Winter Reads | #MonthlyBookRecs [CC]
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Winter Reads | #MonthlyBookRecs [CC]

Hello! It’s Reija and welcome to another
video. There is a new Goodreads group making the rounds on the Internets and
that is Lia Cooper’s Monthly Book Recs. And I am very happy about this new group,
because it’s basically there to fill the void left by Monthly Book
Recommendations and Top 5 Wednesday, which were both groups, that I really
liked to participate in. So I was very happy when Lia came up with this group
and I hope that many of you will join in and join us for future topics. So the
first topic of this group is “Winter reads.” We are still in February and even
though our expectations regarding this winter have been completely shattered, it
is still technically winter. So I will be living vicariously through my own
recommendations and getting into that winter vibe and I hope that some of
these books that I’m going to talk about, will bring you into that winter vibe as
well. So without further ado, let’s get started. So all of the books on this list
are basically books, that have a lot of female agency. They have a lot of like
chilly atmosphere, themes of found family and finding your own tribe, magic systems
that deal with culture and drawing power from your own ancestry and like fairy
tale qualities. They’re either retellings or some are actual fairy tales or they
take inspiration from fairy tales. Some of them are a little bit more generational,
but suffice to say when I start talking about these books you will instantly
notice that these themes are recurring in every one of
them basically. So let’s start with an actual fairy tale, and this is my
favorite fairy tale ever and that is the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
And this is about a girl called Gertrude who is childhood friends
with this boy called Kaj. And Kaj gets basically kidnapped by The Snow Queen,
because he has ice in his heart and The Snow Queen kind of gets drawn to that
and takes him away. And Gertrude has to save Kaj and she does this with the help
of many other women. There are so many female characters in this story and it’s
all about women helping each other and helping Gertrude to basically get her
friend back. And it’s such a wonderful story and everyone should read
it. I loved it. I’ve seen the Russian animated movie version. I’ve seen the
partly live-action partly animated version. I’ve seen the anime series they
made about this, like I have so much love for The Snow Queen. It is my favorite
fairy tale ever. Moving on from Snow Queen to other snowy lands, I want to
talk about Red Sister by Marc Lawrence. This is another book, that is very much
gritty and grimy and cold. It has very much that wintery icy vibe, not just
because there is a very icy part of the world and because a lot of the book
takes place in winter, but because of the characters are kind of withdrawn and
sort of like cold and reject human emotions, but at the same time they are
finding solace with each other. It’s about these young girls basically
forming this found family within the convent that they
live in and are training to become murder nuns. So yeah, Red Sister is another
one, that I would definitely recommend for a winter read. Then, the next couple
are sort of fairy tale retellings. First up Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. This
deals with a girl, who is this very talented moneylender, making a deal with
with basically the king of winter. And it’s about like demons and demon worship
and witchcraft and like these multiple storylines like combining to bring you
this epic adventure. And it’s also about women outsmarting supernatural forces.
It’s super fun. It’s not like the best thing I’ve ever read, but it is a book
that I keep coming back to and I keep thinking about. And it also has that
ancestral magic system and also like magic drawn from your own heritage, in
this case from Jewish heritage, which I found really appealing and amazing. So
yeah, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is another definite winter read
recommendation. Then, speaking of Jewish magic, I want to recommend The Red
Magician by Lisa Goldstein. This is a historical fantasy. It takes place during
World War II and it basically sees this young girl and her obsession and
interest in magic and her life in the small village and what happens, when this
redheaded stranger comes into town and tries to warn the populace of the
impending danger, which is the Holocaust. And it’s about magic that you draw from
your, from your like ancestors and from your own culture. And this was such
a sad, tragic story, but at the same time it is comforting and hopeful. And Lisa
Goldstein herself is Jewish, so I definitely recommend this book. It is an
older release and not widely available. I read it as an e-book and it’s just
really good. So would recommend it. Then I would want to recommend The Bear and the
Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This takes place in Russia during the 11th or
12th century, I want to say, during when Russia was basically paying tithe to
the Mongolian Golden Horde or Golden Army and Russia wasn’t basically
independent in a sense. They were a vassal state to the Mongols. And this takes
place during that time. And Vasilisa, the main character, is a girl who can see
the supernatural. She can see all the household spirits and the spirits of the
nature. And there’s this conflict between the upcoming Orthodox Christianity and
Christian religion, which is sort of this new wave of beliefs and how that clashes
with the traditional Russian household spirits and such. And it is such a
beautiful book, and I hear the sequels are equally amazing. I haven’t read them
yet, but I want to. I really loved this first one though and would highly
recommend it. And finally I would want to recommend some graphic novels, because
this is my channel, so I have to recommend graphic novels to you
sometimes. Because that’s what I do. And the first one is The One Hundred Nights of Hero by
Isabel Greenberg. This is basically stories of Scherezade, the One
Thousand and One tales. It’s basically that, but retold through a sort of… I want
to say it has like Nordic inspirations in a sense and also like it’s female
female romance. So the Scherazade character is
romantically involved with another woman. And it’s about these two women finding
power through storytelling and finding ways to outwit, basically a would be
rapist, “a complete pillock” as the book puts it. And it is beautiful. And one other
theme, that I really like in my winter reads, is storytelling. And this is
definitely a book that deals with the power of stories and the power of keeping
alive old traditions and especially stories relating women and stories that
put women at the center. And it’s marvelous. I highly recommend it. And the
art style is something, that I think you either love it or you hate it. I think
that it fits the themes of the book very well, because it’s very like… sort of like
medieval tapestry kind of art style, which I think fits the tone and the
themes of the book extremely well. So yeah, I hope you will read The One Hundred Nights
of Hero. And the very final thing, that I want to recommend, is The Girl from The
Other Side by Nagabe. This is a fantastic, creepy, chilly fairy tale like adventure,
telling the story of this little girl, Shiva and her companion, Teacher. And it
is about their little family unit and finding solace with each other, but also
working to understand this bigger mystery, that’s going around… that’s going
on, about why people are turning into monsters. And
it’s about isolation and rejection and it’s wonderful. And I’ve talked about
this in many videos before, and I just want everyone to read this. And there you have
it! Those are all the books, that I want to recommend for winter reads. I hope you
liked this video. If you did, please consider giving it a thumbs up.
Tell me in the comments, if you have read any of these or if me talking about
these books, made you want to pick them up. I would like to know. And I will see
you in another video, very soon. Bye bye!


  • Infinite Text

    man, I have so many books to catch up on. People keep recommending the Snow Child to me, they say it's cold mixed with magical elements as a "cold book." I need to get on those red, gray sister series

  • Literature Science Alliance

    The Winternight trilogy is one of my favorites and I am hoping to maybe find time to re-read them some winter in the future, they are just so perfect for that time of year. Also non book related tangent I love what you are doing with your hair. Its super cute 😊

  • TheShadesofOrange Booktube Channel

    I loved this recommendation video. I ordered Girl from the Other Side from my library the other week so I hope it gets here soon. It certainly sounds like my kind of manga

  • That's So Poe

    Totally agreed about Spinning Silver and The Bear and the Nightingale. The Hundred Nights of Hero has been on my radar as well, so maybe I'll try to get to that sometime this year.

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