Friday, 27 November 2009

Seasonal reads

Many thanks to Enid, whose excellent comment on my previous post has introduced a whole new element to the conversation: Seasonal Reads. Your suggestions, please! Mine are as follows (in a fairly random way).
Winter reads: Great Expectations, Bleak House (Dickens), Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), The Life of Charlotte Bronte (Mrs Gaskell), My Cousin Rachel, Don't Look Now (Daphne du Maurier), The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter), Cold Comfort Farm (Stella Gibbons), Love in a Cold Climate (Nancy Mitford), Moominland Midwinter (Tove Jannsson), The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Joan Aiken), Turn of the Screw (Henry James).
Spring reads: Invitation to the Waltz (Rosamond Lehmann), The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton), The Pursuit of Love (Nancy Mitford), Flush (Virginia Woolf), Frost in May (Antonia White).
Summer reads: The Summer Book (Tove Jansson), Tender Is The Night (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Flowers for Mrs Harris (Paul Gallico), Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren), I Capture The Castle (Dodie Smith).
Autumn reads: The Owl Service (Alan Garner), Portrait of a Lady (Henry James), Vile Bodies (Evelyn Waugh), Mary Poppins (P.L Travers), Dusty Answer (Rosamond Lehmann), Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys).


kairu said...

What a lovely post!

I agree with reading the Bröntes in the winter; I also read the Russians in the fall/winter as well, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, though Bulgakov - Master and Margarita in particular - belongs to spring.

Enchanted April, of course, belongs to spring, or the end of winter when the darkness and rain weigh you down and you need something to lift your spirits. Cold Comfort Farm is something I read all year round, when I need comforting.

kairu said...

And how could I forget - Christmastime is for Louisa May Alcott and Little Women.

Summer is for Lolita, spring is for Mrs. Dalloway, and A Room With a View.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Spring/Summer: Claudine at School (or most things by Colette really), Pride and Prejudice, I Capture the Castle, Love in the Time of Cholera, The Virgin Suicides, The Pursuit of Love, anything by P.G. Wodehouse.
Autumn: Hons and Rebels, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, A Little Princess.
Winter: Anything by Terry Pratchett, The Magic Toyshop, and a whole pile of non-fiction..

Lou said...

Whenever I think of the Australian Summer,I always go back to Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay.It was (and still is) on the required reading lists for Australian schoolgirls.Is it well known in other countries?

Sarah Standalone said...

I feel like a maldajusted person who eats mince pies in August after reading those lists!

But if I had to give a preference it would be romance in spring, poetry in summer, exotic in Autumn, wit in winter. I am just about to read James Lever's Me Cheeta (the water outside my window is frozen in swirls, winters coming).

Rob Hardy said...

In the winter, I tend to curl up in front of the fire with a long Victorian novel. This year, it's Vanity Fair. In the summer, it's usually something light and frothy (Margery Sharp is a favorite choice) or something slow and languid from the American South (like Ellen Glasgow). I spend a few weeks each summer living on an island, so I also read at least one book set on an island during those weeks: Tove Jansson's The Summer Book, The Tempest, Tomas O'Crohan's The Islandman, etc.

For this winter, I recommend the newly translated novel by Tove Jansson, The True Deceiver. The long Scandinavian winter is, in many ways, the main character. I also think of Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors as a perfect winter mystery.

Anonymous said...

I would add Charlotte Bronte's Villette to the winter pile, along with Sigrid Undset's trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter. For summer, Woolf's To The Lighthouse.

Justine Picardie said...

Brilliant suggestions from everyone! And I love the idea of living on an island for a few weeks in the summer. Tove Jansson is one of my favourite writers, and I've got a copy of that new translation, waiting to be read.
And like Kairu, I read Cold Comfort Farm all year round, whenever I need comforting. Ditto I Capture The Castle, which starts in the cold winter, but spans all the seasons.
I also want to recommend To the North by Elizabeth Bowen as an all-year round read.

Rob Hardy said...

In the interest of advancing the all-important goal of driving traffic to my own blog, here's a link to my review essay on Tove Jansson. :) Comments always welcome!

jaywalker said...

Here in the Antipodes, summer is approaching and I have just finished reading Elizabeth Jane Howard's 'Love All' which like all her novels is full of the most memorable characters and a lot about gardens. It led me to dig out the DVD of her "Falling" to watch again which is also about gardens and the autumn of life, and also to flip through her memoirs "Slipstream" again. Amazed to find she is 86 and wrote 'Love All' only last year.

victoria said...

Elizabeth Jane Howard I love! The Beautiful Visit in the winter, Falling all year round. I am re-reading her excellent Cazalet series - last book first working back to the start - a really interesting way to notice things!

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Lou: the movie adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock is pretty well-known outside I want the book too.

Knitting Out Loud said...

Wonderful to read all these great suggestions! I don't like but always think of The Stranger on really really hot summer days. Perfect summer reads: Sido and My Mother's House, also Pagnol's Memories of Childhood were life-changing books for me. Anyone read Country of the Pointed Firs? A must. Winter: Nine Tailors, yes! But also Maigret Goes Home. Weather is a character in Maigret novels. Also, Maigret's Christmas. Oh, and then there's Bella Chagall's magnificent memoir Burning Lights. How about plays? Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for summer. The Cherry Orchard for spring.

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