As a Polish ex-pat living in London where snow is as rare as a free seat on the tube, I find myself missing real winters terribly.
If I can't have snow and ice in real life (and I can't until I move to Canada, which is definitely going to happen next year) I need to surround myself with winter books.
For the past week I have been asking round for suggestions and recommendations, as well as trawling the internet and my own shelves to prepare that ultimate winter reading list. And here it is, in case you need some ice and snow in your lives too.
Anna Kavan - Ice
I discovered this one accidentally while mindlessly clicking 'random book' on goodreads (which is something I do when I get bored with refreshing my email inbox and scrolling facebook up and down). It fit the bill so perfectly I couldn't believe my luck. It's some sort of post-apocalyptic science-fiction. Quite bleak and weird, apparently. Also written by a rather mysterious writer addicted to heroine. Needless to say, I went to an actual brick and mortar bookshop on the very same day to buy it.
Eowyn Ivey - The Snow Child
This one was recommended by my colleague Henna (who is from Finland, so should be an expert on all things snow). Miraculously I seem to already have it among 160 books I have accumulated on my Kindle (damn you, Kindle Daily Deal). This looks a little less bleak and more magical than ice. And the cover is beautiful
Yasunari Kawabata - Snow Country
When I asked my boss Patrick to recommend a book about snow, he said 'Snow Country' without any hesitation. He said it before I even finished asking. The internet tells me it is a story of wasted love set in the coldest part of Japan. Sounds wonderful! My own copy (with a different, prettier cover) is already on its way to me (thank you, Amazon marketplace).
Alexi Zentner - Touch
This was recommended a while ago by my sister Basia because it has so many things I love: snow, loners, fishing and... Canada! I've already managed to acquire some ex-library copy and I don't even care that apparently this book flirts a little with magical realism.
Ranulph Fiennes - Cold
This was recommended by another colleague - Alex. Non-fiction written by a man who definitely loves cold more than I do. I haven't bought it yet because I think it might be a bit too cold (he lost fingers, for God's sake) for me and it's probably best read during summer.
Of course, I needed some romance novels featuring snow - ideally with a hero and heroine snowed-in somewhere up in the mountains. I contacted my two online friends Kathleen and Jill with this request and they proceeded to flood my with recommendations. After MUCH deliberation I chose these three titles:
Linda Howard - Up Close and Dangerous
Crashing a plane in the middle of cold wilderness? Stranded with a handsome pilot? Yes, please.
Sarah Morgan - A Night of No Return
"Money, charm and sensual skills don't make up for a heart colder than ice
Oh, the lol of lolz. How could I not read this? "Arriving at his rural castle in a snarling snowstorm, he craves only complete isolation. But it seems oblivion can take an unexpected and highly intoxicating form!" You had at me the 'snarling snowstorm'.
Sarah Mallory - Snowbound with the Notorious Rake
Honestly I didn't even read what this one was about. The title is so perfect I didn't want to ruin it. Snowbound with the Notorious Rake? Are you kidding me? Yes, I'll take that, yes.
Thank you everyone for the recommendations. I hope it will be a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know!
If you have more recommendations, please do leave them in the comments. Let's make it a very very long winter!