I do not tend to prefer click-bait content for this blog, but as the snowy, sleety weather in New York today prevented me from actually making it in to the Club (the hazards of living on an above-ground transit line), I thought a short post about my favorite stories to read on snowy days would be appropriate.
- The Once and Future King (T.H. White, 1958). The quartet of novels, The Sword in the Stone (1938), The Queen of Air and Darkness (1939), The Ill-Made Knight (1940), and The Candle in the Wind (1958, as part of the whole book) is a retelling of the Arthurian Legends that explores the ethics of war and power and the meaning of humanity. It’s a book that makes me feel hopeful and sad at the same time – an escape from reality that informed by all the most painful realities. Since the book follows King Arthur from childhood to old age, it’s also a soul-warming book to read over an epic snow-bound day.
- Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton, 1911). This novella, about the unhappy marriage between a man and his invalid wife, was a staple of high school American Literature classes in later part of the twentieth century, and is perhaps generally disliked as a result. How many of you reading this can tell me about the symbolic meaning of the pickle dish? Nevertheless, one of Wharton’s great gifts as a writer is her ability to evoke the physical and emotional temperatures of places; the chilliness of Frome’s Starkfield, Massachusetts is difficult to escape.
- “To Build a Fire” (Jack London, 1908). A man on the Yukon trail attempts to build a fire when he does not make it back to camp as planned. No story will make you feel happier to be safe and warm at home than this visceral piece.
- The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats, 1962). The perfect book for a snowy day if you have young ones in the house – or even if you don’t – Keats’ Caldecott Medal winning picture book follows Peter’s adventures in the snow. His red jumpsuit is still, to my mind, the warmest, coziest outfit possible.
If you do have little ones at home from school this wintry March Day, you may be looking forward to the warm spring days of April. Get out of the house this spring and join us in the Library on April 29 for a Crazy Hat Party, where we will be reading Ezra Jack Keat’s Jennie’s Hat. Reservations can be made on the Club’s online calendar.