Friday, February 9, 2018

6 more weeks of winter?... 6 more winter reads...


Well, Groundhog's day didn't really go as I had hoped. We have six more weeks of winter. It doesn't really seem like it since it is currently sunny and in the 50's as I am writing this, but the Groundhog never lies.... Right? Apparently, Punxsutawney Phil is only 39% accurate at predicting the forecast, so there is still a really good chance that spring will come early.

Since we are "doomed" to some chilly weather over the next 35 days, lets get some winter reading done with these six awesome, snowy reads. 



1. The Snow Child - Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart - he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone - but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. 

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place, things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.


2. The Long Winter - The sixth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor. This edition features the classic black-and-white artwork from Garth Williams.

The fledgling town of De Smet in the Dakota Territory is hit hard by the brutal winter of 1880-1881. Laura, Pa, Ma, Mary, Carrie, and little Grace face the winter as best they can, but soon, blizzards have covered the town in snow that piles up to the rooftops, cutting the town off from supplies and trade. Food stores begin to run dangerously low. To save the town from starvation, young Almanzo Wilder and a friend brave the conditions, set off across the prairie in search of wheat, and return victorious. The town is saved, and the townspeople share in an unusual, but joyful, Christmas celebration.

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.



3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men.

As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.



4. Shiver - For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
 



5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who's reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

This edition follows the original numbering scheme. Recent publishers have renumbered the volumes so they are ordered chronologically. This was reportedly the author's preference. Other editions number this book as 2.
 



6. Snow Falling on Cedars - Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric -a masterpiece of suspense-- one that leaves us shaken and changed.

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award 1995 and the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award

San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries--memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense-- one that leaves us shaken and changed.

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