A Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin
Even if you’ve watched the HBO series, it’s a treat to escape into the original world of Westeros. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen land to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it’s 1962 in Mississippi, and her mother won’t rest until Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she’s gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise and regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She’s devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may end up broken.
A Wrinkle in Time
Another magical realm to escape into. It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. “Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.” A tesseract, of course, is a wrinkle in time—but to tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of L’Engle’s unusual and beloved tale of a search through time for a missing father.
If you enjoy YA fantasy, add this one to your list (sniffles or not!). St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic, and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful, lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
This worldwide phenomenon is perfect for fans of Lord of the Rings. Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he’s merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.
The Golden Compass
Philip Pullman’s celebrated classic series is brought to life in captivating, full-color art in this graphic novel complete edition. The epic story centers around Lyra, a so-called ordinary girl who has an extraordinary role to play in the fate of her best friend, Roger, and their very world. Dark forces are at work, but Lyra has the crew of all crews by her side: daemon, a tribe of seafarers, a witch, an ice bear, and a Texas airman (yes, you read that right).
Isabella Swan’s move to Forks—a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington—could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife, between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires.
The Hot Zone
RIFer Rebekah recommended this one (tongue in cheek, we’re pretty sure!). Maybe not the most comforting read when you’re sick with a cold, but we guarantee you’ll forget your sniffles once you dive in—it’s un-put-downable.
A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic “hot” virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their “crashes” into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
Getting a cold is never fun, but it does give us a reason to spend the day in bed reading. Every time we’re stuck home with a cold, we make a cup of tea and grab a book. Our favorite genre to turn to is fantasy, especially young adult fiction—it’s effortless to read and takes us far away, to another time and place. No matter the genre, we all agree that being swept into a great read is the perfect thing when you have the sniffles!
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