14 Extra-Long Reads to Cure Your Winter Blues

February 1 2019

Right about now is when I always start getting tired of winter—the holidays are over and the stretch between now and the beginning of spring seems infinite. I find that the best solution for the winter blues is to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, and a nice long book. Here are some hefty reads to keep you company on those long, cold winter nights.

Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King

You can always depend on Stephen King to write an expansive novel that is satisfyingly long but also a blazing fast, absorbing read. This collaboration with his son Owen is a high-stakes and provocative look at a near-future world in which all women have fallen into a deep sleep except one, Eve Black. As the men of the world adjust to their new reality, an increasingly violent divide occurs over what to do with Eve.

720 pages

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Sleeping Beauties
Stephen King and Owen King

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A Suitable Boy
by Vikram Seth

Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, this compulsively readable novel centers around Lata and her mother, who are both trying to find a suitable boy for Lata to marry. It is a portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux and a story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation.

1,488 pages

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A Suitable Boy
Vikram Seth

Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find -- through love or through exacting maternal appraisal -- a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.

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The Lost Queen
by Signe Pike

A splendid mix of THE MISTS OF AVALON and your favorite Philippa Gregory novel, THE LOST QUEEN has it all: romance, bloodshed, and betrayal. This thrilling read reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland and the twin sister of the man who inspired the legend of Merlin.

544 pages

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The Lost Queen
Signe Pike

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I Know This Much Is True
by Wally Lamb

In this expansive and heartbreaking multigenerational saga, Dominick Birdsey's entire life has been compromised and constricted by anger and fear; by the paranoid schizophrenic twin brother he both deeply loves and resents; and by the past they shared with their adoptive father, Ray—an ex-Navy man, and their long-suffering mother, Concettina. Dominick has a talent for survival, but it comes at great cost, especially when his brother commits an unthinkable act.

928 pages

Read the full review of THIS MUCH I KNOW IS TRUE.

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I Know This Much Is True
Wally Lamb

Dominick and Thomas are identical in every respect except one: Thomas suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. After Thomas cuts off his own hand in what he believes to be an act of sacrificial protest, Dominick must review his own status as the “normal” twin and confront the dark and suppressed truths of his own life in this tale of alienation, connection, and, above all, the power of familial bonds.

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The Time In Between
by Maria Duenas

Sira Quiroga grew up sweeping atelier floors where her single mother worked as a seamstress in Madrid. As she grows up, she uses her talent and courage to reinvent herself as a prestigious coutourier, creating beautiful clothes for wealthy people. When World War II breaks out, she begins a dangerous undercover mission, creating dresses for Nazi officers’ wives while also working as an undercover agent for the Allies.

615 pages

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The Time In Between
Maria Duenas

An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the “Spanish Downton Abbey.” In the US it was a critical and commercial hit, and a New York Times bestseller in paperback. It is one of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. María Dueñas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller.

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
by Haruki Murakami

In a Tokyo suburb, a young man searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.

607 pages

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
Haruki Murakami

In one of Murakami's best, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a psychic prostitute, a politician, a teenage girl, and an aging war veteran.

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Skippy Dies
by Paul Murray

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? This dazzling and uproarious novel explores the reasons, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined.

672 pages

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Skippy Dies
Paul Murray

When Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s esteemed Seabrook College, ends up dead on the floor of a local doughnut shop, one pressing question remains: Why? This heartfelt and hilarious novel explores the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, all while investigating the mystery of Skippy’s demise.

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The Found and the Lost
by Ursula K. Le Guin

8. The Found and the Lost by Ursula K. Le Guin 9781481451406
This heftly literary treasure trove contains every novella ever written by Ursula K. Le Guin, recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Her speculative and science fiction tales are imaginative, absorbing, and transportive.

832 pages

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The Found and the Lost
Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin has won multiple prizes and accolades from the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to the Newbery Honor, the Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, and PEN/Malamud Awards. She has had her work collected over the years, but never as a complete retrospective of her longer works as represented in the wonderful THE FOUND AND THE LOST.

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The Lake House
by Kate Morton

In this suspenseful, atmospheric tale, shocking truths about a decades-old mystery are revealed when Sadie Sparrow, a young detective with the London police, stumbles upon the crumbling Edevane estate, where many years ago an eleven-month-old child disappeared without a trace. A series of events bring her together with Alice Edevane, a novelist whose family has been torn apart by the incident.

606 pages

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The Lake House
Kate Morton

Filled with mystery and spellbinding secrets, this novel is the perfect escape. Alice Edevane is only 16 years old when her 11-month-old brother vanishes from her family’s idyllic lakeside estate. Decades later, a detective stumbles upon the now crumbling estate and uncovers shocking truths about a past long gone ... yet more present than ever.

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Agony and the Ecstasy
by Irving Stone

This classic biographical novel of Michelangelo illuminates both the legendary artist and the man, bringing to life the turbulent Italian Renaissance and offering a glimpse into Michelangelo’s loves, his work, and his genius.

784 pages

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The Agony and the Ecstasy
Irving Stone

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MENTIONED IN:

14 Extra-Long Reads to Cure Your Winter Blues

By Sarah Jane Abbott | February 1, 2019

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The Fireman
by Joe Hill

A devastating plague of spontaneous combustion threatens to reduce society and humanity to ashes. Harper Grayson, a nurse, treated hundreds of patients before recognizing the tell-tale signs of the disease on her own skin. Harper is determined to stay alive at least long enough to deliver the baby she is carrying. As the world spirals into chaos, she comes into contact with The Fireman, an infected man who has learned to control the fire within himself.

768 pages

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The Fireman
Joe Hill

Joe Hill’s novel, like many of the others on this list, features a pandemic, but of a different sort: fire. No one knows exactly why people are suddenly spontaneously combusting, but millions are being affected and no one is safe. One couple is faced with the possibility—and probable inevitability—of becoming sick, and as they become increasingly unhinged, society descends into chaos.

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The Paying Guests
by Sarah Waters

In 1922 London, impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, must take in lodgers in order to make ends meet. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants, young couple Lilian and Leonard Barber, will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

592 pages

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The Paying Guests
Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters earned a reputation as one of Britain’s great writers of historical fiction, and here she delivers again. A love story, a tension-filled crime story, and a beautifully atmospheric portrait of 1920s London, this is her finest achievement yet.

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Bleak House
by Charles Dickens

A long winter night is the perfect time to delve into some classic Dickens, like this expansive and engrossing novel about an infamous lawsuit that has been in process for generations. Esther Summerson watches as her friends and neighbors are consumed by their hopes and disappointments with the proceedings. But while the intricate puzzles of the lawsuit are being debated by lawyers, other more dramatic mysteries are unfolding that involve heartbreak, lost children, blackmail, and murder.

1,032 pages

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Bleak House
Charles Dickens

Phryne’s favorite classic, Bleak House opens in the twilight of foggy London, where an obscure legal case, a mysterious woman, inquisitive detective and a chimney sweep explore London society, rich and poor, in all its dark revelry.

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Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

This instant New York Times bestseller centers on Zélie Adebola, who remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, those with magic were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now with the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

544 pages

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Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi

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