There’s a Book for That: Winter

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Two of our most luminous writers, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Ali Smith, published second books in their seasonal quartets this month, both titled, WINTER.  The occasion seemed right to bundle together a blanket of other wintery reads… something for everyone, whether seeking warmth or additional chill factor!

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

– Albert Camus


Winter by Karl Ove KnausgaardWINTER by Karl Ove Knausgaard

In Winter, we rejoin the great Karl Ove Knausgaard as he waits for the birth of his daughter. In preparation for her arrival, he takes stock of the world, seeing it as if for the first time. In his inimitably sensitive style, he writes about the moon, water, messiness, owls, birthdays — to name just a handful of his subjects. New life is on the horizon, but the earth is also in hibernation, waiting for the warmer weather to return, and so a contradictory melancholy inflects his gaze.


Winter by Ali SmithWINTER: A NOVEL by Ali Smith
When four people, strangers and family, converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall, will there be enough room for everyone? Winter. It makes things visible. Ali Smith’s shapeshifting Winter casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahonTHE WINTER PEOPLE by Jennifer McMahon

This Boston Globe Best Book of the Year is a simmering psychological thriller set in Vermont about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters.



A Week in Winter by Maeve BinchyA WEEK IN WINTER by Maeve Binchy

Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know each other. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she’s crazy. Laugh and cry with an unlikely group as they share their secrets and see some of their dreams come true. Full of Maeve’s trademark warmth and humor.


Winter in the Blood by James WelchWINTER IN THE BLOOD  by James Welch, foreword by Louise Erdrich

A contemporary classic from a major writer of the Native American renaissance, now adapted for film by Alex and Andrew Smith, starring Chaske Spencer and produced by Sherman Alexie

The narrator of this beautiful, often disquieting novel is a young Native American man living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Sensitive and self-destructive, he searches for something that will bind him to the lands of his ancestors but is haunted by personal tragedy, the dissolution of his once proud heritage, and Montana’s vast emptiness. Winter in the Blood is an evocative and unforgettable work of literature that will continue to move and inspire anyone who encounters it.


If Not, Winter by SapphoIF NOT, WINTER FRAGMENTS OF SAPPHO translated by Anne Carson

In this miraculous translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sappho’s fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electric—or, to use Sappho’s words, as “thin fire . . . racing under skin.” 


Winter Count by Barry LopezWINTER COUNT by Barry Lopez

“Perfectly crafted” —Los Angeles Times
In these resonant and unpredictable stories Barry Lopez proves that he is one of the most important and original writers at work in America today. With breathtaking skill and a few deft strokes he produces painfully beautiful scenes. Combining the real with the wondrous, he offers us a pure vision of people alive to the immediacy and spiritual truth of nature.


If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo CalvinoIF ON A WINTER’S NIGHT A TRAVELER by Italo Calvino

Italo Calvino’s masterpiece combines a love story and a detective story into an exhilarating allegory of reading, in which the reader of the book becomes the book’s central character.



Chilly Scenes of Winter by Ann BeattieCHILLY SCENES OF WINTER by Ann Beattie

This is the story of love-smitten Charles; his friend Sam, the Phi Beta Kappa and former coat salesman; and Charles’ mother, who spends a lot of time in the bathtub feeling depressed. The basis for the film by the same name starring John Heard and Mary Beth Hurt.



For more on these and related titles visit Winter Reading


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Posted: January 24, 2018