Great books to read by the fire this winter

by Badgley Phelps | Dec 26, 2018

There are few things nicer than curling up by the fire with a good book on a chilly winter night. Here are some of our staff’s book recommendations for you to cozy up with or gift to friends and family.

A Gentleman in Moscow
By Amor Towles
A client recommended Mike Gerke read this book and it delivered. According to The Amazon Book Review, “Amor Towles skillfully transports us to The Metropol, the famed Moscow hotel where movie stars and Russian royalty hobnob, where Bolsheviks plot revolutions and intellectuals discuss the merits of contemporary Russian writers, where spies spy, thieves thieve and the danger of twentieth century Russia lurks outside its marbled walls.”

Birds without Wings
By Louis de Bernieres
Steve Phelps says, “It presents a fictional history of a small Turkish town of mixed religions and cultures during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of the Republic of Turkey. The lives of the villagers were forever changed by the machinations of the Great Powers during the First World War, and the tragic civil war and population exchanges that ensued.”

The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created
By William Bernstein
Jeff Walters says, “After thousands of years with very little change in living standards, humanity experienced a burst of economic growth a couple hundred years ago that has continued to this day. This book is an interesting narrative exploring the possible reasons of why that happened.”

Educated: A Memoir
By Tara Westover
According to Lisa Price, “This is a memoir from a girl who was born into a survivalist family in Idaho. The story follows her early life in a family that has eschewed education and healthcare, and has chosen to live in a closed society. The author eventually escapes by way of higher education to Brigham Young University and then on to Cambridge University.”

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
By Hans Rosling
According to Tim Thomas, “This book provides an alternate view of the world that greatly contrasts with the negative headlines we hear on the nightly news. This view is developed by stringing together a series of facts rather than relying on our biases, hunches or popular opinion. For those who are interested, the book also provides a framework to incorporate this type of thinking into your own life in order to help with decision making.”

Fascism: A Warning
By Madeleine Albright
Mitzi Carletti recommends spending some time with this #1 New York Times Bestseller. From Harper Collins, it is “a personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state.”

Goodnight Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
Originally published in 1947 and a literary staple for parents everywhere, Goodnight Moon is Katie Wham’s book of choice right now. Have a new arrival to the family this holiday season? You might want to pick up the board book or audiobook version of this classic.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abby: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
By Fiona Carnarvon
Eileen Olson says, “This book is about the Fifth Countess of Carnarvon, who lived in Highclere Castle, where the Emmy Award winning PBS show Downton Abbey is set. It’s a fascinating story that takes place before, during and after WWI. The protagonist’s husband helped discover the Tomb of Tutankhamen, and died shortly after, which is popularly attributed to the curse of the pharaohs.”

Red Notice
By Bill Browder
Also recommended by Mitzi Carletti, this book was dubbed by Barnes & Noble “a real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.”

The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
By Mike Duncan
According to Mike Schultz, “For those that enjoy history, Mike Duncan’s recent book on the Roman Empire is a good winter read. It highlights the years 146-78 BC, a time of great political and social change within the empire.”

Where the Crawdads Sing
By Delia Owens
Also recommended by Lisa Price, “This novel is part murder mystery, courtroom drama, coming of age story and romance. The setting is the late 60s, and it follows Kya Clark, who has survived for years alone in a marsh on the North Carolina coast. When a man is found dead, the locals immediately suspect her involvement. As the story unfolds, we look at Kya’s life as the Marsh Girl and all that entails. This story is beautifully written, with rich characters and a plot that is not predictable. This is one of those ‘can’t put down’ stories that I know I will re-read.”

Want more recommendations?
Following are some recently published lists of book recommendations:



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