Like Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams soulfully sang, baby, it's cold outside. So really, there's no time like the present to start piecing together your reading list for the season that will largely be spent indoors, preferably by a fire. If you need some recs, we've rounded up six page-turners that are a welcome substitute for your monotonous Netflix queue. From Karine Tuil's much-hyped Gatsby-inspired narrative to Gilly Macmillan's new missing-person mystery, these buzzy paperbacks will keep you engaged no matter where you're traveling. Scroll down to see our picks.
1. HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN BY JAMES LEE BURKE
With a tenuous father-son relationship and a raging war, James Lee Burke's latest has all the trappings of a compelling story. It chronicles Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland's action-packed trip to reunite with Ishmael, his estranged offspring and a captain in the U.S. Army. En route, he encounters a cutthroat Australian arms dealer, his one true love, and a stolen artifact, believed to be the literal Holy Grail, which needs to be returned to its rightful place, against all odds.
House of the Rising Sun ($21; amazon.com)
2. WHAT SHE KNEW BY GILLY MACMILLAN
The next Gone Girl is a term that's been thrown around quite a bit ever since Gillian Flynn's psychological thriller hit shelves (and subsequently got the film treatment), but Gilly Macmillan's stirring debut welcomes the comparison. It centers around a woman named Rachel and her extensive search for her son, who suddenly vanishes during a leisurely walk in broad daylight. Eventually, just like Nick Dunne, the media turns on Rachel as she attempts to figure out what really went down.
3. LIKE FAMILY BY PAOLO GIORDANO
If you're on the hunt for a gripping, tragic read (who isn't?), look no further than this fast-paced story about a nanny who holds a family's household together despite various pitfalls (think: Whoopi Goldberg's character in Corrina, Corrina). It's when she's diagnosed with cancer that their ability to function is truly put to the test. Giordano seamlessly travels through time in the narrative, painting an enthralling portrait of love, loss, and heartache.
4. SECRET SISTERS BY JAYNE ANN KRENTZ
Those familiar with Jayne Ann Krentz's oeuvre know all too well that the writer knows how to craft a real page-turner, and this novel about a pair of sisters with—you guessed it—a big secret is no exception. The dark story in question involves a man who attempted to ruthlessly attack one of them in their grandmother's hotel when they were kids, a new security expert slash lover, and a high-tech magician. It goes without saying that drama is imminent.
5. THE AGE OF REINVENTION BY KARINE TUIL
If the fact that Karina Tuil's new bestseller was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt (aka France's most prestigious literary award) wasn't enough to sway you, its Gatsby-esque, suspenseful plot will quickly rope you in. It follows Sam Tahar, a hard-hitting Manhattan defense lawyer who appears to have everything—good looks, a good family, and a prominent social standing—until we find out that it's essentially predicated on a lie.
6. A DICTIONARY OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING BY JACKIE COPLETON
The beautiful Japanese woman hesitantly peering through drapes on the cover of Jackie Copleton's new book is a harbinger of unexpected things to come. Her name is Amaterasu Takahashi, and she's living a quiet life in Philadelphia after losing her grandson and daughter during the Nagasaki bombing (or so she thinks), until she opens her front door to a man claiming to be her progeny. And he's brought along a briefcase full of family secrets that'll unfold in dramatic fashion. It's Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Piano Teacher, in the best way.
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