Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Wonders - six novels with winter settings

The way the weather is going lately it is a winter wonder....I wonder when it is going to arrive! It feels more like March out there with the wind, rain and flooding. Hopefully, these books will get you through any type of stormy day.

There is one book that you just have to mention the title and I shiver ...both from cold and fright! The Shining by the master of fright, Stephen King takes place in a snow-bound resort hotel deep in the mountains. The caretaker, Jack Torrance, hired for the winter season slowly goes mad and his family suffers horribly due to this. This novel inspired a movie (directed by Stanley Kubrick) and a television mini-series.

Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace won the Canadian Authors Association Award for David Adam Richards. The second of his Miramichi, featured newlyweds Cindi and Ivan Basterache. Cindi and Ivan have a disagreement over a loan. As it will in small town, rumours spread that Ivan has been violent towards his wife and the town turns against him. The story revolves around Ivan trying to reconcile with Cindi and has a shocking and powerful conclusion.

Snow Falling on Cedar by David Guterson is a beautifully written novel that brings out your imagination to hear, smell and feel the landscape. Set in 1950s Puget Sound, Washington, Kabuo Miyamoto is accused of murder. The lingering affects of WWII and the Japanese interment camps reflect in the racism of the people of this town. This book of friendship, love, honor and tradition will be one that is both hard to put down and hard to forget.

The only complaint I have ever heard about Robert Jordan is that he did not write fast enough. Many of his fans moan that they have to wait for the next book, even if it is going to be published within the next year. Unfortunately the author died in 2007 before finishing his work. Brandon Sanderson was brought in tho complete Jordan’s "Wheel of Time"series. Winter’s Heart is the 9th book in the series and the first to have a prologue entitled, Snow, published as e-book in advance of the book . The winter of this book refers to the coldness of Rand al’Thor’s personality and the return of winter.

Before the world knew of Lizbet Salander (of the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson) there was Smilla. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow ( also known as Smilla’s Sense of Snow) was many readers first introduction to a mystery that was not set in North America or Great Britain. Winner of the 1992 Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award, Danish Writer Peter Hoeg presents a complex character. Smilla Qaaviquaaq Jaspersen is a mix of two cultures; her mother being a Greenland Inuit and her father Danish. When her neighbour, a young boy falls off a rooftop the police deem it accidental. Smilla developed an understanding of all types of snow during her childhood in Greenland. Because of this she realizes that Isaiah’s death was no accident. How she persuades the police of this you will just have to read the book.

James Houston is well know for his adventure books set in the wilds of Canada. In 1948, on a whim, Houston went to the Arctic to sketch. This whim forever changed the public view of the North. In his best-selling autobiography Confession of an Igloo Dweller, he introduces the reader to the north, the Inuit and their customs. It is because of Houston that a great many people became familiar with "Eskimo art" or Inuit art as we know it now. And for that we will be forever grateful.

So no matter what time of the year you read these novels, it is always great to snuggle up in a chair with a good book!

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