Pile of Books

As the nights get chillier and we spend more evenings at home with cocoa by the fire, we asked our BAHS team members to recommend their favorite books to curl up with on a snowy night. Below we are sharing our winter reading list for the months ahead. We wish everyone a warm and cozy holiday season – with plenty of time for stories by the fire!

BAHS Winter Reading List 

A Hint (or More) of Magic and Fantasy 

UK Senior Placement Specialist Zoey Ingarfield’s top recommendation is the “absolutely beautiful” book, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The imaginative story follows the poignant relationship between two young dueling magicians. For those who love a touch of whimsy and magic, she also suggests The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale, and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Senior Placement Specialist Elizabeth B. Myerson recommends This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub; the book is a coming-of-age classic meets time travel story. Not only is it an excellent read, it was written by a Brooklyn mother who owns the bookstore, Books are Magic (in this newsletter, we’ve tried to link our book suggestions to this store whenever possible). Massachusetts-based Abby Schuster, a voracious reader and BAHS Senior Placement Specialist, suggests The Abhorsen Chronicles (Old Kingdom) by Garth Nix this time of year. Abby shares “I’m not generally big into fantasy, but these books are the best. I’ve read them all 5+ times and cry at the end every time. The atmosphere in the first one really lends itself to feeling cozy, and then the second two take you on a real adventure.” Another of Abby’s favorites is the enchanting The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.

Love, Tears, and Resilience 

Senior Placement Specialist Vanessa Vargas shares “anything by Nicholas Sparks is good…. but guaranteed to be a tear-jerker.” Her particular favorite is Message in a Bottle, a hope-filled story of a single mother who finds a love letter in a bottle on the beach and sets out to find the writer. Ellie Mohammadi loves Donna Tartt’s gorgeous book, The Goldfinch and The Everything Girl by Holly L. Lörincz and L. Maleki. Both Abby and Zoey recommend Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, two very different but incredibly touching stories of perseverance, hope, and resilience.

Non-FictionBoth our COO Catherine Whyte and Senior Placement Specialist Elizabeth B. Myerson highly recommend Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky. Catherine also loves Roxane Gay’s books, particularly Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Elizabeth recommends Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, which she describes as “a collection of extremely astute essays” – and it was named one of the top books of the year in 2019 by multiple publications, including The New York Times Book Review, TimeChicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Paris Review, and NPR.

Warm and FunnyTalent Acquisition Specialist Liz Hankins loves Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backmann; Backmann’s books are as tender as they are humorous. This fall, Catherine Whyte saw David Sedaris reading from his 2022 book of essays Happy-Go-Lucky and that is now next up on her nightstand! The New York Times described the book as “consistently funny” and “delightful.”

ThrillerFor those who aren’t afraid of crime and suspense, Liz Hankins is currently working on Bright Young Women, a book based on Ted Bundy’s crimes, by Jessica Knoll. Liz’s colleague in Talent Acquisition Alanna Kaminski loves anything by Freida McFadden, a successful thriller author and practicing physician specializing in brain injury; Alanna divulged she has read ten of McFadden’s books in the past year! Another great page turner on Alanna’s list is The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. UK Senior Placement Specialist Martha Keith Burnett, who loves to get lost in books by the fire in chilly Edinburgh, recommends Ian McGuire’s The North Water, which she describes as “dark, thrilling and cold,” as well as John Banville’s The Book of Evidence, a Booker Price Finalist described as “a sinister, quirky and thrilling character study.”

If you’d like to learn more about our team, visit this page.