The Reading Life
7:53 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Susan Larson's Snow Day Reading List

The whole region might be encased in ice this week, but there's still time to get to your favorite local bookstore and stock up before the temperature drops and the roads close.

Here are some snow day reading choices perfect for curling up with in front of a roaring fire (or a space heater!).

— Finish up Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series with The Days of Anna Madrigal and pretend you’re in San Francisco, where there is no snow, only an ever-charming and beloved cast of characters.

— Or dive into the cold and read any Scandinavian murder mystery — try Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller, which takes place in a Scandinavian summer (surprise!) and features an unlikely hero who’s worried about having Alzheimer’s.

— I’ve just finished Thomas Brothers’ detailed and completely compelling new study, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism. Crank up your favorite Armstrong tunes from the 1920s and '30s and follow along, and you’ll be happy, happy, no matter the weather. I recommend listening to Cornet Chop Suey!

— Want to be carried out to sea in a rip-rousing yarn? Valerie Martin’s newest novel, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, is a ghost story and a high adventure, to add to your chills.

— Or try out one of those cookbooks you got for Christmas. I’m working my way through The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop, by Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen. Good reading and good pie. And your oven will keep you warm.

— If you’re thinking of cracking open the bourbon, well, read The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, Olivia Laing’s look at six alcoholic writers, including, naturally, Tennessee Williams.

— Got cabin fever? All hyped up after the barrage of frantic weather forecasts? You might find a kindred spirit in Scott Stossel’s My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind.

— Or shake that off and try Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life, which is sure to inspire you to clean out at least one closet or drawer. You’ll feel better, I promise.

And don't forget to catch up on all the episodes of The Reading Life you may have missed!