7 Interesting Book Finds for this Winter Break: A Search Through Amazon.com

By Megan Sehr on November 30, 2012

For University of Denver students, winter break is a long seven-week vacation from studies.  We take our final exams before Thanksgiving, and we don’t return to school until the beginning of January.  The beginning of the break is a sigh of relief; however, by week three or four, most students are bored and ready to return to campus.

Make your reading list for this winter break. Photograph by slightly everything at Flickr

In an effort to prepare for the long haul, I began to browse Kindle books on Amazon this week.  I spent about an hour browsing books, and I bookmarked any that seemed to have intriguing plot lines.

Based on the little bit of research I have done, here is a list of seven books I found on Amazon that have unique and/or compelling plotline.


  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo – This is about Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in Mumbai, India.  Based on three years of reporting, it narrates the hopes and fears of individuals within the settlement.  It tells about the courage and imagination of the Annawadians as their world is rocked by local, national, and global tension and instability.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – Set in modern day San Francisco, Sloan’s book is about Clay Jannon and his job at a local bookstore.  He begins to notice strange things about the bookstore.  Very few people shop at the bookstore, but the same people come in repeatedly and never buy anything.  They only look at the same books at far corners of the store, and Jannon decides that the store must be a front for something else.  What they find goes far beyond the walls of the bookstore.



  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – In this piece of fiction, Tom Sherbourne takes his wife, Isabel, to work as a lighthouse keeper in Australia.  Isabel has suffered two miscarriages and one stillborn, and there seems to be no hope that the couple will have a child.  Then, one night, Isabel hears an infant crying in the distant and a boat washes onto the isolated island carrying a dead man and a living baby.  Tom wants to report the baby and the man immediately, but Isabel disagrees.  They keep the child and name her Lucy.  At the age of two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland with Lucy, and they are reminded that there are other people that exist.  According to the summary, tragedy ensues.



  • The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker – Thompson’s book begins with the world finding out that the rotation of the Earth has suddenly started to slow.  It tells the story of a ten year-old girl named Julia, and her experiences dealing with disasters caused by the slowing world and the disasters of everyday life (first love, her distancing parents, etc.)



  • January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her by Michael Schofield – Schofield tells the story of his daughter, January, and her struggle with mental illness.  At the age of six, January was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  This recounts his family’s experience with trying to find some peace and solution for January.



  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker – Sendker’s book spans between the 1950s and the present.  In the book, a New York lawyer goes missing and neither his daughter nor wife know where he went.  They find a letter he wrote many years ago to a Burmese woman, and his daughter, Julia, sets off to Burma to solve the mystery and come to terms with her father’s past.



  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – In Night Circus, Morgenstern depicts a fantasy world about a circus that arrives without warning overnight.  The summary doesn’t give up too much information, but it talks about Celia and Marco.  They are a young, and they are rivals that was arranged long ago by powers they don’t understand.  Their lives become more enmeshed, and it tells a story of love, joy, heartbreak, and deceit.
Have you read any of these books over break? Leave a comment below with your thoughts or suggestions for other Winter break books!


Megan Sehr is a sophomore at the University of Denver, and she is majoring in International Studies and Journalism Studies with minors in History and Hebrew. She wants to go into international journalism, and is interested in Middle Eastern politics and culture. She loves writing, reading, poetry, Mad Men, and good discussions.

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