Books to Read on a Washington Snow Day
Here in mild Washington, snow days are called on account of rain, even cloudiness. Snow itself is just a forecaster's fantasy. So instead of seeding the clouds or moving to New England, create your own winter
wonderland: turn the heat down very low, wrap yourself in a plush blanket and open one of these frigidly good books. And then let me know what you read to bring your own temperature down.
1. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk (2004). I could hardly pass up a novel named Snow, could I? Especially one written by a Nobel Prize winner? An exiled Turk returns to his country for his mother's funeral, only to get stranded by endlessly falling snow in an isolated city riven by religious violence.
2. The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1940). In this, the sixth of the Little House books, Laura and her family are snowbound in a tiny South Dakota town. I haven't read this in ages, but I remember so clearly how shocked I was as a kid that houses could be completely buried by snow.
3. The People's Act of Love, by James Meek (2005). Snow plus the Russian Revolution plus an unnerving celibate cult! Naturally, excitement, murder and ill-advised coupling ensue.
4. The Voyage of the Narwhal, by Andrea Barrett (1998). What happens on the ice, stays in the ice. Until it doesn't. A trip to the Arctic to find Sir John Franklin's lost expedition itself founders in freezing waters and overweening ambition.
5. The Terror, by Dan Simmons (2007). Simmons has taken Franklin's hapless and horrifying expedition -- two ships stuck in the ice for over a year-- and added a monster. I'm just reading it right now so don't tell me what happens!
-- Rachel Hartigan Shea
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