Our friends at The Broke and the Bookish gave us an open ended topic this week. I now present you with:
Ten books to read if you are in the mood for...snow and cold.
Just in case winter isn't doing enough to supply that for you, OR in case your misery wants some company.
1. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt I know, I just wrote about this book, but it's the one that inspired this list. It is just SO COLD throughout this book, the weather almost becomes a character in its own right.
2. Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen. I've mentioned this favorite before too. Paulsen's memoir of his trial-and-error experience with becoming a sled dog racer is harrowing and gorgeous, joyful and tragic.
3. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. I can never pass up a chance to mention one of my favorite books. It takes place on a planet named Winter, so it certainly works for my theme this week. The inhabitants of winter are genderless, and can take on sexual aspects of either men or women when it's "that time of the month" for them. What would it be like if we all had the potential to be a mother or a father, but most of the time sex and gender were complete non-issues?
4. Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. I gather from some of the reviews on Goodreads that this book doesn't do much for people who have no mountaineering background, or at least armchair familiarity with it. But as far as adventures go--wow.
5. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. (And the sequels.) How can this book be 20 years old? At least it gives me an excuse for not remembering much of it besides: steampunk Victorian alt-England, fierce young heroine, polar bears, and daemons, which aren't misspelled demons, but creatures that represent one's inner self. Like a cross between a house elf and a patronus.
6. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. Historical fiction about when Stalin rounded up tens of thousands of Balts in one night and shipped them all off to Siberia to live. Or die. Whatever. It is literally impossible to overstate how little Stalin cared about the lives of the ordinary people in the vast swath of world he controlled. And if that's not chilling enough for you--Siberia.
7. East by Edith Pattou A retelling of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" set in a vaguely Norwegian, possibly 16th century location.
8. Breadcrumbs by Anna Ursu. Another retelling, this time of The Snow Queen, set in modern Minnesota.
9. Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg. It has "snow" in the title, the main character is a Greenlander, and it's translated from the Danish.
10. Graceling by Kristen Cashore. Only for the last bit, when they're struggling over icy passes, but man, is it chilly to read that part.
Special fond mention to: Winter by Marissa Meyer (for being called Winter), The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (for being set where it's "always winter but never Christmas"), and The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder (for permanently setting my mental image of what blizzards are like. Tie a rope around Pa before he goes to milk the cows.)
and one NOT to read:
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton I don't think I ever hated any assigned reading more than this book. Ethan's one chance at love and happiness is destroyed by sledding?!? Seriously?!? Edith Wharton hated the world, I'm sure of it.