With six more weeks of winter to go, I’m starting to get some serious wanderlust. I know, I know, winter hasn’t even come close to being as bad as it has in recent years: no major snow storms, 60 degree days here and there, and not a lot of icy mornings. But still. There’s just something about dragging a coat on each and every day, passing by leafless trees, and the lack of daylight hours that make me yearn to go somewhere else.
If you’re like me and an exotic island vacation isn’t in your near future, there’s still hope! Plenty of novels can offer a bit of an escape from Philadelphia in the winter. I’ve culled a couple of titles below that represent other locations—Istanbul, Paris, London—and make the Groundhog’s prediction not so dismal:
• Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City
“I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of the fathers under the street lamps in the back streets returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, when sleepy sailors scrub the decks, a pail in their hand and one eye on the black-and-white television in the distance …”
• Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast
"On a cold windswept street, this was a warm, cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window, and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living. The photographs all looked like snapshots and even the dead writers looked as though they had really been alive."
• Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
“June had drawn out every leaf on the trees. The mothers of Pimlico gave suck to their young. Messages were passing from the Fleet to the Admiralty. Arlington Street and Piccadilly seemed to chafe the very air in the Park and lift its leaves hotly, brilliantly, on waves of that divine vitality which Clarissa loved. To dance, to ride, she had adored all that.”
What are your favorite books to read during winter slumps?