Friday, December 26, 2008

Wintery Books

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No, no … this isn’t the question you’re probably expecting, that asks about your winter reading habits.

What I want to know today is … what are the most “wintery” books you can think of? The ones that almost embody Winter?

Laura Ingall Wilder's The Long Winter is the first one that comes to mind.

Also:

James Meek's The People's Act of Love

Dan Simmons' The Terror

Orhan Pamuk's Snow

and lots of Russian short stories. And Joyce's "The Dead."

And the one I'm reading next, Adalbert Stifter's Rock Crystal, should prove to be awfully wintery.

Booking Through Thursday

11 comments:

J.S. Peyton said...

I'm definitely with you on "The Terror." I just finished it a couple of weeks ago, and I get cold just thinking about it. =)

gautami tripathy said...

Some new ones for me. Gonna look those up!

My BTT post is up!

SFP said...

Just so long as you don't get scurvy. . .

MargaretWV said...

Wintery books that come to mind are Winter's Tale and Smilla's Sense of Snow. I thought both books were so-so.

A book that makes me feel cold, so very cold, is Into Thin Air. One of my favorite reads, but non-fiction and it takes place in May, so I'm not sure it would count.

Happy holidays, Susan!

Lisa said...

I second Winter's Tale for being wintry, though I disagree that it is so-so. Smilla is cold and snowy and so-so but wintriness does not permeate and radiate from it as it does from Winter's Tale.

SFP said...

I've attempted to read both Winter's Tale and Smilla, but bailed about 200 pages into the Helprin and at the end of the first chapter or so with Smilla. I own WT, so I may very well give it another chance at some point.

I bought an audio version of Into Thin Air for my husband a few years back, but alas, he has never broken the plastic on the box--he doesn't have a long work commute and the car we take on trips lacks a tape player altogether. I should pick up a copy of the book for myself sometime since I've read Into the Wild twice and like the way Krakauer writes.

Happy holidays, everyone.

MargaretWV said...

Winter's Tale has some beautiful writing, but the underlying neoconservative political philosophy really turned me off. Big time.

Don't mean to start a political rant in your comment section -- sorry about that! I've been reading and thinking a lot about Harold Pinter for the past 24 hours, so I'm feeling a bit feisty.

Bybee said...

Definitely The Long Winter.
The Left Hand of Darkness.
Happy Holidays...happy everything, Susan.

SFP said...

You can rant about the neocons here all you want, Margaret. I won't mind a bit.

I'd heard so many people rave about the writing in Winter's Tale, but I had trouble with it, with the sensibility behind the writing, from the start. Why deny parallel construction to the first sentence, why anthromorphize the horse's thoughts, why say Peter Lake spurred the horse when he was undoubtedly spurless, why say the firemen drew power from the fire on the boat when you're going to describe then as exhausted in the next paragraph? Any book that turns me into that much of a pedant isn't doing either one of us any favors.

Ah, Bybee, The Left Hand of Darkness. That's one of those books I've definitely got to get around to. I think my daughter has a copy; she has an old friend who loves that book.

Amanda said...

The long winter popped into my head as well. I remember reading that book as a girl and burrowing under a quilt.

brooksideelaine said...

Oh has to be Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome - cold, cold, cold, characters as well as settings and leaves the reader with a cold cold feeling as well.