Winter Reading

Snow, rain or shine, ’tis the season to wrap up in a cozy blanket and curl up with a good read. The A+R team recommends these books, including one for the youngest in your life. Read on…


Andy Griffith, Co-Founder

Richard Powers' The Overstory is life changing. This epic novel took the Pulitzer for fiction this last April, and deservedly so. Although the book tracks the individual experiences of 9 people of diverse ages and backgrounds, trees figure toweringly as the fate of humanity is considered. I had the good fortune to read it while Rose, Nina and I camped the temperate rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula. Suffice it to say, I’ve been gifting this book ever since.


Conor Ford, Senior Design Advisor

As an avid true crime junkie, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe tops my winter break reading list. Reading more like a novel than non-fiction, the author tells a fascinating story of an actual crime that takes place in 1970s Northern Ireland, creating interesting parallels between the Troubles to the current state of the European Union. Part true crime story, part history lesson, I couldn’t put it down. I’m not the only one. It spent 6 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list this year.


Rose Apodaca, Co-Founder

The first time I saw the blonde Venus that is Debbie Harry was on a 1979 episode of “American Bandstand.” I was 10. The following week I was teetering about in vintage kitten heels and pitch-black wraparound sunglasses.

Face It is the long-anticipated memoir of the Blondie frontwoman, channeled in a conversational style by music journo Sylvie Simmons. Oh the tales! A stint as a Playboy Bunny! The swirls of the worlds of Warhol and John Waters! NYC during the 1970s and 1980s! Bowie flashing his bits! Love the photos from her own archives (including one with our daughter’s godpop Michael Schmidt, who has long created some of her looks, including the dress covered in 3,000 razor blades he individually sewed on and which is now at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame). As a pop culture junkie and bonafide fan, I savored it all. 


Steve Nam, Logistics Manager

The setting of the Wisconsin winter and Craig Thompson’s warm and honest storytelling through the main character keeps me returning back to his 2003 autobiographical graphic novel Blankets over and over again during the holidays. Although 600 pages, it reads quickly, as you get sucked in by the artwork and the coming-of-age story—which Thompson initially created as a way to communicate to his own parents his break with their beliefs. It has topped Best Comics lists and is even considered one of the best graphic novels of all time.


Nina Griffith, Junior Design Enthusiast

From the mouths of babes a revolution is born. Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg is galvanizing a generation (and their parents) to move the needle on a global crisis, and No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference continues that rallying cry with kid-friendly accessibility, as 9-year-old Nina will tell you.

Nina also believes, rightfully so, that this is a page turner for every age. This slim booklet, released in May 2019, contains 11 of Greta’s speeches about global warming and climate change. Not that we needed any more convincing that this Swedish force of nature deserved to be named Time Person of the Year.


Michael Selva, Digital Guru

I love the mystery-crime genre, and especially stories that take place in my native Los Angeles. Neo-noir The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly introduces attorney Mickey Haller, and the title refers to his preferred work space: instead of an office, he conducts business from a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car. It's a fun read, and the first of a series featuring the main character. It’s also racked up several prestigious awards, and only lost best mystery novel of the decade to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

After you read the book? Watch the 2011 screen adaptation starring Matthew McConaughey, which Connelly loved.


Autumn Foster, Design Advisor

Come Back: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back is the gripping 2006 memoir co-authored by Mia Fontaine and her mother Claire Fontaine. They recount their experiences in first-person diary-like entries, and through it, find each other while overcoming their own challenges. Their narrative is suspenseful, sometimes funny, and profound. A winter read for women of all ages that provides the warmth of cherished familial bonds that we crave this time of year.