In this edition of our blog, I’ll be writing about Winter in some of its forms, and suggesting some books to curl up with while the weather rages outside…
Georges Perec’s Winter Journeys (Atlas Press, 2013, £19.50) is a highly experimental, yet hugely enjoyable series of variations on the same journey, each written by members of Perec’s ‘Oulipo’ group, whose members included Italo Calvino and Raymond Queneau. The fragments and poetic interludes of Winter Journeys are playful and innovative, and should make a great companion to your own winter walks this season.
If you prefer your cold a little more extreme, then look no further than Arctic Voices: Resistance at The Tipping Point (Seven Stories Press, 2013, £15.99), a lovingly-curated anthology of writing about one of the most inhospitable, yet environmentally crucial places on earth, the Alaskan Arctic. Edited by artist and activist Subhankar Banerjee, and featuring contributions from Peter Matthiessen and other eminent writers on the environment, this elegantly produced collection is both descriptive and persuasive – a valuable addition to your winter reading.
At the more playful end of this seasonal list is Jordan Crane’s The Clouds Above(Fantagraphics, 2008, £11.99), a charming and unusual graphic story about Simon and Jack (a boy and his cat), and the journey they take after Simon finds a doorway to the sky in a store cupboard at his school. Together they must battle an enormous storm to help their new-found cloud friend. So if you feel like you’ve been constantly dodging showers in the past few weeks, you’ll empathise with the heroes of this tale!
And if all the recent extreme weather in the UK has convinced you that climate change could be a real prospect, then dive into The No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change (New Internationalist, 2010, £7.99), Danny Chivers’ succinct and accessible guide to the phenomenon. For a lighter read, try Kate Evans’ Funny Weather (Myriad, 2006, £6.99), a series of jaunty and informative cartoons about the facts of global warming.
So, what’s your favourite type of winter? A deep freeze or a torrential downpour?