It’s getting pretty chilly outside – ideal weather to stay in and read a book. So why not get cosy, and read one of these ‘winter’ inspired book choices?
The second part of her Seasonal Quartet, which began with ‘Autumn’, the Booker Prize shortlisted author explores the coldest and bleakest time of year, with impressionistic language, non-linear stories, flashbacks and fantasies.
If you’re worrying about the ‘beast from the east’ or stockpiling food in anticipation of Brexit, then just be glad you’re not snowed in for a whole winter. The ‘Little House on The Prairie’ author recalls the winter of 1880-81 they endured – with 7 months of blizzards from October to May.
The classic children’s book about Narnia where it is ‘always winter and never Christmas’, until the Pevensie children enter through the back of the wardrobe and fight the white witch, Jadis – with help, of course, from the lion, Aslan.
Guterson, who was a teacher at the time, wrote the book in the early morning hours over a ten-year period. The book focuses on a murder case in which Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese American, is accused of killing Carl Heine, a respected fisherman in the close-knit community.
This was Stephen King’s third published book, and inspired by his visit to The Stanley Hotel in 1974 as well as his recovery from alcoholism. Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic accepts a position with his family, as the off-season caretaker of an historic hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His son Danny possesses “the shining”, psychic abilities that allow him to see the hotel’s horrific past. After a winter storm leaves them snowbound, supernatural forces influence Jack’s sanity, endangering the life of his wife and child.
A complex book, ideal for reading if you’re snowed in for a few days! Focusing on Yuri Zhivago, a physician and poet, the book deals with his love for two women, caught up in the events between the Russian Revolution of 1905 and World War II.
Dr Zhivago was originally refused publication in the USSR due to some of references to the October Revolution in the book, but the manuscript was smuggled to Milan and published in 1957. Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature the following year.
After a childhood spent in Greenland, Smilla developed an intuitive understanding of all types of snow and their characteristics, and as an adult, she worked as a scientist specialising in snow and ice. When a neighbour’s child falls to his death from an icy rooftop, her ‘feeling for snow’ tells her that there is something wrong – and it’s not just an accident. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth.
Ka, a poet,returns to Turkey after 12 years of political exile in Germany. He intends to investigate a spate of suicides but also hopes to meeting a woman he used to know. Heavy snow cuts off the town for about three days during which time Ka talks with a former communist, a secularist, a fascist nationalist, a possible Islamic extremist, Islamic moderates, young Kurds, the military, the Secret Service, the police and especially an actor-revolutionary. Through these conversations, Pamuk examines both the mix of secularism and belief in Turkey, along with the country’s recent history.
The Spirit of Winter takes a fancy to young witch Tiffany Aching, and wants her to stay in his gleaming, frozen world forever. A comic fantasy novel for younger readers, set in Pratchett’s famous ‘Discworld’. Folk-rock band Steeleye Span collaborated with Pratchett to produce a ‘Wintersmith’ concept album, released in October 2013 – so why not listen to that too?
Many people are still eagerly anticipating the long awaited sixth book in the saga ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ that inspired the ‘Game of Thrones’ series. The good news is, it could be this year. There’s quite a few chapters available online already. In the meantime, if you fancy a wintry read, then this is the first part of the third volume of the series. Or just start from the beginning – that should keep you busy until the spring or even summer comes around.
Do you have any recommendations for ‘wintry’ themed books? Do let us know your favourites.