It’s only January and State College has already seen winter at its full wrath. What better excuse to stay in, cuddle up and open a brand new book during these cold and grey winter days? It’s easy to fall back into your usual routine of booting up Netflix and binging yet another show, but VALLEY has a few book recommendations that you won’t be able to put down — think of it as a “book binge.” Grab yourself a cup of tea, light some candles, snuggle up in your coziest blanket and pick up one of these four fantastic reads that’ll be sure to make this freezing weather a bit more bearable.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tart
Theo Decker remarkably survives a terrorist attack at a New York art museum that ends up killing his mother. After the attack, he pulls a small, captivating painting of a small goldfinch from the rubble. This coming-of-age story follows Theo over the course of the ten years following the accident and how the stolen painting follows him along on his journey. The Goldfinch is filled with vivid characters, mesmerizing language and mystery, making it a difficult book to put down.
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Having just moved to New York City, 22-year-old Tess lands a job as a “back waiter” at a highly esteemed Manhattan restaurant. The storyline follows Tess through the seasons as she learns to navigate the beauty and brutality of being young in NYC, familiarizing herself with the excitement of love and lust, dining rooms and dive bars, fine wine and friendships. The book was also adapted into a six-episode STARZ original series, so be sure to watch it after finishing.
The Secret History by Donna Tart
You might be thinking, another book by Donna Tart? But once you finish The Goldfinch, you’ll be hungry for more of Tart’s storytelling abilities. A small, selected group of students at Hampden College in Vermont are studying the classics when their devotion to their studies suddenly turns dark. As the once tight bond between friends Richard, Charles, Camilla, Francis and the mysterious Henry becomes ridden with tension, readers will sit breathlessly waiting for the Vermont snow to melt — and their secrets to be exposed. The novel as a whole has a very eerie and chilling feel, making it a perfect read.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
If you love a classic “whodunnit” murder mystery, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is for you. Harriet Vanger vanished 36 years ago on a Swedish island owned by her powerful family, her uncle Henrik becoming obsessed with solving her case. He proceeds to hire Mikael Bloomkvist, a talented investigative journalist, with the task of solving Harriet’s disappearance. With the aid of Lisbeth Salander, a strange private investigator, the two get dragged into a family mystery darker than they could have ever imagined. You’ll be guessing until the end as to what really happened to Harriet Vanger.