WINTER READS: Tell me yours

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Last year for Christmas my lovely boyfriend gave me a copy of Moominland Midwinter. My love for Tove Jansson’s moomins stems from the odd stop motion animation cartoon of the 80s, which I dimly remember resembling my fuzzy felts collection, but over the years I’ve discovered that the books are tremendous; vivid, witty, strange and wise.

I spent that Christmas day mostly absorbed in Moominland Midwinter – it’s the perfect book for gloomy December days, as young Moomintroll wakes up too early from his yearly hibernation and discovers the world outside has been transformed. At first he is suspicious and annoyed with winter, and longs for spring, but eventually comes to appreciate its charms, thanks to the wisdom of Too-Ticky.

I’ve decided to start a tradition this year, where I read Moominland Midwinter over December, usually a bit of a chapter before I go to sleep. There’s something about winter, Christmas, and the end of the year that has us reaching for certain books; either the ghost stories that feel appropriate when darkness stalks from every side, or the familiar, happy reads that get us through the grey months.

So tell me, what are your winter reads? Do you return to a certain genre or book every year? Or are there any books that feel like particularly winter reads?

19 thoughts on “WINTER READS: Tell me yours

  1. Two, separate but similar:

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy is probably my second favourite book ever. It’s cold, it’s bleak, it makes me cry, it’s unrelenting. It feels like Winter, wrapped up and made paper.

    Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells is another post-apocalyptic book, dealing with the immediate aftermath of nuclear war. Like The Road, its bleak and unrelenting, but there’s an underlying positivity about youth that makes a heartwarming end and the perfect follow-up to The Road. Also, my favourite book of all time.

  2. Can’t say I’ve had a certain book that I read every winter, though I do have my favourite holiday movies. I do, however, love to curl up with big chunky epic fantasies, fuel up on tea or hot chocolate and get myself lost in ’em. :) This year it’s looking like the Farseer trilogy is on the list, among other things. Last year I reread the whole Codex Alera series (6 books) by Jim Butcher. Fond memories… 😀

  3. I’m pretty predictable with my Winter reads. At somepoint in December I always make a point of reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ – it has been a favourite of mine since I was five or six and got a copy for Christmas and it never fails to chill the bones and warm the cockles.
    ‘Moominland Midwinter’ is such a wonderful book. It was my first Moomin book – and my main experience of them is the very same series that you saw! – and I love it to bits. It’s great to read of a cold winter evening with snow falling outside, a bunch of blankets over ones lap and mug of hot cocoa on the coffee table!

  4. Moominland Midwinter is indeed a treasure (as are all the Moomin books – and The Summer Book is a remarkable work [OK – I would probably champion most of Tove Jansson’s work]).

    As I mentioned on Twitter, two others I’d add are The Children Of Green Knowe, by Lucy M. Boston and The Box of Delights, by John Masefield. Both are books I have read and reread, over and over, since childhood, and will continue to do so.

    Of those two, the former is my favourite – it captures the season through the eyes of a child quite exceptionally. It has moments of fear and darkness (as I believe befits the season) but these are countered with scenes of safety and love.

    Funnily enough both were also BBC Christmas series when I was a child – although I seem to remember reading them (or having them read to me) before that.

    Winter and, in particular, the run up to Christmas, does dictate a certain sort of read.

    Oh! And Fuzzy Felts! Actually found our old ones the other day – not exactly Playstation or Xbox, but excellent fun!

  5. Over the winter, I find myself drawn to reading more in general rather than a specific type. I think there’s something about the colder weather and grey exterior that naturally promotes reading and turning inward.

  6. Winter/Christmas often has me heading for the “comfy classics” (The Belgariad , Lord of the Rings, Shanarra, Dragonlance etc). Books I know more or less inside out but will never stop reading. Without wanting to sound like a such up, I honestly think the tales of the Copper Cat and friends will be joining the list

  7. I try and get The Count of Monte Cristo down over the holidays. It’s such a food book, full of pace and verve and the undertones of madness and darkness that thread precariously through Edmond’s quest for vengeance.

    I read the Dark Is Rising for the first time last year, and I can see why a lot of people revisit it. It’s very suited to the time of year. I might seek out some more dark, winter reads for the Christmas break…

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