Despite its delayed start (thanks, El Niño), winter is here—and it’s already wearing out its welcome. Our love affair with the cold tends to follow a predictable pattern: enchantment as the season begins, followed all too quickly by impatience for warmer weather as the twinkling lights come down and the seasonal Starbucks cups lose their novelty. You might not be able to swing a trip to a tropical island to wait out winter, but you can climb under the covers and read away to sunnier days. Whether you’re in Seattle and can’t wait for the rain to stop or you’re dreaming of sand while shoveling snow in Buffalo, these books will put your mind in a warmer climate until your body can catch up.
For those on the East Coast wishing they could get away from the upcoming blizzard, this terrifically written social satire of Hollywood is a would-be traveler’s dream come true. From the Italian Coast to Beverly Hills, its blackly comedic tale is the best kind of escapism.
Already sick of the rain? After reading this beautiful, haunting novel, set in a not-too-distant future in which a devastating drought has turned the western half of the country into a sea of sand, you’re sure to look at that El Niño downpour a little differently.
If the locale doesn’t warm you—it’s set in Mexico, beneath not one, but two volcanoes—the Faustian imagery in this totally underrated classic is sure to get your blood rising.
While the northern regions dream of escaping the cold, this short Scandinavian crime novella by the celebrated Norwegian author Jo Nesbø is perfect for those wishing there was more of a nip in the air.
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