I was talking last night with a good friend in a steamy coffee shop. As we looked out the windows overlooking the nearby park, we admired the trees dotted with tiny white lights. The bare branches swayed in the cold wind and blew little, snowy tornadoes around pedestrians feet.
We’d been talking about the press of the holiday season, the acrid scent of espresso mixing with wet boots and newspaper in the cozy space.
“I wasn’t going to start it until January,” my friend A., admitted, referring to a new thriller book she’d recently purchased. “But I started reading and it was so good I had to keep going.”
When the Holidays Stress You Out
Maybe you are a little like me and A. You want to feel holly and jolly every second of the holiday season, but instead you feel tired and frazzled by all there is to do/buy/see/wrap/bake/plan/store…and are secretly looking forward to the dead-boring days of January.
I love Christmas. But it’s completely possible to love something in theory and feel overwhelmed by it in reality.
Taking Care of Yourself During the Busy Holiday…with Fiction Fixes
Something that really helps me, especially during this hectic time of the year, is continuing my “fiction fixes”. These are short segments of time where you can just sit down and lose yourself in a good book. Five minutes? 10 or more? It really doesn’t matter. Just being able to let go of all the other stuff and dive into a story is refreshing.
Like meditation, fiction fixes help you to calm an overly-busy mind. It’s amazing how quickly your outlook can change with just a few minutes between the pages of a good book. This study by PubMed points to real health benefits.
I enjoy my fiction fix most days of the week after lunch. I curl up in the corner of the couch, with a hot beverage and delve into my current novel.
Reading Recommendations for Thriller, Suspense and Mystery Readers
Want to try a fiction fix yourself but aren’t sure what to read? Check out all of my Reading Recommendations over on YouTube. In the meantime, here are some of the books currently on my #TBR list. I’m looking forward to reading these books in the next couple of months. Maybe one will pique your interest:
If you watched my November Reading Recommendations, you know that I fell in love with the book, Ruler of the Night, by David Morrell. While I inadvertently purchased this, the third in the Thomas and Emily De Quincey series, I’m now going to backtrack and read books 1 and 2. Murder as a Fine Art is the first in this Victorian-thriller series.
I recently learned the (very exciting!) news that Jennifer McMahon has a new book coming out this spring. Which got me thinking–I still haven’t gotten around to her newest book, Burn Town. I loved the first of her books I read, The Winter People, and have gone on to read several others which were all page turners. Definitely adding Burn Town to my #TBR list.
Listening to a good outdoor adventure podcast today, S’more Outdoors–sadly, now on hiatus but lots of good listening in the archives–I heard an interview of Kate Dyer-Seeley. Kate writes a lot of cozy mysteries. While I’m not a huge fan of cozies, I am intrigued by her Pacific Northwest Mystery series. In it, a bumbling 20-something poses as an adventurer in order to score a lucrative gig with an outdoor magazine…when things head south.
I love reading about protagonists who are writers and adore books set in nature. Definitely want to grab a copy of the first in series, Scene of the Climb, soon.
Every so often, I need a good palate cleanser. You know how you feel after eating too much chocolate (it happens) and want pretzels or something else salty to get rid of the too-sweet taste in your mouth?
Sometimes I get this way with books. While I adore mystery/suspense novels, once in awhile I need a little break. When it’s time to veer outside that genre next, I’m going to reach for Michele Deppe’s, These Blue Remembered Hills. I’ve read and enjoyed all of her other novels. Think Rosamund Pilcher combined with a little Agatha Christie and some Sophia Kinsella to round things out.
How about you?
One of the reasons I love this blog is that it puts me in touch with other readers. So tell me: what’s on your to-be-read list? Or which of the New York Times bestsellers (or better yet, never-heard-of authors) are you most looking forward to reading this holiday season?