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Booking Through Thursday - Wintry Books

Deb at Booking Through Thursday asks:

What are the most “wintry” books you can think of? The ones that almost embody Winter?

Books I've read recently that fit this category are The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney and Away by Amy Bloom. Both books spent a fair amount of time in bitter cold wilderness and did a fine job of describing it.

To Build a Fire by Jack London is far and away the story that to me embodies winter most effectively. It's a short story about a man traveling on foot across the Yukon Territory accompanied only by a dog.

Perhaps my personal experience reading this story years ago lent a realistic atmosphere to it, as I was literally trying to get a fire going in the woodstove with wet wood in our very cold house.

An excerpt:
The frozen moisture of [the dog's] breathing had settled on its fur in a fine powder of frost, and especially were its jowls, muzzle, and eyelashes whitened by its crystalled breath. The man's red beard and mustache were likewise frosted, but more solidly, the deposit taking the form of ice and increasing with every warm, moist breath he exhaled. Also, the man was chewing tobacco, and the muzzle of ice held his lips so rigidly that he was unable to clear his chin when he expelled the juice. The result was that a crystal beard of the color and solidity of amber was increasing its length on his chin. If he fell down it would shatter itself, like glass, into brittle fragments.

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9 comments:

Beth F said...

Nice answer! Merry Christmas

Bluestocking said...

Jack London has those sledding scenes. I forgot about that.

Thanks for stopping by.

Smilingsal said...

Great excerpt! Merry Christmas. Here's my post.
http://bookcritiques.blogspot.com/2008/12/merry-christmas-everybody.html

Staci said...

excellent choice! I love the excerpt you posted. It really captures how cold it was.
Merry Christmas!

elizabethwillse said...

Brrr! I haven't read much Jack London, but I do have a sense that most of his books are urgent and wintry.

Frances said...

Jack London is a great choice! Merry Christmas!

Ruth said...

Mmm...Jack London does epitomize winter, doesn't he? Of course, now I also think of Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." I'm on hold at the librrrrrary for Linda Hogan's "Solar Storms" which sounds like it may well have very, very wintry elements.

gautami tripathy said...

I must read London!


My BTT post is up!

Wanda said...

Enjoyed the excerpt, thanks.
Lovely winter photo!