Reading list

6 fire-side fictions to stay indoors with

The official bookish weather advice from the Vintage Offices is to stay indoors with a good book. From Shakespeare re-tellings to 1980's Dublin, here are six books for your snow days - self prescribed or otherwise


Midwinter Break

Bernard MacLaverty

More drink and he began to soar. To spread his wings, rising on the thermals of the first couple of glasses. Later he unleashed what was tied down. Freed what was trapped. He began to listen sharper. To see more. To love better. Tomorrow – they were off again. A midwinter break. How privileged!

Set during a long weekend in Amsterdam, a compassionate and elegant novel about the deep uncertainties which exist between husband and wife. 


Edward St Aubyn

‘They stole my empire and now they send me stinking lilies.’

‘Oh, you had an empire, did you?’ said Peter, in the voice of an eager hostess, ‘you must meet Gavin in Room 33, he’s here in disguise, but his real name,’ Peter lowered her voice, ‘is Alexander the Great.’

Edward St Aubyn's stunning reimagining of Shakespear's King Lear, as funny as it is devestating. Read an extract here

The Golden House

Salman Rushdie

On the day of the new president’s inauguration, when we worried that he might be murdered as he walked hand in hand with his exceptional wife among the cheering crowds, and when so many of us were close to economic ruin in the aftermath of the bursting of the mortgage bubble, and when Isis was still an Egyptian mother-goddess, an uncrowned seventy-something king from a faraway country arrived in New York City with his three motherless sons to take possession of the palace of his exile, behaving as if nothing was wrong with the country or the world or his own story.

Invoking literature, pop culture, and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, The Golden House is the perfect examination of current political climate for the news-buff who needs a good armchair read. 

Gustav Sonata

Rose Tremain

Gustav didn’t understand what a soul was. He could see only that Erich was a good-looking man with a confident smile, wearing a police uniform with shiny buttons. So Gustav decided to pray for the buttons – that they would keep their shine.

Gustav’s life is a lonely one until he meets Anton. A lifelong friendship develops but Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined until it is almost too late. An intense, inveloping read - perfect for wrapping up warm and reading in a single sitting.

The Noise Of Time

Julian Barnes

They gave him another shot, took the glass from him, and climbed back on to the train. Thankful for the burst of alcohol coursing through his truncated body, the beggar wheeled himself towards the next group of passengers. By the time the two men were in their seats again, the one who heard had almost forgotten what he had said. But the one who remembered was only at the start of his remembering.

Art and Power collide in this compelling novel - a tale of courage and cowardice for lovers of The Sense of An Ending.

Montpelier Parade

Karl Geary

'The world's a frightening place.' Joe McCann scooped up a lump of minced beef with his fingertips and pushed it inside a small white plastic bag. 'True as God,' Joe says. 'True as God.' 

Transport yourself to 1980's Dublin in this Costa shortlisted immersive novel. Delicate and powerful, it's a perfect snowy - or rainy - day read for the fire-side.

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