November 7, 2012
Books to warm you up this winter
by Nick Davies
It’s not exactly the dead of winter yet, but things are still pretty frosty in the Melville House office (please excuse my terribly cluttered desk). So if you’re trying to keep warm like we are, here are a few suggestions for books that might make you forget the cold weather for a while.
So if you’re still without electricity or heating at your place, or if you’re dreading the nor’easter that’s apparently bearing down on us in New York, or if you’re just preparing for the rest of winter, curl up in a cozy chair and pick up one of these books to chase away the chill.
If you’re a masochist, meanwhile, you can go back to our slideshow of books for warm weather to read about snow, wind, and the frigid Arctic.
Typee by Herman Melville
It’s been a while since I read this book by our namesake, and I remember some long, meticulously descriptive stretches that I didn’t much appreciate at the time. But right about now, spending hours and hours reading about the balmy South Pacific and sunny Marquesas islands sounds like just the ticket.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Camus’ most well-known work will transport you to colonial Algeria, and while it’s not exactly warm and fuzzy, it is certainly WARM. The heat and bright sunlight assaulting Meursault play a major part in the novel, as does the heatstroke that he says leads him to commit murder.
Dune by Frank Herbert
Sure, there’s a crippling lack of moisture on Arrakis, but the desert planet sounds like almost like a perfect getaway right now.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
This is another example of heat that’s not exactly portrayed as positive or comforting; but when you’re coping with shivers and numb fingers, the Chapter 3 sermon about hell doesn’t sound quite so grisly. The stifling heat, a lake of fire…we’ll still pass on the rotting bodies, though. See also: Dante’s Inferno.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
An entertaining adventure that’s perfect for escapism, Paulo Coelho’s novel follows a young Andalusian as he seeks out his personal legend. Heading to Egypt, the protagonist travels across the Sahara Desert—the lovely, warm Sahara Desert.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
It’s right there in the title! Kipling’s classic primarily takes place in the steamy jungles of India, and apparently Kipling wrote the stories that comprise it while in Vermont (per Wikipedia, at least), so maybe he had warm-weather escapism on the brain too.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.