SYP Scotland’s Reading Recommendations for Long Winter Nights

Posted on November 16, 2020 in Scotland

Call it autumn, call it winter, call it lockdown – either way, these November nights are getting longer and darker and quieter and, for most of us, consist of endless ‘doomscrolling’ or beginning Dawson’s Creek on Netflix and hoping it’ll see us through to Spring (anyone else?). Or, if you’re a new Publishing student, trawling through assignments and counting the days to Christmas break. So when you do get those moments of quiet, step away from the screen. Turn on a lamp, get a blanket, appreciate the free rain noises provided by November weather, and pass the evenings with some of SYP Scotland’s reading recommendations for dark nights at home.


Winter always feels like the best time to sink my teeth into gothic literature. I’d highly recommend The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell – it’s got just the right balance of fun and genuinely quite spooky, and is, I think, perfect for getting cosied up and immersed into.
Yasmin, Events Coordinator


On Connection by Kae Tempest, renowned poet, playwright and musical artist, is a perfect book to ignite the inner glow in yourself. It’s like they speak to you directly – about creativity, about making connections, about living.
Natalie, Shadow Panel Coordinator


I’d recommend a good series for this time of year, something that you can sink into on cold winter nights and not want to leave behind. For me, last year, that series was the Memoirs of Lady Trent fantasy series by Marie Brennan. The first, A Natural History of Dragons, follows a young woman in a world not unlike our own defying those around her to pursue the study of dragons. It’s a pretty relaxing reading experience but engaging enough to keep you compelled all through November and December!
Molly, Communications Officer


I know I’m a year late, and only adding another voice to the already shouting fanclub, but I recently read Pine by Francine Toon and almost couldn’t move on after finishing it. Picking me out of a reading slump, it was completely immersive, the atmosphere matching the Autumn nights closing in around me as I read. The isolation and eerie yet familiar landscape of the Highlands provides escapism without over-exertion of the imagination, and it was haunting yet not demanding too much suspension of disbelief. I loved it, so much so that when a friend recently told me she’d picked it up, something strange came over my body and I clapped in the street. If that’s not a glowing recommendation, I don’t know what is.
Keira, Blogger


I’m not usually much into poetry, but this is one of my favourite books to fill my time with during the long winter nights – A Poem for Every Night of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri. It provides you with your daily fix of poetry and I also love the gorgeous cover! And as I got into the festive spirit pretty soon and my Christmas tree is already up, it feels only natural to start reading Christmas books! Christmas: A History by Judith Flanders is a great idea if you want to know a bit more about the incoming festivities or if you’re struggling to find someone a present!
Joana, Student Liason Officer


My current book recommendation is The Witcher series (I’m on the third one) as I really love a fantasy series when it’s dark all the time, and I can get really cosy and immerse myself in a completely different world. It’s quite a dark series anyway, and now the weather and climate feels like they match!
Grace, General Member


I recently read the first two volumes of Alice Oseman’s graphic novel series Heartstopper. I highly recommend this sweet boy meets boy story to anyone who finds themselves in an end-of-the-year reading slump or wants to read something hopeful and heartwarming this winter. For something slightly denser, but equally as captivating, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, which transports the reader from 1910s Yeongdo, Korea to 1980s Osaka, Japan, is a fantastic read. I am not entirely sure why, but I love delving into a generational novel during the colder months.
Alice, Conference Lead 


Reading isn’t the only way to pass those long nights! Join us for some industry insight and human connection at our upcoming (virtual) events and #SYPChats. Keep an eye on SYP Scotland’s twitter here.