Snowbound Reading

It's another snow-buried day in the Northeast.  And hence that brings to mind some snowy reading.  Tove Jannson's The True Deceiver,  newly available in English, is the story of a snowbound Scandinavian village and two women -- one an outcast, one a respected citizen, whose paths cross with disturbing results.  Jannson is best known for her Moomintroll stories for children (and her Moominland in Midwinter is another perfect snow-day read, about what happens when a Moomin wakes up accidentally from his family's annual hibernation), but later wrote a number of psychologically acute, brilliantly compact novels for adults.

 

Another classic good to curl up with on a socked-in day?  Adelbert Stifter's Rock Crystal, a luminous novella of two children lost in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve.   In her Reader's Diary column, Brooke Allen calls it " is a deceptively simple tale" and notes that Stifter uses it to raise "grand existential themes."

 

July 29: On this day in 1878 Don Marquis was born.

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).