In an all-too literal world, Alice in Wonderland–appearing courtesy of #LewisCarroll in the novel Jane Eyre Gets Real–recommends the following old-fashioned diversions:
The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens: an early Dickens novel where a chirping cricket acts as a young family’s guardian angel. Set during #Christmas, it was a Victorian sentimental favorite and was produced several times on the stage, both in England and Russia.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Get a complete edition of the original stories (there should be over 200 tales), preferably in a leather-bound, gilt-edged edition. #Disney adaptations notwithstanding, these are not for children. You will learn such how Cinderella’s stepsisters mutilated their own feet to fit into her slipper, and what Prince Charming really did to awaken Sleeping Beauty.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken: though written for kid in 1962, this adventure-filled book–featuring appealing orphans, evil guardians, and wolves–is like Jane Eyre meets Lemmony Snicket.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett: in this classic a sad little girl revives an old garden and herself. Associated with spring, it’s perfect for winter, with its messages of hope and rebirth.
Doomesday Book by Connie Willis: not as gloomy as it sounds. In this contemporary science fiction thriller, a woman goes back to medieval times and is mistaken for an angel. A parallel story involves the loved ones she leaves behind fighting for their lives in a mysterious #pandemic, making this book curiously prescient as well as a gripping read.
Make a nice cup of cocoa and get reading!