Books for the Big Freeze

I heard a rumor that there is (was?) a big freeze going on across the country. Living in Long Beach, California, just three blocks from the beach, I headed out to check it out for myself…seventy degrees and beautiful!

I’m a jerk. Anyway, my family is from upstate New York, and I was there for ten days during the holidays. I managed to come home about four days before this “big freeze” began. My parents and brother were still there, so they were able to experience the negative twenties and many inches of snow. I’ve also received many a Snapchat from friends across the country showing me the view of the winter wonderland wherever they may be. As a book lover, I know how nice it is to snuggle up in bed with a good book and a cup of something hot and delicious to drink. I look forward to rainy California days for this very reason. Sometimes it’s hard to know which book to read, so here is a list of books to get you through this big freeze:

1. The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


This is another eerie story from Oates. It includes the Devil, Woodrow Wilson, and Mark Twain. A bride goes missing at the altar, and in a world with shape-shifters, vampires, and ghosts, the groom sets out to find her. It has 688 pages, so it will keep you in bed for a few days!

2. The Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


Being stuck inside could also be a good excuse to revisit some popular poetry collections. You have more time to analyze the poems and understand them further because, hey, where are you going to go when there’s three feet of snow outside (or more)? A 2009 edition is available for .99 on Amazon for the Kindle.

3. The ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy by Phillip Pullman

If you’re seeking something in the Young Adult genre, this trilogy is fantastical and well-written. There will be no time to think about how cold it is because you will be far too concerned with what will happen to Lyra and Will.

4. The Shining by Stephen King


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


If you’re like me and you haven’t seen the movie, this is the perfect opportunity to read the book! Set in an old, empty hotel with snow outside, this thriller will keep you warm with, perhaps, a combination of curiosity and fear.

5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


This is a book that is difficult to put down. I know because it is 352 pages, and I read it in 48 hours. Young Ender is drafted into a soldier training program against an alien race. The young soldiers practice battles in zero-gravity so they can save the world from the Buggers, who have been at war with Ender’s people for over one hundred years. Ender’s skills help him become a leader quickly amongst his peers. His teachers respect his abilities, and his people have been seeking a general for some time. You can get it for less than $5 on Amazon!

6. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


This book list needs a love story. What better type of story to warm you up than one about love? As Madeleine Hanna studies the marriage plots of George Eliot and Jane Austen, she finds herself in her own love triangle. It is said that this book provides a new contemporary love story akin to those of Austen, so if you’re like me and you love classics, you might love this book as well.

7. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


This is the first real autobiography of the “American Dream.” I bet you didn’t know Franklin had an illegitimate child, or that he had a personal method for self-improvement, sort of like the first version of a self-help book. He is self-praising, yet humble considering the amount of things he was involved in and accomplished in his life. You can get it for .99 on Amazon Kindle, or $2.50 as paperback on Amazon.

8. Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx


(Credit: IndieBound)

(Credit: IndieBound)


Who cares about Wyoming, you ask? Well, Annie Proulx does, and she will make you care, too. These stories are of wrong kinds of love (Brokeback Mountain came from this collection), violence, and loneliness set in the desolate landscape of a state most people don’t think of.

Hope these books find you snuggled in your bed. I know that’s where I’ll be.


About Allison Bellows

Allison graduated from California State University at Long Beach in May 2013 with her B.A. in English with an option in Education and an emphasis in Creative Writing. She is currently applying to graduate programs for Social Work. Besides writing for The Poetics Project, she is the social media manager and writer for the monthly newsletter at Makai Coffee in Long Beach, CA. Some of her favorite books are "The Passage" by Justin Cronin, "1984" by George Orwell, and "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.
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