Winter Is the Perfect Time to Snuggle Up with a Warm Drink and a Good Book

Our worthy reads this month are classics. Published before 1923, all these books are public domain and available to download free online or readily available at the public library.

Romance

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, $11, Amazon.com

Lesser known than the Anne series and with an adult heroine, The Blue Castle is charming in every way. Valency Sterling has led a life domineered by her mother and aunt until she gets a letter that changes everything. I despise spoilers, so I will leave it there, but be ready for humor, love and adventure. 

Mystery

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, $11, Amazon.com

The Queen of Crime introduces Hercule Poirot in this first of many Poirot mysteries. This novel is a great place to start if you haven’t read Agatha Christie before. Part of the fun of reading Agatha Christie is trying to solve the crime before Poirot. Who poisoned wealthy widow Emily Cavendish? Good luck! This one had me stumped.

Adventure

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, $18, Amazon.com

This epic tale of betrayal, revenge and forgiveness will have you screaming for justice. It is cliché, but the book really is better than the movie, and in this case, there are enough differences to keep you reading, even if you have seen the movie. This fictional story is based on actual events, and the historical background is accurate, which means you get the added bonus of learning a bit of history.

Snowflake Cocoa

Ingredients

2 cups whipping cream

6 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

12-ounce package white chocolate chips*

Whipped cream and candy canes for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla and chocolate chips in a slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and the chips are melted. Stir again before serving.

3. Garnish with whipped cream and candy canes (optional).

*Variations: This can be made with Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips for extra peppermint flavor or milk chocolate chips for traditional cocoa flavor.