The Best Books to Read when Winter Comes (part 3)

The Lovely Bones, written by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones was a bestseller several years ago, but it’s never too late to read it. The book tells the story of Susie Salmon, who watches her family and her town cope with her disappearance, in the aftermath of her own murder. The setting is cold and wintry while the climax is icy. The hype is well-deserved even though this book is incredibly popular.

The Winter Garden, written by Kristin Hannah

If you’ have read her much-beloved novel The Nightingale, you must have known that Kristin Hannah is the queen of tugging at heartstrings. And her novel The Winter Garden won’t disappoint you if you are expecting to read about heartache. This novel alternates between past and present, which helps you learn about the lives of two sisters, Meredith and Nina, and their mother’s life in the war-torn Leningrad.

The Child Finder, written by Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder is a haunting and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author Rene Denfeld. It follows private investigator Naomi has a knack for finding missing persons, especially young ones. She is called on by the Culver family, whose daughter named Madison lost in Skookum National Forest three years ago. Searching for clues to Madison’s disappearance, Naomi looks through the wintry landscape at the same time remembering the stories of her own dark past.

The Thirteenth Tale, written by Diane Setterfield

For those who are book fans, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a novel that is anything but cozy. In the book, the life story of the enigmatic author Vida Winter was told by biographer Margaret Lea. Winter’s lauded stories collection is missing the eponymous 13th tale. When Winter unravels her life story for Lea, her mysterious past of Victorian-gothic proportions is revealed.

The Most Popular Football TV Shows (part 1)

Football is not only the king of sports but also the favorite pastime of many people all around the world. There is nothing more exciting than watching a game and seeing your team win. But if you like to also see the behind-the-scenes parts of the sport, football TV shows are a great option to experience that.


Playmakers of ESPN is one of the most controversial football drama TV series up to now. Although this series only features eleven episodes, it was adored by many fans and praised by critics due to being real and sometimes even painful. The series followed a professional football team with players counteracting the demands of being professional athletes with women, drugs, and violence.

Although it was ESPN’s highest-rated series that time, Playmakers was still canceled by the cabler. Many cite the close relationship between the NFL and the network as the key reason why the show didn’t go past its run. However, if you are a fan of football, Playmakers is definitely one of the best American football TV series that you should not miss. Especially, if you want to watch an NFL football TV show, the first and only season of this show is the perfect option.


If you are looking for a more comedic take on the football TV series genre, we suggest the iconic Coach, a sitcom following college football coach Hayden Fox who’s trying to balance his love and ambition for football with his personal life, including his relationship with his girlfriend-turned-wife Christine and estranged daughter Kelly.

Watched by millions during its 9-season run at the end of last century, this TV show was a comedy series that still managed to explore many important issues that remain relevant today, such as parenthood, adoption, and self-confidence. It is really worth trying for those who need a football comedy TV show with heart and bigger underlying message.

The Best Books to Read when Winter Comes (part 2)

4. Snow Falling on Cedars, written by David Guterson

Snow Falling on Cedars is set in the Pacific Northwest in the 1950s. The novel tells the story of a man who is wrongfully accused of a crime. It examines the racial tension between Japanese Americans and their white neighbors after the second World War II. Its lush description makes the story have a vivid sense of place.

5. We Met in December, written by Rosie Curtis

We Met in December follows Jess who has moved to London after years of dreaming of city life. Jess and her new roommates come together over a Xmas dinner in their new Notting Hill house-share. She’s drawn to the man who shares her floor, Alex. Their relationship gets closer as the winter holiday progresses, even though the most inconvenient love triangle appears in their way.

6. The Last Train to London, written by Meg Waite Clayton

The Last Train to London is a novel that is both timely, historical, lyrical, and filled with feeling. The Nazis were on the rise in Europe in 1936. Truus Wijsmuller, who is a member of the Dutch resistance, has already started smuggling Jewish kids out of Nazi Germany. She finds help along the way since her mission becomes more dangerous. If you enjoy All the Light We Cannot See, you will surely fall in love with this novel.

7. The Snow Child, written by Eowyn Ivey

Welcome to Alaska of 1920 when Jack and Mabel have arrived as homesteaders on the unforgiving land, where the line between fantasy and reality bends. Together they build a child out of snow, and the next day they wake up to find that she has come to life. If you are a fan of literary magical realism, grab this book and prepare a blanket to protect you from the cold.

The Best Books to Read when Winter Comes (part 1)

With the colder days are around the corners, it’s perfect time to break out the quilts and deck the halls, as well as cancel some plans and spend time reading some good books. No matter the genre, books for winter are often filled with mystery. The reason may be that the days are getting shorter while darkness seems to reign or may be due to the eerie quiet that snow brings. Spend your leisure time reading one of these chilly books to experience the sweeties of the season.

1. Disappearing Earth, written by Julia Phillips

For those who are looking for a thrilling novel with the literal chills of the tundra, Julia Phillips’s Disappearing Earth is the book of their choice. Disappearing Earth starts with two girls missing on the shoreline of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, followed by a gripping story of mystery and grief when neighbors, friends, and law enforcement grapple with their loss.

2. Gingerbread, written by Helen Oyeyemi

Gingerbread is a special holiday treat in many cultures. The novel with the same name written by Helen Oyeyemi explores the role of this treat in the folklore. This tells the mysterious and magical story of seemingly normal British schoolgirl Perdita Lee and her mother Harriet Lee, who make peculiar gingerbread and navigate the politics of wealth, jealousy, and ambition in modern London.

3. What Happens in Paradise, written by Elin Hilderbrand

What Happens in Paradise follows Irene Steele, who still reels from her husband’s death and the realization that he had been living a double life. She is back on the island of St. John in order to discover the truth about the man she believed that she knew for so many years. While this sounds a little dark, the novel’s background is set in the Caribbean during the festive and sunny winter months. Just don’t hold your breath for the romance, drama, and some holiday touches in this novel.

The Best Books about Football for Kids and Teens (part 2)

What Is the Super Bowl?

  • Written by Dina Anastasio
  • Illustrated by David Groff
  • Ages 8 – 12

Whether you are a fan of the Super Bowl who has been counting down the days until the next Super Bowl or the kind of person who doesn’t know anything about it, it is always worth reading this star-studded history of the long-standing championship. The book features fascinating stats, stories, and photos from this hot sporting event.

The Football Fiasco

  • Written by Mike Lupica
  • Ages 6 – 9

The Football Fiasco is the third installment of the Zach and Zoe Mysteries. It sees the sports-loving sleuths swinging into action while discovering the recess that football has been deflated. Trying to figure out what happened to the ball Zach and Zoe learn important lessons about friendship, fairness, and being careful of others’ feelings.

The League

  • Written by Thatcher Heldring
  • Ages 10+

Being ignored by girls and tired of bullies, Wyatt Parker finds his way to turn his life around and toughen up through playing football. Meanwhile, unluckily, his parents expect him to play golf. And his older brother tells him an idea: Wyatt can lie to their parents and participate in a secretive rogue football league. Will Wyatt break the rule and be able to deal with the consequences?

MVP #3: The Football Fumble

  • Written by David A. Kelly
  • Illustrated by Scott Brundage
  • Ages 6 – 9

The MVP kids are so excited with the big game coming up, until they get a look at who they are competing with: the Hamilton Elementary School’s big, tough-looking kids. However, the MVP kids know that heart, effort, and perseverance are the keys to winning even in the face of such a tough opponent.

Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Football

  • Written by Howard Bryant
  • Ages 8 – 12

Howard Bryant writes about the NFL – the most popular sporting event in the U.S., including the greatest players, teams, and historical moments of the league. Full of top ten lists, iconic photos, and details on 20 greatest Super Bowls, this book is perfect for all football-obsessed middle grade readers.

The Best Books You Should Read in 2020 (part 2)

Hollywood Park, written by Mikel Jollett

Not many rock memoirs start on the grounds of an infamous American cult, but that is one of the things about the Airborne Toxic Event frontman’s personal tome separating it from the droves. Cinematic in its recounting of his family’s exit from the Synanon commune in California, Jollet’s subsequent unraveling of the abuses having shaped his stolen childhood is piercing. His pain feels at once universal and unknowable and his rhapsodic writing makes readers unable to put Hollywood Park down.

They Wish They Were Us, written by Jessica Goodman

This debut YA novel from Cosmopolitan senior editor Jessica Goodman deliciously serves up entree into the ruling inner circle of Long Island’s elite Gold Coast Prep. Although the chilling murder mystery is an irresistible hook, the novel carefully builds each character’s wrought, internal conflicts really digging in, elevating it from a high society whodunit to a knowing mission in order not just to uncover one’s own identity, but to build it.

A Children’s Bible, written by Lydia Millet

One of our best writers of climate fiction has created a harrowing novel of environmental dystopia, named A Children’s Bible. It tells the story of a group of families summering together at a vacation home and stranded by the climate apocalypse. As the storm to end all storms descends on their remote rental, the teens conclude that their debauched parents are unfit to take care for them and therefore they strike out on their own to encounter all manner of biblical calamities in the wilderness. Millet’s work has never been more timely than in an age when the dispossessed young generation blames the pillaging older generation for their ravaged environmental inheritance.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold, written by Pam Zhang

In her glittering debut How Much of These Hills Is Gold, C. Pam Zhang sets the scene of the story in the dying days of the gold rush when two orphaned kids of Chinese immigrants roam the ravaged American west searching of a new home, in order only to meet hostility wherever they go, not just from the unforgiving landscape, but also from the racist and inhospitable locals. When these siblings form their nascent identities their loss, they re-imagine their own history and heritage.

The Best Books You Should Read in 2020 (part 1)

Whether you are looking to immerse yourself in a novel that transports you to another place or explore the multifaceted world of a short story, there is always something in this list suitable for you.

A Children’s Bible, written by Lydia Millet

From one of the finest writers of climate fiction comes an environmental dystopia novel, a group of families summering together at a vacation home are stranded by the climate apocalypse. As the storm to end all storms descends on their remote rental, the teens conclude that their debauched parents are unfit to take care for them and decide to strike out on their own to encounter all manner of biblical calamities in the wilderness. In an age when the dispossessed young generation blames the older generation for their ravaged environmental inheritance, A Children’s Bible has never been more timely.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold, written by C. Pam Zhang

In this glittering debut, C. Pam Zhang sets the theme of the book in the dying days of the gold rush, when two orphaned children of Chinese immigrants roam the ravaged American west to search for a new home, only to meet hostility wherever they go – not only from the unforgiving landscape, but also from the racist and inhospitable locals. When these siblings form their nascent identities under the weight of their loss, they reimagine their own history and heritage. How Much of These Hills Is Gold tells a tender coming-of-age story, a thrilling adventure, an excavation of the corrosive mythmaking surrounding the American west, as well as the arrival of a major literary talent.

Drifts, written by Kate Zambreno

Kate Zambreno, one of the world’s most formally ambitious writers, comes back with a sublime fiction following a woman who is struggling to finish her overdue novel,  since she becomes more and more obsessed with the challenge of writing in the current tense and capturing the slippery nature. Her creative blockage leads her to take up correspondences with her friends and lose herself in the works of the dead greats, whose creative crusades shed light onto herself.

The Best Books About Football for Kids and Teens (part 1)

Like any other sport, football provides great opportunities to teach kids to be active, develop confidence, and learn the value of teamwork. It is also a great way to have fun and make new friends. If you have a football-obsessed kid at home, the best way to encourage them to read than introducing them to some books about the sport they love. There are a lot of fantastic stories ranging from picture books to young adult reads that not only tap into the love of the sport, but also help your kids understand the importance of playing by the rules and being safe.

Here are some of the most favorite books about football for kids and teens.

Football With Dad

  • Written by Frank Berrios
  • Illustrated by Brian Biggs
  • Ages 2 – 5

After watching the big game on TV every Sunday, a boy and his dad head outside to throw around a football like their favorite players. With its emphasis on playing safe and having fun, Football With Dad is the perfect way to introduce your little reader to the game of football.

Don’t Throw It to Mo!

  • Written by David A. Adler
  • Illustrated by Sam Ricks
  • Ages 6 – 7

This award-winning picture book centers on Mo, the youngest and smallest kid on his football team. While his teammates don’t mind Mo’s size and age, the other teams constantly taunt him for being too small to catch the ball. Fortunately, his coach has big plans for Mo in the next game.

Bones and the Football Mystery

  • Written by David A. Adler
  • Ages 6 – 8

Jeffrey Bones – Detective Jeffrey Bones, that is thrilled to spend the day at a football game with his grandpa and Grandpa’s friend Sally. But when Grandpa loses his lucky hat, will Bones be able to track it down in time to save the game?

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, review

A surprising and striking debut novel from a brand new voice, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is a big-hearted and page-turning story about race, friendship, and privilege, follows a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, as well as a surprising connection threatening to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain, a mother to two small girls, a woman who gets all she wants, has earned a living and showed other women the way to do the same. She began as a blogger and has built herself quickly into a confidence-driven brand. Therefore, she is shocked when Emira Tucker, her babysitter, is confronted at the same time watching the Chamberlains’ babies one night. Witnessing a young black woman out late with a white baby, their local supermarket’s security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A bystander films everything, a small crowd gathers, and Emira is humiliated and furious. And Alix solves everything to make it right.

However, Emira herself is broke, aimless, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. Twenty-five Emira is going to lose her health insurance and hasn’t any idea what to do with her entire life. When Emira’s video unearths someone from the past of Alix, both two women find themselves on a crash course that is going to upend everything that they think they know about themselves, as well as about each other.

Such a Fun Age, with empathy and social commentary, discovers the stickiness of transactional relationships, the complicated feeling of being a grown up, and the results of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

Yet to call Such a Fun Age a novel about race is to diminish its considerable powers, since just focusing on race alone is to diminish a human being. It interweaves explorations with astute musings on friendship, love, marriage, motherhood, and more, underlining that there is so much more to us than skin.

Coronavirus: A Book for Children answers kids’ questions about COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: A Book for Children is a new picture book from Nosy Crow and Candlewick Press. This free digital book can help adults answer kids’ questions about the reason why the world has turned upside down.

Its pages offer a reassuring orientation, explaining what the new virus is and why it has become a serious problem. The digital book elegantly conveys information that is not easy to carry out without causing terror, including the fact that some people have to go to hospitals and need help to breathe due to the coronavirus. The book doesn’t minimize or exaggerate the fact, but it isn’t bleak or lacking in humor.

It explains restrictions that small kids have trouble accepting under any circumstances, such as why they have to wash their hands, why they can’t play with their friends, what adults may be worried about, why adults may be short-tempered.

And the best thing about the book is that it gives kids a gift: the truth that they have some positive and important contributions to make. They can help in protecting our most vulnerable members from the pandemic.

The book’s final page also includes resources websites in the United States that readers can find useful information.

This free digital book was created by a group of volunteers who are writers and editors of imprint Nosy Crow of the independent publishing house Candlewick Press in the UK. They took expert advice from the professor of infectious disease modeling, headteachers, and clinical psychologist specializing in child mental health.

Axel Scheffler, the illustrator, wrote and illustrated two kid’s series but is best known for his work in The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson’s best-seller.

The creators are Kate Wilson, managing director and founder of the publisher, who has worked for 15 years at Nosy Crow in London; Elizabeth Jenner, a writer and editor specializing in children’s nonfiction, and Nia Roberts, who has worked in children’s publishing for over 20 years.