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Books to Read on a Snowy Day

In literature, snow is often used to represent death, but it can also be beautiful and tranquil. It hasn’t happened yet, in fact it has been a record-breaking warm winter so far, but hey, this is Oklahoma, where weather can turn on a dime. Be prepared with your snowy day reading list, ready to cuddle up with a hot drink, your comfort food of choice, and a good book. Just in case a blizzard is making its way toward us, here are some wintry reads to keep you comforted as you watch snow accumulate outside your window (most of these have downloadable copies as well in case it's really bad out there).


The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

It’s cold and loneIy in 1920s Alaska, where newcomers Jack and Mabel struggle against despair, finally building a snow child to distract themselves. The next morning, their creation is gone, but they spot a blonde-haired girl running in the forest and soon come to regard her as the daughter they never had. This is a fairy tale with an edge.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

The motto of the Starks of Winterfell is “winter is coming.” In a land where summers can last for decades, the cold is coming (shades of climate change!) and trouble is brewing. By trouble, I mean real trouble: zombie whitewalkers, rebellious wildlings north of the Wall, dragons arising in the East, the game of thrones among rival kings, lords, and ladies, and various shenanigans highlighting man’s inhumanity to man. A Song of Fire and Ice series begins with A Game of Thrones, and if you can get into it, there are several books continuing this cold, wintery fantasy saga, along with the HBO series on DVD.

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is one of my favorite authors, and this is one of his earliest works. It’s about a midwife in Vermont who does a home delivery in the middle of a Vermont blizzard. What could possibly go wrong?

Silent Land by Graham Joyce

In the French Pyrenees, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence.

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

I always say there is nothing like a little murder in the cold and snows of Sweden to make you appreciate your cozy reading chair. Faceless Killers is the first of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander mysteries which take place in the Scandanavian cold. You might have caught PBS's Masterpiece Mystery series featuring the Swedish detective Kurt Wallander as played by Kenneth Branagh.

Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

If you are in the mood for a ghost story set in the Vermont in the dead of winter, this is the book for you. It’s not truly a ghost story, more of a horror story with a psychological twist. The story moves back and forth in time between 1908 and the present. There are legends of a ghost who walks the streets of West Hall, Vermont at night, a hidden diary, and a mystery to be solved.

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

This classic is not just for children. Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal--including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world. After reading the book, try the feature film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, among others.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

You might be snowed in, but your mind can wander freely with Cheryl Strayed. This was featured in an episode of the new Gilmore Girls revival, when Lorelei followed the author’s lead in hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in order to find herself. It also pointed out the dichotomy between the book Wild and the movie, both of which are available at the library. Read the book or watch the movie, and let your imagination take you away from it all into the beautiful world of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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