Winter is the season for reading by the fire

Good ReadsBy John Hoover
©2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

As we enter into January, the days are starting to lengthen but the temperatures and precipitation are telling us that we are a long way from spring.

If the past is any indication, I imagine we can expect some significant snowstorms this month, so besides bringing in firewood perhaps you want to get a good book for when the snow is shoveled, the days chores are done and you’re ready to settle in for the evening.

SilentIf so, the folks here at Misty Valley Books have some Good Read recommendations that would be ideal for a quiet winter’s evening read.

Lynne’s recommendation is The Silent Land ($15) by Graham Joyce. “A young couple trapped by an avalanche in the remote French Pyrenees miraculously dig themselves out of the snow only to find that the world they knew thirty minutes before has become silent and completely empty (of people, cell phones ringing without being answered, restaurants frozen in time with food laid out ready to be cooked). I read it straight through one evening!”

Broom of GodSince MVB’s New Voices is held this month, Bill has chosen The Broom of God ($16.95), by John Bragg, for our quiet winter’s evening read. Bill’s pick “will make you grateful you are having a quiet winter’s read in front of the fire.  The book has harrowing, frigid climbing accounts, a grisly murder and a wind so strong it is called “The Broom of God” – all set in the soaring granite peaks of Patagonia.  It’s a page turner, and Bragg will be a New Voice at Misty Valley Books’ New Voices series in the Stone Church on January 30.”

Amanda’s looking forward to having time to read this winter. “Having the time to sit down for a ‘quiet winter’s read’ is wonderfully appealing and something I Japanese Loverhaven’t had a chance to do lately. When I do have a chance to sit down and read a few pages I plan to pick up Isabel Allende’s latest novel, The Japanese Lover ($28).  This book was on my daughter’s Christmas list – hopefully she’ll finish it before she heads back to work in New York City and will leave it behind for me to read.   As I’ve never read an Isabel Allende novel I haven’t loved, I’m hoping this story of a long-term affair between a Japanese-American and a Polish World War II refugee, set in San Francisco in the 1940s, will fit the bill.”

Kim’s pick for a “winter read” is Following Atticus ($15.99) by Tom Ryan. “This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while, but I finally picked it up andFollowing atticus read it over the holidays. What a treat! It’s the story of the most unlikely pair of hiking partners — an overweight, middle aged newspaper reporter, and his miniature schnauzer named Atticus M. Finch. Against all odds, these two companions undergo a spiritual awakening in the mountains, and set out to do the impossible: hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000+ foot peaks, twice, in a single winter. A story about an inspirational journey and an amazing friendship.”

Following in Bill’s footsteps, Sylvan suggests a novel by another New Voice author, Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness ($16) by Jennifer Tseng.Mayumi “Mayumi is a small town librarian who finds herself drawn to a young man with whom she has casual encounters as he frequents her work. What really impressed me about this book is how every character is treated with reverence – even when they are knowingly heading into big mistakes. Tseng captures the extreme joy and pain of a love affair and its consequences with lyrical prose.”

For me there is little better than reading a good mystery on a quiet winter’s evening. With that in mind, let me recommend a series of mysteries by Julia Spencer-Fleming.

Starting with In the Bleak Midwinter ($14.99) and continuing for seven more In the Midbooks, we follow the Rev. Clare Ferguson, rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Millers Kill, N.Y., and Russ Van Alstyne, the town’s police chief, through a series of adventures as they solve crimes and develop a personal relationship.

By the way, Ferguson is not just a female priest; she is also a former army chopper pilot who has been deployed in war zones. This is one of my favorite mystery series and I’m eagerly anticipating the next installment.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeGood Reads

About the Author: After a 35-year career as a high school social studies teacher, John Hoover and his wife, Sally, retired to Vermont. He lives in Windham where he serves as a Justice of the Peace and Library Trustee. He works part time as a book-seller at Misty Valley Books, is active at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and sings in several choral groups.

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