When stuffing the last few things into your overflowing suitcase and getting ready to catch up on a lot of missed sleep, are you thinking about how to productively spend this “free” time over winter break? We’re not kidding! But don’t worry, being productive doesn’t have to be too difficult. Reading a book, even a light fiction novel or a popular suspense series, can be both relaxing and productive.
Reading fiction can help you better read human emotions and interpret social cues according to a 2006 study by Oatley and Raymond Mar. These skills are crucial in the business world for networking and building client relationships. But no matter what your concentration, reading sharpens your verbal and written skills, endows you with historical and cultural perspective, and heightens brain function. Find a quiet nook or a comfortable café and check “being productive” offs the to-do list. Here are the top picks from our Winter Reading Wish List:
1. Bringing up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel – This brilliantly intriguing work of historical fiction explores Tudor history and the ruin of Anne Boleyn. Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize.
2. The Grand Pearl Heist by Molly Caldwell Crosby – A true crime novel based the infamous London criminal Joseph Grizzard and Scotland Yard’s search for the world’s most valuable necklace.
3. Phantom by Jo Nesbø – An international bestseller, this Scandinavian detective novel follows a deeply troubled former police officer as he jets to Hong Kong to prove the woman he loves is innocent of the murder for which she has been arrested.
4. The Monsters of Templeton & Arcadia by Lauren Groff –Groff’s first and second novels, set in a beautiful but aging western New York are captivating and unusual works of fiction that are set off by her organic prose and dark sense of humor.
5. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan –True and moving story of Susannah Cahalan and her doctors’ struggle to understand what caused her to transform from a normal, healthy girl into a hospital patient suffering from hallucinations, violence, and psychosis. Using the available records, brilliant journalistic instincts and excerpts from the journal her Father kept during her illness Susannah pieces together the shocking and heart wrenching tale of her “lost month.”
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
You’re Not Doing it Right by Michael Ian Black
The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
Letters from Kurt Vonnegut
The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Still looking for more titles to choose from? Check out our full Wish List here.
What books have you been reading this season? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Guest Blogger, Alycia Terry