Well, I was going to write on a lively Spring-like theme today, with daffodils and crocuses and gambolling lanbs. Instead, you only have to look at my photo to see Spring has been very late arriving in Yorkshire :( The sun is trying valiantly to shine today, but deep snow still lies on the moors.
Still, there’s always an upside! I can’t do the gardening I’d planned, so instead I’ve pulled out three great books on a wintry theme. Time to turn the fire up and settle down to read!
I can’t believe I’ve had this blog for several months now and not mentioned some of my all-time favourite fictional characters: Tintin, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Thompson and Thomson, et al. I’ve loved these books for as long as I can remember. As a child I loved the pictures and as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realise what a fantastic artist Hergé is. Not only that, he’s one of the funniest writers ever. I’ve literally cried laughing at some of the jokes. They’re witty and inventive and the scenery in this particular book is epic.
I once went to see Tintin in Tibet performed by the Young Vic at a theatre in London. I wasn’t entirely sure how they’d get the vastness of the Himalayas, an abominable snowman and a jumbo jet crash onto a stage, but they did, and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. My friend described it as “crack lounge”. It definitely was surreal, but in a great way.
I’ve put some photos below, taken from my copy:
Another author I loved as a child was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Me and my sister used to devour her books – in fact, I think this might be my sister’s copy (ssh!) I enjoyed the TV series, too, but in a way I think it’s a shame that the series was made, because it made the books seem far more cheesy and schmaltzy than they were. Wilder’s upbringing was incredibly tough, as you can imagine, and The Long Winter is about the time when they lived through almost seven months of snow and blizzard. Many people starved, but her parents were tough, resourceful people and they survived.
There are fantastic descriptions of a way of life that has now all but disappeared, and for a city child like me I thought it was all incredibly romantic.
I also like the illustrations in this copy. This page shows just how tough it must have been, with the livestock literally freezing over in the snow:
My third choice of book is another graphic novel. It’s good to see graphic novels getting the critical recognition they desreve these days, and my choice, Blankets, by Craig Thompson, has won several awards.
This novel is a coming-of-age story, set against the background of a Wisconsin winter. It’s a story, amongst other things, of first love, social isolation and youthful rebellion, and the black and white drawings are simple and beautifully lyrical.
I hope you like my choice of wintry books and they’ve helped cheer you up if you, too, are experiencing the end of a very long winter!
Do you have any snowy or wintry books to recommend, or any old favourites? If so, please let me know in the comments – you know I always love to hear from you!