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There are few things we love more here at Aesthetic HQ than snuggling up on a cold and dreary winter’s evening with a mug of luxurious hot chocolate (extra marshmallows if you’re making one!) and a cracking good book. With the weather taking a decidedly chilly turn, and January seeming to move by at a torturously slow pace, getting lost in a great read has never been more appealing.

With this in mind, we’ve put together our pick of some of the best books around at the moment, as well as rounding up some recent releases which may have passed you by…

Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace (Elbury Press)
A heart-warming story of boy stalks girl, Charlotte Street is the debut novel from Yes Man author Danny Wallace. Set in the heart of London, the narrative centres on Jason Priestley, a down on his luck ex-teacher turned magazine columnist who, after a chance meeting with a mysterious girl in Fitzrovia, finds himself faced with a dilemma. Laugh out loud funny and brilliantly entertaining, Charlotte Street is a wonderfully refreshing 21st century take the conventional boy meets girl plot, and is guaranteed to leave you smiling long after you’ve turned the last page.

gracebookGrace by Grace Coddington (Chatto & Windus)
Few fashion memoirs have been more anticipated than Grace, penned by the iconic Grace Coddington. Navigating Grace’s early career and offering an unparalleled insight into her work alongside Anna Wintour at US Vogue, Grace invites you to take a behind the scenes look at some of the most iconic shoots in the publication’s history, and the rise of the author from model to creative director of the most powerful fashion publication on the planet. Definitely a coffee table book to add to your collection.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Vintage)
The Night Circus is a real multilayered read which is quite tricky to categorise. Part love story, part fantasy, part mystery, writer Erin Morgenstern’s first novel uses parallel timeframes to weave together a series of intricately constructed storylines, all of which are as intriguing as the enigmatic travelling circus of the title. Morgenstern’s narrative is richly constructed, and her characterisation faultless, with both the protagonists and peripheral characters alike vividly brought to life. Punctuated throughout with beautiful illustrations, this really is a book to get lost in.

Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart (Hodder & Staughton)Eowyn-Ivey-The-Snow-Child
Miranda Hart’s endearing wit is definitely something to cheer us all up on a gloomy winter evening, and we at Aesthetic HQ are all massive fans of Miranda- series three has had us all in stitches. Is It Just Me? is an extended ode to life’s embarrassing moments, as Miranda offers some unique insights into how to negotiate those awkward situations which confront us all on a day-to-day basis. This is a ‘what I call’ read which is just impossible to put down. Such fun!

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Headline Review)
Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child entranced critics when it was released last year, and, after turning the first few pages, it’s easy to see why. Set in the harsh Alaskan wilderness, the narrative centres on the characters of Jack and Mabel, and relates how their lives are transformed through their encounter with an enigmatic child. Wonderfully descriptive, The Snow Child succeeds in transporting you to the wild tundra of Alaska, and the plot, adapted from a classic Russian fairy tale, is simply enchanting.

Have you read any good books recently? Perhaps you’ve pre-empted our list and read one of the above already?

Sarah Farrell is a fashion and lifestyle blogger at My Sentimental Heart. A regular contributor to Aesthetic Magazine, Sarah’s main interests lie in baking and style. Sarah is also the Features Editor of Aesthetic Online. She Tweets @sarah_sentiment.

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