As the first half of the school year is coming to an end, your life is likely full of grading final papers, administering end-of-course tests, and conducting evaluations. You probably haven’t touched a book for your personal reading pleasure in weeks, if not months. But something exciting is around the corner: winter break! Although your school’s winter break may only be a week or two long, you’ll finally have some downtime when you’re free of your teaching duties so you can actually read a book for fun.
Even if you can only find a few minutes here and there to read between holiday meals and spending quality time with loved ones, here are six books that you can definitely finish reading during winter break this year:
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic is author Elizabeth Gilbert’s deep dive into her unique understanding of creativity and wisdom about the creative process. Readers will learn how to live creatively by removing the layer of fear we all feel when it comes to nurturing our creative ideas and pursuits. This book is a great read for any time of the year; not only can you easily finish it over winter break, it’s also a great book you can come back to every few weeks to read a chapter or two.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The book that inspired the popular TV series, this dystopian story follows Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. In an age of declining births, Handmaids are only valuable as carriers of the children of their Commanders. If you can find enough quiet time over the winter break, you could also read the recently released second part in this series, The Testaments, which is a New York Times Best Seller and winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.
- Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Consistently ranking as one of the top reads on Amazon since being published in 2018, this story is one that everyone—but especially every teacher and student—should read. This memoir details the life of Tara Westover, who grew up in a survivalist family and didn’t set foot in a classroom until the age of 17, but now has a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. This inspirational true story gives a deep look into dysfunctional family dynamics and the denial of not only an education, but a sense of self.
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This is the story of Lale Sokolov, who is imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau and tasked with being the one to permanently tattoo his fellow prisoners with prisoner numbers as they enter the camp. When he tattoos a scared young woman named Gita, he vows to survive the camp and one day marry her. This captivating novel is a testament to love and humanity in the face of horrible circumstance.
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
This might not be the best option to get you in the cheerful mood for the holidays, but we had to include this wildly popular read from this year. In this story, a struggling writer is hired by a successful author’s husband to finish the remaining books in a series his injured wife is unable to complete. This dark and chilling tale has been compared to Gone Girl, but is an easier read, more haunting and twisted, and impossible to put down.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
The memoir of former First Lady Michelle Obama chronicles the experiences she has had and struggles she has faced throughout her life that have shaped her. From her childhood to motherhood to being First Lady, this uplifting story opens up the triumphs and disappointments of Mrs. Obama’s life, giving readers a deeper understanding of what it has taken for her to defy expectations and make a difference in the world while inspiring readers to discover their own voice.
What books did we leave out? Let us know your favorite quick, easy, and compelling reads for winter break this year in the comments below!
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