Fall has fallen upon City College. Here in Santa Barbara, the leaves don’t really change, and the high forties are about as cold as it gets. Nonetheless, it’s a time to cozy up with a warm blanket, a cup of chamomile tea, and of course, a good book. The following is a list of good reads The Channels editors turn to when the weather outside is frightful.
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (2007) – Michael Chabon
Jun Starkey, Editor in Chief
This book is very long but it’s the perfect book for when you want to spend a lazy day reading by yourself in bed. Chabon writes beautifully crafted run-on sentences with such specific descriptions, its almost like hearing his voice in your head.
A Walk in the Woods (1997) – Bill Bryson.
Nate Stephenson, Photo Editor
I love reading this book in a comfortable setting because it brings me back to all the wonderful discomfort I’ve experienced trekking in the backcountry and the character it’s built in me. It’s a hilarious tale of an amateur outdoorsman on his journey hiking the infamous Appalachian Trail and the calvary that come with hiking 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. The story is well crafted and tells of the self-discovery that comes with real adventure and the hardships experienced in nature. One of my favorite things to do is share stories of nature experiences with fellow explorers, and I love the way Bill Bryson writes makes you feel like you’re hearing it from a friend around the campfire. A great read to take you into the wilderness from the comfort of your holiday lounging.
The Harry Potter Series (1997-2007) – J.K. Rowling
Serena Guentz, News Editor
I’ve always loved reading and the way you can escape from reality and absorb yourself in a good story. Since I was much younger, I have read countless books, but when I think of a book to read to feel cozy and warm, my choice would be any of the “Harry Potter” books by J. K. Rowling. I love the magical world built in the series and the relatable challenges of growing up that the characters face. I was in third grade when I first started reading most of these books and I still remember sitting in my grandmother’s living room, unable to tear my eyes away from the pages for hours at a time. I even wrote and sent a letter to Rowling as a school project and I still wish I could be a witch and attend Hogwarts. Despite reading the series at such a young age, if I were to reread the “Harry Potter” books now, I’m sure the magical story would still draw me in.
Maurice (1971) – E. M. Forster
Lucy Marx, News Editor
My favorite book to get cozy with is E. M. Forster’s “Maurice”. Written in 1913 but published after the author’s death in 1971, the book follows a young gay man as he navigates the confining society of pre-World War I Britain. The book has a happy ending, which Forster knew would be controversial but felt was necessary. Forster writes realistic, flawed characters, lending to the timeless realism of the book. This book is beautiful, funny and poignant, and one of my all-time favorites.
The Divergent Series (2011-2013) – Veronica Roth
Sarah Maninger, Sports Editor
My favorite book to read when I want to stay warm and cozy inside is Divergent by Veronica Roth. The trilogy, which once rivaled the hype of The Hunger Games, is set in post-apocalyptic Chicago where people are divided into five factions based on their strengths. A test determines which singular group each teen fits into, but when Beatrice Prior is tested, she is told she fits into three groups, rather than just one. This makes her different and a danger to her government. In order to hide from the spotlight, Beatrice changes her name to Tris and disappears into the Dauntless faction, the adrenaline junkies and soldiers, where nobody would think to find her. After finding her place among the Dauntless, she is forced into a war that reveals her true bravery. Looking back on this book as an adult, the characters in the story are a little young and naive but the themes of bravery, honesty and love still hold up. Give me some snacks, some cocoa and a cozy blanket and I could read this book in a day.
The Bluest Eye (1970) – Toni Morrison
Sierra Shelton, Opinion Editor
I never had a particular book that I read for comfort. However, the most recent book I read, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, is my favorite book to read whenever I have a chance. Published in 1970, the story follows three young black girls who navigate the brutal racism and colorism of 1940’s Ohio. It is easy to follow, and the style of writing makes you feel exactly how the characters felt. The story gives you an emotional experience, and I was so captivated that I finished it in three days.
A Farewell to Arms (1929) – Ernest Hemingway
Valerie van den Broek, Features Editor
My favorite book to cuddle up with is ‘A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I read it last year, and after reading it I had to process what had happened. The book is very well written and it gives the reader a good sense of what the characters are like. The end is definitely a tear-jerker.
The Ugly Guide Series (2008-2010) – David Horvath & Sun-Min Kim
Kai Zheng, Arts & Entertainment Editor
My choice for a book to get cozy to might not be a timeless classic, but it is sure to warm my heart every time. The Ugly Guide series depicts a fictional world of Uglydolls, cute and odd creatures who are a lot like you and me. They have jobs, they drive cars, they have good and bad days. The books are somewhat of a travel guide to the reader if they were to visit the “Uglyverse.” The pages are filled with eye-popping colorful illustrations that bring the characters to life. Whenever I crack open an Ugly Guide, I always put the book down with that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.