We love all four seasons that Ottawa has to offer at Gardening By Design, but something about the cold winter months that makes us long for a good book. We've rounded up 4 friend-recommended reads that we are looking forward to digging into this season.

So, grab a Pine Tea and cozy up for the night with one of these…


LIT by Mary Karr


"Lit is about getting drunk and getting sober; becoming a mother by letting go of a mother; learning to write by learning to live. Written with Karr's relentless honesty, unflinching self-scrutiny, and irreverent, lacerating humor, it is a true story of how to grow up - as only Mary Karr can tell it."

Author of The Liar's Club and Cherry, this is Mary's third memoir that focuses on her alcoholism, family life and road to sobriety. If you like non-fiction and memoir, this book might be for you.

THE WONDER by Emma Donoghue


"A young English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale arrives in an impoverished Irish village with a strange mission; eleven year old Anna O'Donnell is said to have eaten nothing for four months. The baffled community looks to an outsider to bring the truth to light. The wonder is a psychological thriller about love pitted against evil and an unforgettable portrait of intimacy between people from different worlds."

If you are fond of medicine, a bit of history, and a spooky tale, The Wonder would be the perfect book to spend a few nights in with.

THE DECENT OF MAN by Grayson Perry


"What is masculinity and what can it become? It might seem like a luxury in a world facing climate change and vast imbalances in global wealth, but Grayson Perry sees masculinity as a highly active component in all the big issues. Tracing the contours of the dominant male role today, its history and its clearly defined rules, The Descent of Manexplores everything from sex, seriousness and intimidation to clothing, childhood and power, suggesting a more modern model of manhood which may reach escape velocity from the gravity of Traditional Man."

This book is about what is means to be a male in the 21st century. Perry talks about the social norms of masculinity and his own personal experiences. It is a refreshing and inspiring view on what masculinity could become. It sounds deep, and it is, but Perry has a very down to earth approach to writing that is easy to absorb.



"Set in Montreal and New York between the wars, a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future."

If you're into romance and history, enjoy books that celebrate whimsy, resilience and the human spirit, this is a great book to choose. Heather O'Neill is a fiercely talented author from Montreal and a two time Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist - a guaranteed incredible read.


Which books are you reading right now? Tag #gbdreads on Instagram and share your page-turners with us.

Thanks for reading

GBD Team