Embrace the chill with these warming, thrilling & chilling books

Good ReadsBy John Hoover
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

We’ve passed the winter solstice and we’ve survived the end of December holidays. The days are slowly lengthening but we still have considerable winter to get through. While some of our readers might be planning their gardens or reading travel guides to warmer places, over here at Phoenix Books Misty Valley we thought we would embrace winter this January with some books that fit a winter theme. If winter is your thing then we invite you to try some of our January book recommendations.

ski-town-soupsAmanda’s vision of winter involves being in the kitchen and cooking up foods that will help offset the winter chill. “My advice for beating the cold is Jennie Iverson’s Ski Town Soups:  Signature Soups from World Class Ski Resorts ($29.95)!  This is a wonderful cookbook, beautiful photos as well as descriptions of the restaurants and ski resorts where the recipes originated make for an interesting, usable cookbook.  Church’s Chowder is a personal favorite, but local readers may recognize Wild Maine Shrimp Gumbo from The Downtown Grocery in Ludlow. 

long-nights “Equally chill-busting is Long Nights and Log Fires ($27.95) from publisher Ryland, Peters & Small.  The Winter Vegetable Gratin can be made ahead – the better to enjoy a glogg as soon as you walk in the door after skiing or snowshoeing.”

January’s recommendation from Kim might just give you chills you even if you’re sitting by a roaring fire. “I’m a sucker for historical fiction, and this one blends both history and fiction into a thrilling horror novel of sorts. Dan Simmons’  The Terror ($9) tells the story of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, andthe-terror its ill-fated attempt to navigate the Northwest Passage.

“History tells us that when the two ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, became trapped in the pack ice, the sailors tried to make their way across northern Canada by foot, but they all perished. The novel however, introduces a supernatural element that, while unseen and un-named, stalks these explorers through the endless darkness and cold. A great page-turner to curl up with while you’re safe and warm inside on a cold winter night.”

Thinking of the child in all of us, Sara picks a delightful picture book as her January recommendation. “A great winter read is The Mitten ($7.99) by Jan the-mittenBrett. When little Nicki drops his white mitten, all the animals that find it decide to make it a home. Each animal has its own experience finding the mitten and crawling inside. A wonderful read for children and adults.”

For Wendy, a novel set in Alaska fits our winter theme. “A magical and intriguing novel set in Alaska, Snow Child ($15) by Eowynsnow-child Ivey is part fairy tale, part wilderness epic.  An older pioneer couple struggles to survive in a harsh and unforgiving climate, each yearning for connection and carrying the wish to have a child. The author writes this lovely, unusual tale with subtlety and grace, evoking the harshness of nature and its vast beauty as well as the surprises and magic that are born through the power of hope.”

Being a lover of mysteries and thrillers I’ve chosen Storm Peak ($16) by John Flanagan. Jesse Parker, a retired Denver police detective, returns to his hometown, Steamboat Springs, Colo., to take some time off and work on the ski patrol.

But a series ofstorm-peak apparently random killings causes sheriff — and old flame — Lee Torrens to enlist Jesse’s help in finding the killer. Chilling scenes of snowmobile chases through a snowy forest made me want to put on another layer! This adult mystery by young adult writer Flanagan is a winter winner.

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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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