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Booking Through Wintry Books

btt buttonNo, no … this isn’t the question you’re probably expecting, that asks about your winter reading habits.

What I want to know today is … what are the most “wintery” books you can think of? The ones that almost embody Winter?

I thought there won’t be Booking Through Thursday this week but am glad to find otherwise. The advocate of Russian literature in me compels me to pick the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky. I read his short story, The Heavenly Christmas Tree last night in lieu of having set up a Christmas tree, which I’m afraid my dog will maraud before Christmas Eve even comes around. It’s an extremely short story, easily read in ten minutes, probably five. It begins with a poor boy, “six years old or even younger,” whose mother has passed away during a cold night. With nobody to care for him, the boy wanders about the city, seeing others revel in the Christmas season. Alas, none of the city’s celebration is for him.

Dostoevsky’s White Nights is told in first person by a nameless narrator who lives alone in a city and suffers from loneliness. The short story is divided into six sections. The title, “White Nights,” refers to the fact that St. Petersburg is so far north that there are short seasons in which it never gets totally dark at night; these are seen as magical, romantic times, and this romanticism is masterfully conveyed in Dostoevsky’s prose. Finally, A Christmas Tree and a Wedding is narrated by an awkward outcast attending a Christmas party. The man, although invited, knows only the host and talks to no one. He observes the party’s guest of honor and takes special interest in one of the children.

26 Responses

  1. Early this morning when I wrote my post, my mind was not working. I missed lots of great winter books. Enjoy the day!

  2. OK this one I don’t even need to think about. Its Smilla’s Sense of Snow, which is a thriller that takes place in Iceland. You have to be wrapped up in a blankey to read this one…it exudes cold. It is an awesome book, one of the few I have re-read over the years.

  3. I should’ve known that you’d have THE answer. Merry Christmas!

  4. I’m off to read these short stories…sounds very sad but also very intriguing.

    happy holidays!!

  5. Wow, I didn’t know Dostoevsky wrote Christmas stories! They all sound intriguing! I’m off to read them, thanks Matt!

  6. Original as always! I am Dostoevsky deficient so I will seek out your choices. Merry Christmas!

  7. I recently acquired a collection of Dostoevsky’s short stories through Bookmooch and two of those you mention are in it. I will put it near the top of mount tbr and enjoy them ver soon. Thanks for the reminder. I have just posted my first BTT. Great question.

  8. I forgot all about Dostoevesky! Thanks for the memory jog!

    My BTT post is up!

  9. I’m with Sandy—Smilla’s Sense of Snow. Incredible wintry book, as the title implies!!!

  10. White Nights is also on my list. It’s one of my most favourite stories too. 😀

  11. Belated greeting: Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

  12. I’ve read a few Russian novels but those weren’t any of them. Thanks for mentioning them!

  13. I have read White Nights but have never heard of the two Christmas stories. You never fail to surprise me with your answers! 🙂

  14. Beth F:
    It happens all the time when I’m composing my answer for BTT early in the morning at 5. 🙂

  15. Sandy:
    Oh my goodness. I have to check out the book. I have never heard of it! Thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  16. Sally:
    Thank you. 🙂 I’m such a Dostoevsky fan!

  17. Staci:
    I hope you enjoy reading the stories. 🙂

  18. John:
    You can find all these stories in the Modern Library Classics edition. 🙂

  19. Frances:
    I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. 🙂

  20. Sandra:
    Welcome to BTT! I don’t read a whole lot of short stories but I have read most of Dostoevsky’s. I hope you enjoy reading them. 🙂

  21. gautami:
    Sometimes we splatter around so many books that we simply forget! 🙂

  22. karin:
    The title sounds cold! I’ll check it out! 🙂

  23. Claire:
    It’s a beautiful story with beautiful background. 🙂

  24. readandeat:
    Hope you enjoy the present from your little one. Happy New Year! 🙂

  25. Chris@bookarama:
    You can find all these stories in the Modern Library Classics edition. 🙂

  26. Ken:
    I can loan you my copy if you like. 🙂

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