Thursday, February 4, 2010

Booking Through Thursday--Winter Reading

Today's Booking Through Thursday question is:

The northern hemisphere, at least, is socked in by winter right now… So, on a cold, wintry day, when you want nothing more than to curl up with a good book on the couch … what kind of reading do you want to do?

Interesting--winter reading as distinguished from summer reading? I equate the phrase "summer reading" with vacation reading--easy-to-tote, easy-to-concentrate on beach reads. But my actual summer reading is more or less the same as my reading the rest of the year.

I can see how winter reading, defined here as the reading you want to do when it's cold outside and you're curled up with a book someplace warm, would be about comfort. I just posted about my comfort reads when I have a short attention span, like when I'm sick--cookbooks!

But on a typical cold, winter day (which we've been having more than usual this winter--cold and rainy days interspersed with our normal 70-degree winter wonders), I might curl up with something comforting, or something that really transports me to another time and place.

I have two favorite comfort reads, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, both by Jane Austen. I'd curl up with either, any day, blustery or otherwise.

I just finished Sally Gunning's historical novel Bound, which took me to colonial Cape Cod, and gave me a thorough yet entertaining picture of the life of an indentured servant then and there.

And I'm almost through Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin, which transported me to 1974 New York. This book, with it's poetic language and wonderful descriptions, is an immersive experience, and definitely worth curling up with.

But lately I have had so little time for reading, that any time with any book is an absolute pleasure.

Do you have any favorite books for a wintery day?


Alayne said...

Austen is definitely a great pick for cold weather. My BTT is at The Crowded Leaf.

Lori@Escape Between The Pages said...

Jane Austin Rocks! I love Emma and Sense and Sensibilty. But I don't know if they would be my comfort reading. Here's Mine

Stefanie said...

See as how there will still be snow on the ground in April, when I get tired of the cold I want a book that is cheery and colorful and takes me away to someplace warn. At the moment I seem to have found it in Sea of Poppies.

J.S. Peyton said...

So glad to hear you're enjoying "Let the Great World Spin." I started it a while ago, but I had to drop it when I cut my "currently reading" pile down to 3 books. I can't wait to get to it, though. It sounds like something that'll be right up my alley for this season.

Also, Stefanie is right about "Sea of Poppies." It's another one of the books I had to cut from my CR pile. But it was warm and fun, and all-around excellent. Just like summer. :)

Anonymous said...

My only requirement is that the book is plot-driven. I am having Persuasion on my shelf, I'll get to it very soon. :)

Iliana said...

I don't really have "winter" or "summer" reads either but now comfort reads, oh those I go to at any time!

Gentle Reader said...

Alayne--She's great for warm weather, too :) Thanks for the link to your BTT!

Lori--I love Emma and Sense and Sensibility, too. Thanks for linking to your post :)

Stefanie--I keep hearing good things about Sea of Poppies. I'll have to get my hands on a copy!

J.S.--I'm almost finished with Let the Great World Spin, and I'm enjoying the writing quite a bit. I'm going to have to read Sea of Poppies, too. I also need to cut my "currently reading" pile down, it's gotten way out of control with all those books I got during the holidays!

Matt--looking forward to hearing what you think about Persuasion!

Iliana--I know, the seasonal reading thing is a funny concept to me, since my reading doesn't vary according to the seasons as much as it does to my mood!

Amy Henry said...

Some great titles here. I've found Bloodroot by Amy Greene to be a nice winter read, as were the Per Petterson titles (In the Wake, Out Stealing Horses) that I read earlier.
I definitely prefer weightier books in winter (subject matter not physical weight, LOL). I can give it more attention. My summer reads are just more lightweight and require less focus (easier to watch baby play in sand that way!)


Dorothy W. said...

I don't really make distinctions among the seasons in terms of reading. I don't have summer or winter books. What matters more for me is whether I'm in the middle of the semester or not. If I have a lot of grading to do, that will affect what I read, but the temperature doesn't matter so much.

Gentle Reader said...

Amy--Ooh, thanks for reminding me of the Amy Greene, I'll have to put that on my list :)

Dorothy--Temperature doesn't make much difference to me, either--it's all circumstance--how much time I have to read, what mood I'm in, etc. I can imagine grading would put a damper on your reading. As a part-time job I sometimes read scripts for a movie producer, and when I've got too many scripts to analyze, not only do I not have the time to read, I don't have the brain power to focus on it!

Little Miss Nomad said...

The Little Stranger is perfect--just don't read it before bedtime.

Anonymous said...

I just finished Let the Great World Spin which I wound up liking a lot although I had to push myself through some of the hooker chapters in the middle. I felt a real tone change about 2/3 of the way through and I really enjoyed the rest and the way he pulled everything together.


Anonymous said...

I think the winter lends itself to nice long books -- the perfect time to tackle a multi-volume nonfiction classic like Churchill's "History of the English-Speaking Peoples" or Shelby Foote's "The Civil War: a Narrative."


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