Winter Is the Perfect Time to Curl Up With a Good Book!


(Tuesday, January 9, 2007 11:40 AM EST)

Feel like curling up by the fire with a good book, but don't know what to read? Books and Crannies co-owner Pat Daly, has a plethora of book recommendations for those cold winter nights, including:

“Cross” by James Patterson:In the latest installment of the Alex Cross mysteries, F.B.I. Senior Agent Alex Cross faces his deadliest psychopath so far, his wife's killer.

“People anxiously await these mysteries and they fly off the shelves,” said Daly. “This one's definitely a page turner.”

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho: A novel about following your dreams, “The Alchemist” tells the story of Santiago, a young shepherd boy in search of treasure. His journeys take him to Egypt where he meets an alchemist, who changes his life.

“It's very inspirational in the dead of winter,” said Books and Crannies assistant manager Laura Vermillion. “I'm a slow reader, but I read it in 24 hours!”

“The Memory Keeper's Daugter” by Kim Edwards: A doctor's wife gives birth to fraternal twins, a healthy boy, Paul, and a girl with Down's syndrome, Phoebe. The doctor orders his nurse to take the girl to a home, but she leaves and keeps the unwanted child. The lives of Phoebe's birth family are profoundly affected by the lack of her presence.

“It's absolutely mesmerizing,” said Daly.

“The Boleyn Inheritance” by Phillipa Gregory: In the same vein as “The Other Boleyn Girl,” Gregory's new novel returns to the court of King Henry VIII, and explores the lives of the wives who suffered under his hand.

“Gregory's writing brings back a world long gone,” said Daly. “She evokes feelings of loyalty and betrayal.”

“The Last Van Gogh” by Alyson Richman: In this novel, Richman tells the story of Marguerite Gachet, who falls in love with Vincent Van Gogh and is speculated to be the subject of the artist's last painting before he committed suicide.

“It's very well researched, and a wonderful story,” said Daly.

“The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai: Winner of the 2006 Man Booker prize, Desai takes readers into the world of the Himalayas. A judge, who wants nothing more than to live a peaceful retired life, finds his orphaned granddaughter and the son of his cook at his doorstep. His life is changed profoundly as a result.

“Salem Falls” by Jodi Picoult: Released from prison after serving time for a wrongful conviction of statutory rape, Jack St. Bride moves to Salem Falls to start anew. The exact same thing happens, again, when 17-year-old Gillian Duncan tries to seduce Jack with Wiccan love spells, and when she is assaulted in the woods, accuses him of the crime. The court proceedings that follow reveal the secrets of not only the main characters, but the truth of the town as a whole.

“The consequences of your actions can be devastating. This book might make people in their teens think about what they say and do,” said Daly. “It's a good life lesson.”

“Nature Girl” by Carl Hiassen: Set in swamps of Florida, Hiassen's newest book follows Honey Santana in her quest to punish Boyd Shreave, a telemarketer who made some nasty comments during his solicitation call. One-of-a-kind characters and numerous complications are woven together in this wild and crazy tale.

If non-fiction readers are feeling a little left out, the Books and Crannies staff also recommend “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick and “Shadow Diver” by Robert Kurson.

And, if readers are in the mood to support local authors, they should pick up “The Eight” by Katherine Neville of Warrenton and “The Chase” by Jan Newhart of Middleburg.

You can find all of these titles at Books and Crannies, which is located at 15 South Madison Street in Middleburg. For more information, call (540) 687-6677 or visit the Web site at

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