Winter is a difficult season, it’s cold, the weather can be unpredictable, the roads are nasty. In the depths of winter it can be hard to keep your spirits up. Some people love to embrace winter, they bundle up and get out there! They enjoy all of the great activities that winter has to offer: skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and all sorts of other cockamamie ideas and activities; I’ve heard of these ice hotels where you can stay. Brrr…
Well, I say screw that! Here is my recipe for embracing winter and getting through the winter blues. Step one: stay inside, remember it is cold out there. Step two: turn the fire on, the cold out there affects the temperature inside, you want to be cozy. Step three: pour myself a few fingers of scotch, it will help to warm you from the inside out. Step four: pick out a great book about people having a more miserable winter than me.
That is the key, the characters in the book must be having a far more miserable time with winter than me. Now, you might think that is awfully mean and miserable of me, and you could be correct. But it is human nature, we feel better when seeing, hearing or reading about people who have it worse than us: Shakespearean plays, shows like White Lotus, hell, the news, everyone on there has it worse than me and it makes me feel better.
Now you may be asking, what should I read? Not to worry, I’ve got some recommendations. Just "click" on the book title to read my review.
The Snowman - By Jo Nesbo – A great cat-and-mouse/who-done-it about a miserable cop trying to solve a mysterious disappearance. Why is he miserable? Well, it is winter in Norway, and if that isn’t enough to make you miserable, the main clue in the case is a frigid snowman.
The Terror - By Dan Simmons – Alright, it is 1845 and you are on a ship trying to find the North-West Passage. No electricity, nothing but rancid canned food to eat. As if that wasn’t enough, you’re stuck in the ice – trapped, no way out. Your cozy chair in front of the fireplace seems pretty good right now – you’re not even bothered by the flurries and -20 wind chill outside.
The Ritual - By Adam Nevill – This one isn’t even set in winter. Imagine, a group of friend decide to go for a hiking trip trough backwoodsville Sweden; what could go wrong? Everything! Home is such a lovely place: no endless woods, the microwave is just on the other side of the wall. Turning the electric blanket on is so much better the being lost and sleeping in the woods.
Daughters Unto Devils - By Amy Lukavics – What could make you feel more comfy and cozy than reading about a family living in a frontier cabin long before indoor plumbing. And the monster lurking in the woods doesn’t hurt either.
The Black Tongue - By Marko Hautala – Who knows cold and winter better than the Finns. This story about Granny Hatchet is sure to make you feels nice and warm.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things - By Iain Reid – There is nothing worse than driving in a blizzard. Stay safe at home while Iain Reid drives you on this crazy road trip.
Ararat - By Christopher Golden – You can think about all of those poor souls on a mountain (skiing or whatever other crazy, dangerous stuff they do) as you read about Ben Walker and his friends (and some enemies, too) as they battle a demon trapped in a cave on a snow-covered mountain.
Bone White - By Ronald Malfi – No list of winter books would complete without this one. Winter, Alaska, darkness, and dead bodies. This is a special one that I read during the summer: I was no longer on my comfortable sofa with the A/C running in the background to cut through the summer humidity; I was bundled up, driving along a desolate road to the ass-end of the earth. Oh yeah, Ronald Malfi has teleportation powers, too.
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