As I’m sure is the case for lots of you, I’m not happy when the lows are over eighty and the highs over ninety every day for weeks on end, especially because our humidity in southern MO is permanently stuck on “sauna” from June through September.
Ugh, this weather! I walk all the dogs at six in the morning because it’s barely bright enough to read on my Kindle while walking them. I can manage three dogs on flexi-leads in one hand and hold a Kindle in the other hand, incidentally, without having to pause to untangle them more than a couple of times per walk, which takes considerable practice.
Anyway, as I say, I walk them at dawn, in sets of three. I need the exercise and they like to sniff around, though it’s not much exercise for them. Then we all stay indoors until dusk. At dusk, the puppies go out and run in mad circles for an hour in the immense yard, incidentally often finding burr plants even though I thought I’d gotten rid of all the burr plants last month. The older dogs think the puppies are nuts and remain indoors, lying in front of air conditioning vents.
None of this is actually a complaint. This year — knock on wood — we are getting significant rain rather than having a three-to-five-month drought, so YAY for that. It’s just, ugh, what unpleasant weather.
This is the time of year I want to read books with COLD, WINTRY settings. There are zillions of them. Let me see if I can put together a good list.
Science Fiction Winter Novels: I KNOW there are many, or at least some, that I am forgetting. What’s that one Poul Anderson wrote? With ice ships? Anybody recall? If you think of any other SF novels with frozen settings, drop them in the comments, please. The same goes for the other categories, obviously.
- Fallen Angels by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
- The Snow Queen by Joan Vinge, which of course has one of the all-time great Michael Whelan covers:
Fantasy Winter Novels: SO MANY. Here the trick is to stop.
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, obviously.
- Mapping Winter by Marta Randall
- Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Magical Realism Winter Novels: I can only think of one. But, wow, winter.
- Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
Mystery Winter Novels: Huge numbers, but here are a few. I particularly appreciate setting in mystery novels — setting and character — the mystery itself is not as important to me, but I do think these are good overall mystery novels too.
- In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
- Winter’s Child by Margaret Maron
- Icy Clutches by Aaron Elkins
- A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
Romance Winter Novels: Obviously a million trapped-by-the-snow romances, but here are a handful that come to mind.
- Snow Kissed by Laura Florand
- Season for Surrender by Theresa Romaine
- A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan
- A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Suspense Winter Novels: I don’t know quite whether to call this suspense or horror. I really liked it, either way.
- The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
YA Winter Novels: Obviously a bunch, but this is one I loved and read over and over when I was a kid.
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Please drop any favorite novels with winter settings in the comments, because I’m sure we could all use help cooling off here in the middle of summer.