Now that summer has officially settled in, the temperatures are rising and our faces are melting. Ok maybe not literally, but the week of 4th of July always seems to be miserably hot and humid (at least here in the south). They say if you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen, but unless you can afford a trip to the southern hemisphere, we thought we’d help you cool off with a list of books that may counteract your sweat glands. The following titles prominently feature wintertime and cold weather to cool you down from the inside out. They’re better than a day at the pool. Enjoy!
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ok so technically this is a children’s book, but it can be enjoyed by all ages of readers, especially if you’re looking for a quick and easy cool-down. Wilder’s imagery of a South Dakota winter season that lasted the better part of a year will make you grateful for the warmth of the summer sun, especially when you realize that all the Ingalls family had to keep warm was a pitiful wood stove, a stack of quilts and each other. But if you’re looking to cool off, scenes of blizzards, snowdrifts, and icicles will definitely do the trick
An older couple living in Alaska, Jack and Mabel want a baby more than anything, but thus far the two have remained childless. But during a cold and isolated Alaskan winter in 1920, the fates intervene in a bizarre and magical way. Jack and Mabel finally get their wish, but at what cost? Is their new happy life real or a result of the intense cold and loneliness? The Snow Child is a quiet but powerful book about the juxtaposition of desire and reality set against the white and wintery background of a vastly frozen landscape. Believe me, you’ll be shivering in no time.
There’s a good chance that you’ve already read this book, but if you really can’t stand the heat, take a moment to revisit the cold and desolate Swedish winter that Larsson depicts here. If you haven’t read this one, you might as well jump on the bandwagon. You’ll be glad you did. For those who want a frigid setting with a firecracker plot, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is worth your time.
Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Hoeg
In terms of plot, Smilla’s Sense of Snow can sometimes feel a little slow, but the landscape imagery is absolutely chilling (in more ways than you may think). When a Copenhagen woman searches for the truth in a neighborhood boy’s death, things get quickly tense and dangerous. But the main character is an Arctic weather specialist and the book takes place during a Denmark winter, so if it’s cold weather you crave, Smilla’s Sense of Snow ought to do the trick.
Winter by Adam Gopnik
In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I have not yet read this book, but I do own a beautiful copy and plan to snuggle into it this coming winter. But I will say that I’ve heard nothing but good things about this collection of essays which has been billed as a “love letter” to the winter season. An introspective and philosophical approach to the pondering of wintertime, Gopnik’s book is sure to put a pleasantly refreshing chill in your bones this summer.