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18th November 2013

Editor’s picks: winter reads

As the weather turns cold and the days grow short, Books Editor Esmé Clifford Astbury reveals her favourite winter reads

Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

Set in the Canadian North, Late Nights on Air follows an unconventional group of characters, who, each fleeing complicated lives of their own, end up working at a small radio station in Yellowknife. Forces beyond their control are set in motion when they embark on a canoe trip into the Arctic, which will leave them – and the reader – with an enduring sense of wonder and loss.

Grimm Tales for Young and Old by Philip Pullman

In Grimm Tales for Young and Old, Philip Pullman masterfully reworks the famous fairy tales collected almost 200 years ago by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

Perhaps Hesse’s most autobiographical work, Steppenwolf is centred on reclusive intellectual Harry Haller as he struggles to reconcile the wild wolf and the rational man inside him. This is the story of a tortured soul’s journey to liberation.

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago chronicles the life and loves of a doctor and poet during the Russian Revolution. This is at once an unflinching account of the Revolution and a love story.

Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Brontë

Wuthering Heights is the ultimate tale of love and revenge, set in the wild Yorkshire moors – the perfect book for a blustery winter night.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Set in a parallel universe, Northern Lights follows Lyra Belacqua as she journeys to the Arctic in pursuit of her friend, Roger Parslow, and her uncle, Lord Asriel, who has been conducting experiments on a strange substance called ‘dust’.

The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

No winter would be complete without a good tale of Tudor court intrigue, and who better to tell it than Philippa Gregory? The Virgin’s Lover deals with the early days of Elizabeth I’s rule, as she faces the threat of a French invasion and becomes entangled with the convicted traitor Robert Dudley.

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