Ah, there's a lot to be said for bad weather. Who doesn't love an excuse to curl up with a great book? If your plans involve going no further than your living room couch this evening, we commend your choice. To keep your mind from wandering (and in case you need a break from Netflix), we have five brilliant books only recently on shelf that are worth curling up with.
Related: These are four brilliant books made for bedtime reading in winter
There's a variety of choice; Cecelia Ahern takes on short stories - written for women, about women - the author of the beloved The Book Thief releases his first book for adults, and if you're in the mood for an unsettling page-turner, a chilling ghost story by Sarah Perry meant I couldn't sleep without a light on. Don't forget the mandatory hot water bottle.
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
We follow the five Dunbar brothers: Matthew, Rory, Henry, Tommy and quiet Clay, whose life is haunted by a tragic act. They live lives without rules – until the father who abandoned them suddenly walks back in. Why did he leave his family? And what is the secret that one boy just can’t forget? This one comes 11 years after Markus Zusak’s renowned The Book Thief and is his first for adults (Doubleday, approx. €21.99).
A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler
It’s true that well-behaved women seldom make history, and Gilded Age socialite Alva Vanderbilt Belmont is a woman who defied expectations to make her mark. She quite literally fought against – and succeeded over – the constraints placed over her in 1920s society; refusing to accept her husband’s adulterous scandals and becoming a leader in the women’s suffragette movement (Two Roads, approx. €14.99).
Roar by Cecelia Ahern
Thirty women. Thirty stories. All different, but united in that they depict and delve into the different strands of what it means to be a woman trying to make her way in the world. From the woman who can’t stand being left on the shelf any longer to the woman who is getting eaten by guilt and the one who finds her wings. Ahern is on sparkling form (HarperCollins, approx. €12.99).
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
Few do gut-wrenching love stories like Nicholas Sparks. Hope Anderson and Tru Walls were never supposed to have met. Hope visits a family cottage in North Carolina to think on her future and Tru arrives at the same place summoned by a man claiming to be his father. But meet they do. It’s electric. Yet fate has other ideas. Wonderfully bittersweet (Sphere, approx. €18.99).
Melmoth by Sarah Perry
It’s been 20 years since Helen Franklin did it – the thing she cannot forgive herself for. Now living an isolated existence in Prague, this all changes when she stumbles upon a manuscript, the legend of Melmoth, a silent woman in black doomed to walk the earth in solitude. Helen reads – and can’t shake the feeling someone or something is watching her. A chilling, lyrical ghost story (Serpent’s Tale, approx. €16.99).