I think there may have been a time, long before my blogging days, when my reading did follow seasonal patterns; winter books tended to be more substantive, while summer reads were lighter–kind of like seasonal eating, I suppose, or tracking along with the school calendar. I don’t really see that happening any more, and while I suppose it’s possible that things shifted because I no longer live in a place that has well-defined seasons, I don’t think that’s the reason. I suspect it’s more due to the fact that the time I have available for reading doesn’t tend to cycle with the seasons, and so I read what’s around, whenever it fits in.
With all that said, here are “5 Fave Winter Reads” from December 2013 through March 2014. You’ll probably notice that none of these books is particularly “wintry,” but a couple do have their share of snowy scenes.
One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson, read December 2013:
“I find the scope of social and technological change from one end of the twentieth century to the other endlessly fascinating, and every time I listened to One Summer, I was dropped right into a piece of it.”
Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine, read January 2014:
” Lady and Fin have the sort of life that I rarely encounter outside of fiction. Still, their story and their relationship rarely felt less than real to me–I couldn’t resist them, although I admit I didn’t try very hard.”
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak, read January 2014:
“I’m not generally a short-fiction fan, but this was ‘potato-chip reading’–I kept thinking I’d have just a few, but then I’d dig further and further into this engaging, imaginative collection of stories that are difficult to read just one at a time.”
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, read March 2014:
“Fangirl is an unconventional coming-of-age college story crossed with a first-love story and flavored with modern Internet-based fan culture. I think that’s a pretty ambitious undertaking, and I think it succeeds at just about every level.”
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, read between January and April 2014:
“The story told by Death is one of the most life-affirming novels I’ve ever read, and is ultimately a story of love–love of friends, of family, of home, and of books.”
The link-up for this topic in A Month of Favorites is hosted at Estella’s Revenge.
I’ve spent a good chunk of my life living in places–Florida and Southern California, specifically–that just don’t have weather you’d tend to identify with “winter,” and that probably makes me less qualified than most to suggest “5 Must Haves for Winter Survival” for the Month of Favorites link-up on that topic hosted at Traveling with T. However, I also spent about a decade and a half living in places–New England and central New York State–than have plenty of winter, so I do have some experience with the concept.
All disclaimers aside, here are five things that would be winter must-haves for me:
- Warm, waterproof boots (These are useful even in California–if we’re going to get rain here at all, we’ll get it in the winter.)
- Cozy throw blankets
- Bright lighting, and LOTS of it (Winter nights start early, and winter days are often gray and gloomy. I am convinced that one reason the “winter blues” hit so hard in January is because we’ve taken down the festive holiday lights by then.)
- Grapeseed oil (Ever since learning about grapeseed oil’s benefits for the skin on the blog Already Pretty, I’ve kept a small bottle in the bathroom to apply after showers, and it’s an effective, long-lasting, and surprisingly light moisturizer. And since I fill the small bottle from the big one I keep in the kitchen for cooking, it’s also really cheap.)
- A few days off to visit somewhere warm (Just try not to wind up in the middle of a crowd of rowdy spring-breakers!)
What helps get you through the wintertime?