Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top 10 snow books

At the Guardian, author and deputy editor of the Saturday Guardian Charlie English named his top ten snow books.

His introduction and Number One on the list:
I don't remember exactly when I saw my first snow, but I do recall thinking as a child that I could sense, some mornings – perhaps from the mineral scent of frozen water – that snow had fallen overnight. I remember how my heart lifted when I opened the bedroom curtains and found the world transformed. In literature, snow is often used to represent death, but it also brings beauty, romance, happiness and an empty white space in which to reflect upon ourselves. Here are my top 10 books that include snow, or are about snow.

1 The Call of the Wild by Jack London

I first read Jack London's novella as a child, without knowing the era he was describing or even really where it was, except it was in the far north, but the wild territory captured me nevertheless. Buck, the canine hero, is snatched from his soft life in California and put to work as a sled dog during the Klondike gold rush. Buck sees and eats his first snow ("it bit like fire") and learns to succeed in this hard-knock world, eventually finding his inner wolf. I have since seen this territory first-hand, and the immense levels of snow that the Klondike stampeders – of whom London was one – had to negotiate, and am full of admiration.
Read about all ten titles on English's list.

--Marshal Zeringue