Lose yourself in the pages of these 5 darkling classics this winter

girl reading winter

If you’re yearning to curl up and read in peace, and have a taste for the gothic, these tales are perfect for cold, dark nights.

Winter is the perfect season for reading. The weather gets colder, it’s potentially snowing outside (definitely not here in Lisbon, where, I’m currently writing this, but one can dream) and all we want to do is curl up in the sofa with the phone on silent and a good book. If you too like some seasonal reading, here are some great books to read during the next couple of months (and none of them is A Christmas Carol, promise).

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

A perfect classic for the season, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the morbid tale of the man who trades his soul for eternal beauty. The story is vivid with mystery and unease, and the writing is as witty and brilliant as you could possibly wish for. If you’ve never read any Wilde before, I think this is the perfect one to start.

2. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susana Clarke

For fans of Harry Potter and Austen’s novels, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is the perfect blend of the magical and the historic. In a world where magic has been neglected, two magicians vye to bring it back. A lot of things go wrong as the two don’t really get along (which just makes it all the funnier). If you’re tired of re-reading Harry Potter every Christmas I’d recommend picking this one up. It’s funny, whimsical and simply wonderful.

3. Death with Interruptions by José Saramago

I really can’t help it. For me, no book recommendation list is fully complete without mentioning a Portuguese author. The Nobel prize winner José Saramago is known for his long wordy novels. Death at Interruptions, however, is one of his shortest works. The book explores what happens when the grim reaper decides that there will be no more death. It is a fascinating take on the concept and, I feel, masterfully executed.


4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

This is the ultimate gothic classic, and wutheringly brilliant. Set in the Yorkshire moors, the tale of the star-crossed lovers Catherine and Heathcliff leaves no-one indifferent. I know is a classic that some love to hate, but I can’t help but love it with all my heart. I have to confess that I live for the drama and heartache of these two.

5. Perfume by Patrick Süskind

This famous bestseller tells the story of Grenouille, a boy born with an exceptional sense of smell. His gift will eventually lead him to a life of hideous crime. Set in eighteenth-century France, the novel is a fascinating account of what it is like to be an outsider, and explores the boundaries between what is deemed as good and evil. Even if you’re not a fan of creepy novels (I’m not!) I promise you that you will revel in the monstrosity of antihero Grenouille.

These are the books I love to return to again and again on cold, dark days and nights. Which books will you be placing on your bedside table this winter?