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KDL Blog

Visit a Winter Wonderland

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Now that 2018 has begun, we’ve brought back Let It Snow, our winter reading club for adults! From now through March 31st, read or listen to six titles to receive a prize mug. Some of the featured categories include travel memoirs, debut novels, or books written by Michigan authors.

If you’re looking for a chilly read for a wintry day, here are some books in frozen settings that also qualify for one of the 18 categories featured in Let It Snow.

A Debut Novel: Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman 

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide. Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden.

From Childhood: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women; or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (1868) follows the lives, loves and tribulations of four sisters growing up during the American Civil War. The story is based on the childhood experiences Alcott shared with her real-life sisters, Anna, May and Elizabeth. Alcott intricately explores the rich nuances of family and family relationships with each character. 

Travel Memoir: Paris in Winter by David Coggins

Paris in Winter combines fanciful ink and watercolor drawings by American artist and writer David Coggins with charming vignettes about his family's annual New Year's sojourns to Paris, which, because of their unending love for the city, they've been taking together for almost 20 years. This memoir of poetic, lighthearted stories highlights the family's passion for art and food, fashion and social life. Family rituals--from having lunch each January at the delightful Le Grand Vefour to haunting favorite antique shops and seeking out-of-the-ordinary spots, like a little known garden or a gypsy circus--are interspersed with serendipitous moments: hearing Bono sing "Happy Birthday" to a friend in a bistro, adopting an abandoned lap dog, and the simple pleasures of Parisian street life.

Horror: The Shining by Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

Graphic Novel: Blankets by Craig Thompson

Blankets is the story of a young man coming of age and finding the confidence to express his creative voice. Craig Thompson's poignant graphic memoir plays out against the backdrop of a Midwestern winterscape: finely-hewn linework draws together a portrait of small town life, a fundamentalist Christian childhood, and a lonely, emotionally mixed-up adolescence. Under an engulfing blanket of snow, Craig and Raina fall in love at winter church camp, revealing to one another their struggles with faith and their dreams of escape. Over time though, their personal demons resurface and their relationship falls apart. It's a universal story, and Thompson's vibrant brushstrokes and unique page designs make the familiar heartbreaking all over again.

First in a Series: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

Made into a Movie: Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago is the story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago's love for the tender and beautiful Lara, the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times.