"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Christmas is all about classics. The same Christmas carols, recipes and holiday events all fill our days with warmth. What could be more classic than this novel?

Obviously, many people enjoy the story because it's a romance. Broody and quiet Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy falls in love with the sharp and witty Ms. Elizabeth Bennet. They dance and disagree and eventually overcome their differences to live happily ever after.

Some may scoff at a romance novel’s simplicity; however, "Pride and Prejudice" is much more nuanced than meets the eye. Many historians do not consider "Pride and Prejudice" a romance novel, for example. Austen inadvertently penned a time-travel device for readers. Readers witness the proper social customs for the time.

For example: Who should stand up when someone of a certain rank walks into the room? What is the appropriate time to wait before paying a newcomer a visit?

Read (or re-read!) this one to experience all of the above!

"Have a Little Faith: a True Story" by Mitch Albom

The world today seems more divided than ever — politics, COVID-19 vaccines and so much more seems to have split families right down the middle.

This read shows many different worlds colliding: Christian and Jewish; African-American and white. Read this one to experience how common ground can be found between people who seemingly have nothing in common. Albom’s novels always spark intellectual thought and leave the reader feeling hopeful.

At the end of an exhausting, overwhelming year, a feel-good read is definitely needed.

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @idesai98 on Twitter.