Everyone always asks what book you’d take with you if you had to strand yourself on a desert island. That’s not really the sort of question it makes sense to ask this time of year. I’ve never found myself stranded on a desert island, and I’m not sure I’d be able to pick a book beforehand knowing I would be stranded. I have, however, been snowed in several times. This year’s already trying to strand me inside with snowy, cold weather. I usually know in advance when these weather fronts are coming, and stock up on books accordingly. For me, asking what book or books I’d want to be snowed in with makes much more sense than what books I’d take to a desert island. Also, it’s harder to be a smart-ass and say you’d take a survival handbook or a book hollowed out with a flare gun and first-aid kit inside. Come on. We’re just trying to have a fun conversation about books here. When your snowed in, you just need to have some soup, blankets and a heat source, most of which you probably have already in your home.
So what book would I recommend getting snowed in with? Well I’m not cruel, I’d never limit anyone, especially myself, to picking only one book for anytime or anywhere. Here’s my list of books I’d like to be snowed in with this year.
V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows– I’ve already read the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, of what I hope will be a meaty trilogy, maybe even longer. A Gathering of Shadows is an amazing sequel that definitely holds up to the original and builds my love for this amazing fantasy world. This book is perfect for a snow day, because it pulls you in and you won’t want to stop reading for hours on end. It kept me up late a few nights like this, but on days when you just have time to sit inside, huddling under some blankets, this is the perfect book to draw you out into an amazing, wider world.
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Pretty Deadly– When you’re snowed in with loads of time on your hands, you need a graphic novel you can sit back and admire, one where the story pulls at you, and the art is beautiful, full, and can hold your attention all on it’s own. Pretty Deadly falls perfectly and gracefully into this category. It’s a surreal western fantasy. As much as I first thought Western and Fantasy was an odd combination of genres, it worked so well in this series that I immediately felt it was a match made in heaven. In some ways, the surreal but beautiful and intimately emotional mythos created in this series reminds of the best parts of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.
Amanda Lovelace’s The Princess Saves Herself in This One– Normally you need a book that’s nice and thick to get through the long winter day, (or more accurately, grayish patch of day and mostly night.) But with Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes you need some the sort of uplift you can only get from beautiful poetry. For that I recommend the collection The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace. It’s an intimate look at a moving story of psychological imprisonment and a journey towards freedom, perhaps even healing. I bought it for the eye-catching title and was pleasantly surprised with a poetry collection that uses the damsel in distress trope to explore a more internal, timeless struggle.
Well those three should get you through at least one snow day. I’ve got many more, but these were just some of the hottest of the year, and the ones that gave me the most enjoyable company while I was cooped up this winter, so far. Do you have any books you’ve got ready for a good snow day? I’d love to hear about them in comments.