January 8, 2013

Cold Books

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I'm really not minding winter thus far, this year. Now, I think if it were -25 or even 10 degrees out, I'd be singing a different tune. I'd like it if it snowed at least once this season though! Snow in the Seattle area is a hilarious enterprise. I've mentioned before that snowfall here is called "a snow EVENT" and everything pretty much comes to a standstill, because no one has any real practice driving in snow and there are so many hills. And there are only a small handful of snow plows. No joke, two inches of snow will shut down the city of Seattle.

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Anyway, that's just a funny thing I wanted to share with you about snow in my area. I also want to share the loveliest package that came in the mail last week. I was so delighted that I immediately decided that at the top of my New Year resolutions list is my desire to send more mail. Letters, cards, care packages. It's just THRILLING to get a beautiful card or a treat in the mail!

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The gorgeous present and card came from my friend Stephanie, who writes the most beautiful blog, Millefeuilles. Stephanie is so, so, SO talented. You should see the mice, rabbits, sweaters and dollies she makes! Really. Go see. And she is one of the kindest, sweetest, and most encouraging and supportive online blog friends that I have met. When she writes, it's like a little sunshine ray came down and kissed you on the cheek, I kid you not. I can't say enough about her. It's one of my life dreams to be able to go visit where she lives in France and be able to say hello and give her a hug!

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Apparently, some lucky book fairies were smiling at me one day, because I won a really wonderful giveaway on her blog. See below. Stephanie hosted a giveaway, and I won a copy of a book that she loved so much, she wanted to share it with her readers.

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I just started reading 'The Snow Child' by Eowen Ivey and I have to tell you something. I WAS CRYING by the end of CHAPTER TWO. My heart was racing and fluttery at the end of chapter one, and I am not exaggerating in the slightest, I had tears in my eyes at the end of the second chapter, can you believe it? I'm fairly sure that this has never happened to me while reading a book before.

I can't really go into much further detail because I'm only in the first third of the story, but it's based on the fairy tale 'The Little Daughter of the Snow' by Arthur Ransome, and it follows the life of a couple who have moved to Alaska to process horrible grief, only to discover that the cold, barren, and harsh landscape has something even more life altering in store for them.

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So I'm basically on pins and needles with this book, and to say it's perfect wrapped-up-in-blankets reading material would be an understatement! Between this, and 'Downton Abbey'....not sure my little heart can withstand the excitement of it all....

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I won't call it coincidence, because I think instead that some kind of cosmic winter book fairy alignment phenomenon was going on, but it just so happened that AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME as my book arrival occurred, I had just checked out this version of 'Little Daughter of the Snow'! I couldn't believe that Stephanie's book was based on the same tale. I was flipped out. (Like I am every day of my life.)

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The snow child's parents in the sky are Frost, her father, and Snow, her mother.

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LOVE LOVE LOVE the folk art style used in this version! Are you familiar with this tale? It's a bit sharp, like winter itself. The snow child cannot be tamed (and she likes to eat 'ice porridge'), and her human parents make a costly error that forever deprives of them of the happiness that was theirs for a little while....

Thank you again Stephanie! Want more cold book suggestions? 'The Terror', by Dan Simmons. Both Andrew and I read it a couple years ago. IT MUST BE READ IN WINTER. Don't read it at any other time. Oh this book. Terror isn't even the word for it....



Also, I saw 'The Winter Ghosts', by Kate Mosse, in a book shop and I had my normal heart-leap-book-thrill moment, the one I get when I see a book that I KNOW is going to be right up my alley.  I'd love to hear about what you all are reading this winter season....

18 comments:

  1. I love when you share your adult book recommendations! I've had The Snow Child on my Amazon wish list for a long time now and just haven't purchased it, I will have to give it priority next time book shopping comes around (though I've pledged I wouldn't buy any new books in 2013 [ha ha] because I have sooo many that I still need to read! I also added the other two, I really didn't even read the description the covers and titles were enough!

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I feel like I should have thought harder in naming the blog....maybe I could rename it Julia's, Melissa's and Andrew's Bookbag, (also along with their cat Sally.) That flows off the tongue well, eh? :)

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  2. The Snow Child is on my wish list, too. It sounds beautiful. I love the idea of reading it with a kids' book based on the same tale! That's too fabulous. Gorgeous card.

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    1. It was sheer happenstance that I got the two books together. And I didn't know until I got the book that it was based on the little kid's story! Cards are so lovely, I vow to send out more cards!

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  3. Love these. And there are some things that can only been read or listened to in this quiet season. Like the Tori Amos album Under the Pink--- It always reminds me of winter!
    I'll have to look into The Snow Child. I've seen it all over blogland! I love the cover art, without a doubt.
    Another wonderful book for winter is a haunting tale (lol) about Emily Bronte. It's called "Emily's Ghost." That one had me all sobby too, sigh. But so good!

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    1. Okay, have to respond - Eek! I love Under the Pink! Early Tori in winter, I so agree.

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    2. Never heard that Tori album! and never read that Emily's Ghost book! Oh that sounds like me BIG TIME. I'll try and seek that one out next....

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    3. This isnt on that specific album, but it's perfect for your post :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtEfpHkvHfA

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    4. PS-- did we all have unnaturally red hair in the 90s? Show of hands???

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  4. I heard about this book but did not read it yet! But I am familiar with the tale of Father Frost and his child but I read only the Russian version and saw the movie so this book is new to me! I do like the illustrations very much!

    When it snows here, it is pretty much the same: complete standstill LOL! But a little bit of snow makes everybody so happy! :D

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    1. Movie??? I want to see a movie! I MUST seek out these Russian fairy tale videos you've mentioned!!

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    2. I bought all of my Russian movies from Amazon. Maybe I should do a post one day to talk about it! They are so awesome. The costumes alone are worth a look! :D

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  5. I hadn't heard of any of these books! Paul and I actually joined a book club this year because we're so out of the loop when it comes to contemporary fiction. Thanks for some suggestions for my to-read list!

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    1. Oh that sounds fun Lauren, to do that with a partner!

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  6. It is my goal to read more books for myself this year--so, your suggestions are going right on my list! All of them look fantastic--I am going to get going on it. I noticed a book Danzel had recommend on her blog and you also mentioned you liked it, so I got that for #1. I think it is called I capture the Castle---havent' started yet, but hopefully, tonight!! Thank you for sharing--I love having you as my secret book fairy informer!

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    1. OH YES to 'I Capture the Castle' -- a really really great book!

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  7. Oh Melissa! I am lost for words! I have rarely seen such a beautiful post and not just because of its book content. Your kindness makes me want to reach out and give you a big hug. Please come and visit us in France one day...

    Thank you wonderful friend. You are often in my thoughts and I swear it's always with a smile.

    Stephanie

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    1. Stephanie! I'm crying again! I'm a crier. I'm now halfway through the book and oh my, it's just enthralling. I'm completely spellbound by this book.

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