Just for Fun: Winter Reading

Hey, all–it’s only Thursday, but for some reason it’s feeling like Friday! We’re having our first cloudy, drippy day in weeks (sorry, all you Nor’easters!), and I’m actually wearing long sleeves. The warm, sunny weather has been great, but it’s boding not well for our summer water supply, so I’m actually pretty happy to have used my windshield wipers this morning.

Anyway, I’m feeling sort of lazy and snug, so I’m not going to bring out the big guns on writing theory today? Instead, how about a little conversation?

Do your reading habits change with the seasons? I always hear about beach reads (may I recommend the entire Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot?), but what about fireside reads? Couch-under-fleece-blanket reads? Let’s-not-get out-of-bed-yet-in-the-morning reads?

My son has started on the Lord of the Ring series (after I told him he could TOTALLY skip the Tom Bombadil section, because, really, everybody does!). To me, this is a perfect winter read–you’re inside, safe & sheltered, and–even if the power is out–at least you’re not headed toward Mordor. I’ve been doing my research reading with Jane Addams’ Twenty Years at Hull-House, which makes California winters, even in a stinky economy, look pretty warm and prosperous. And I just read a wonderful YA book called Need, by Carrie Jones, which isย set in Maine and filled with seriously cold fingers and toes, snowshoe romance, and creepily dangerous pixies. (I fully reviewed Need on my other blog, here.) Yes, it had me looking over my shoulder into the “forest” around our house, as I read late into the night, but I was tucked safe into bed and pretty sure those were coyotes I was listening to.

When it’s cold, do you want to read about somewhere colder? Or do you hunt out palm trees and streaming sunshine, to counter the darkness inside? Share your favorite reads this winter, and let’s pass them around. We’re not done yet–remember, the groundhog saw his shadow!


  1. Andra M. says:

    I never thought about what I read during the seasons. I pick up whatever strikes my fancy regardless of what’s happening outside. However, I do tend to read thicker tomes during winter.

    Right now I’m finishing up a fantasy satire by Mitchell Bonds called “Hero, Second Class.” I plan to review it in my own blog within the next week.

    After that I’ll tackle “The Birth to Five Book” by Brenda Nixon. The publisher sent it to me for free as long as I do an in-depth review on it from March 2-4.

    I enjoyed the Tom Bombadil section, but I agree it’s worth skipping. It didn’t add to the overall story, but in some ways detracted from it.


  2. beckylevine says:

    Fantasy-sature. Hmm–I haven’t heard of that genre yet, but it sounds up my alley. I’ll check out your review.

    I read Bombadil the first time though, but never since. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  3. P. J. Hoover says:

    OMG, I busted out laughing at your Tom Bombadil comment. I’d totally forgotten about the guy! Too funny, and totally OK to skip.

    I don’t think my reading tastes change with the season. More with what I’m writing at the time.


  4. beckylevine says:

    P.J.–yeah. He started a year or so ago, then dropped it. When I found out why, I was: “Oh, you can so skip that section!” ๐Ÿ™‚

    So, do you read books SIMILAR to what you’re writing or as far from that as you can get?


  5. P. J. Hoover says:

    Similar in voice. Not always similar in content as I don’t want to be swayed.
    I’ve found having a “perfect voice” book for what I’m working on a great thing to have. I can read the first chapter over and over again and get a feel for how it sounds. And it helps me refine my own voice for my work.


  6. beckylevine says:

    Very cool. I hadn’t thought of that. ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Shawna says:

    Hi Becky,

    I pretty much select books based on what I’m writing or editing. If I’m going to be editing a thriller, then I read a few thrillers to get the feel for pace and technique. Fantasy I read for fun and as PJ mentioned, to study a technique I admire. Sometimes the effect a book has on me is subliminal. One winter I was drinking quite a bit more coffee than usual and then I noticed the characters in the series I was reading were constantly drinking coffee, offering coffee or setting down a steaming hot cup.


  8. beckylevine says:

    Oh, that’s so funny about the coffee! I also read some of what I’m writing, although if I feel like i’m absorbing TOO much (i.e., heading me more toward writing LIKE those authors instead of me), I’ll back off.


  9. janflora says:

    I constantly have a huge stack of “Reading” or “Going to read” but I agree that winter is just the perfect time to read lots especially long fiction. I am currently taking my time getting through “Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell” which was recommended to me by another blogger. It has the right blend of Dickensian/Austenian style and mysterious fantasy. Very good for curling up with!


  10. beckylevine says:

    I think I tried the Strange book (!!) & didn’t get hooked–but when you say Dickensian, makes me think I may have to try it again. Thanks!


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