta

Bees may be far in my future, but a prodigious crop of houseplants is very much already present in my life. This is another quirky and enjoyable nonfiction to serve as a hobby entryway. Resta takes the reader through a range of styles of plant maintenance, with varying degrees of effort required for each. Using these, she structures the best part of this book: a list of simple and common plant recommendations. The sheer number of options can be intimidating when shopping for a new leafy friend and flipping through charming visuals with one to two suggestions gives me hope for a bountiful growing season.