"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seasons of Reading

Let's be honest. Los Angeles does not experience winter. (My east coast loved ones insist I will tire of this glorious clime - not so, say I!) We have a special handful of books, in affordable paperback, set up to fix your craving for real winter or - as the case may be - real summer. Try one out!

Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell. If you haven't seen the Oscar-bait film yet, hold off! Read the book first. Ree Dolly quietly overhauls the odds by taking care of her mother, raising her siblings, and suffering through hell to find her father (or his remains) when the wayward patriarch skips bail - a bail paid for with all the family property. Put simply, don't do meth. Do read this incredible book.

If on a winter's night a traveler,
by Italo Calvino. Have you ever wondered what it's like to stroll through the conscious stream of a modern writer whose every quiet thought (like mine, just now, of eating peppermint Joe-Joe cookies at home tonight) makes it into a thorough line of text that will eventually lead you to some cosmic truth even if the cosmic truth is that there is none?

Blankets, by Craig Thompson. No need to be teen, not-born-again, into comics, or wrapped in the titular cloth to enjoy this book. And you'll understand just a little bit better those of us who were teen, not-born-again, into comics, and wrapped in the titular cloth at first reading! A staple.

Dubliners, by James Joyce. Read 'til you can't read no more, and get the most gratifying snowfall in western literature.

Other winter titles include Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, and Snow by recently biography-ed Orhan Pamuk.

As for summer, we have Tom Parrada's Little Children, and Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I do love the bard's A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is suitable for chilly dreamy winter nights as well!

Oh dear. Please excuse me while I apply for jobs writing tacky, cheesy blurbs to put in picture frames at CVS.

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