eNoters! We are so close to springtime!
Birds, bees, apple trees, and sunscreen. It’s almost in our reach. But when the sun comes back, we lose our (completely viable) excuse to stay in after school/work… with our fuzzy slippers & snowflake jammies, bingeing on Netflix or absorbed in a book all night.
Let’s be clear: coming from an introvert, I never condemn these practices any time of year. But the other people of the world expect, yah know, some sort of human contact every now and then. *sigh*
So, let’s take advantage of the coming months’ gift of socially acceptable pajama-donning YOU time. Here’s some great winter-themed reads to keep you cozied up inside:
1) Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
This “travelouge” from Bill Bryson is a light-hearted, humorous, and endearing tale of a first-hand adventure of the Appalachian Trail. Chock-full of interesting characters and almost a stream of conscious commentary, it will keep you laughing out loud or flipping pages.
You’ll either want to get out and hike yourself, or stay in your reading nook. Either way – contentment achieved.
Not to be confused with the catchy Disney flick, Frozen is the first book in a YA fantastical fiction series is about a mystical, post-apocalyptic world covered in ice (yeesh… I got chills typing that).
You’ll follow along with the protagonist, Nat, as she tried to find a non-frozen haven. Therapeutic, right?
3) Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Obviously a classic, but the Chronicles of Narnia stand the test of time as a wonderful winter-themed read to take you away on an adventure. Author C.S. Lewis sets the stage for conquering the Ice Queen and restoring peace & tranquility (and green things!) to Narnia.
I personally keep my copy nearby all winter for a quick escape into the wardrobe of Spare Oom.
4) Game of Thrones series
If you haven’t been told by a Stark “winter is coming” a time or two (or twenty), then you’re missing out. These medieval fantasy masterpieces have it all: romance, deceit, politics, triumph, endless twists, and dragons. Rawr.
Pro tip: The audiobooks are a wonderful way to digest the complex characters and plots. Narrated by the legendary Roy Dotrice, they are sure to keep you on your toes (and… ears?) for many, many hours.
5) Life As We Knew It
This novel is told through the diary of 16-year old protagonist, Miranda, as a meteor striking the moon causes the world to dive into natural disasters and extreme temperature changes. Life As We Knew It kick starts a best-selling series as Miranda copes with this new, unexpected world.
Sip empathetically on your hot chocolate as snowpocalypse, tornadoes, and tsunamis run rampant.
6) The Golden Compass
Another classic, the Golden Compass is a go-to during winter. Lyra is forced to chase after a mysterious “particle” dust in the Arctic; the dust is rumored to be able to unite the universe. You and Lyra will face shape-shifting soul creatures (Daemons), dimensional worlds, and armored polar bears (of course).
This high-rated graphic novel is a coming of age tale involving first love, budding (and unappreciated) creativity, and loss. The artwork of the graphic novel is as beautiful as the storyline, and might be a good change of pace from traditional novels.
It is a monster of a book (clocking in at 600 pages), but that just means the relatable characters and frosty adventure will keep your fuzzy-feelings around that much longer.
Let’s hear from you: what books help you get through the winter months?
Well, no. That title probably goes to this…
However, it is possibly the worst cover of a classic novel ever published.
(Wait, are you saying Henry James’ 1891 novel The Turn of the Screw isn’t actually about screws?!)
No. It’s not about screws.
We’ll let you be the judge: here are quite possibly the worst covers for classics ever.
For a long time at eNotes, we’ve displayed eTexts on the site–entire works that anyone can access for free. But recently we’ve worked to make them even better. Welcome to our all new Annotated eTexts!
What’s an Annotated eText?
Have you ever underlined words or made notes in the margins of your books while reading them? These notes help to re-familiarize you with a passage of text when you flip back through it, or draw out evidence that points to a novel’s main themes. Well, now those notes are made for you, and by the very same teachers who expertly answer your questions in eNotes Homework Help.
With real teachers and professors helping you with your homework, how can you go wrong?
How do I find them?
All of eNotes’ eTexts can be accessed by clicking the eText header link via any page of the site:
10. Patron: If I was feeling particularly existentialist, what book would you recommend for me?
9. Patron: Hi. I’m looking for a book called Bay Wolves. Can you help me find it?
Me: Sure, let me look it up for you… Hmmm, sorry we don’t have any books by that name. Do you know the author’s name, maybe?
Patron: No, but I think it’s spelled kind of weird, like B-E-O… wolves.
Me: …Do you mean Beowulf?
8. Patron: Can you help me find the Law Library?
Me: [pulls out a map] The Law Library is right here. You just walk down this street, turn this corner, and you’ll be there.
Patron: Thanks, hopefully they’ll have a book about Newton’s Laws.
Me: Uh, maybe you’re looking for the Physics Library instead…?
DISCLAIMER: If you are a student assigned to read any of the following classics in school, you should ABSOLUTELY read them all the way through! Not only are they classics for a reason, but that’s your job as a student, and as members of the educational community we would be remiss if we didn’t point that out.
If you are, on the other hand, one of the 62% of adults who are simply willing to lie to make themselves appear smarter, well then this article is for you!
That’s right, roughly 6 out of 10 adults claim to have read books they’ve never even opened in an effort to appear more intelligent and impress others. How do they get away with it? Mostly through movie adaptations. But why rely on a director’s interpretation of Great Expectations when walking into the potentially vicious traps set by your dinner party counterparts? I mean, if you really want to get serious about appearing smarter, you’ll have to study with some study guides. And what a surprise–we just so happen to have some of those!
The top ten books people claim to have read, but haven’t, are:
1984 by George Orwell – 26%
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – 19%
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – 18%
Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger – 15%
A Passage to India by E M Forster – 12%
Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkein – 11%
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 10%
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 8%
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – 8%
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – 5%
Be serious about appearing smarter: study smarter. Never walk into a dinner party unprepared again!
These days the world of independent bookstores (and giant chains of bookstores) just has to get more and more eye catching to compete with readers’ shrunken attention spans. What to do? Hire the entire cast of Mad Men and come up with one of these genius spots, to start:
1. Mint Vinetu, Vilnius, 2011.
2. Whitcoullis, New Zealand, 2011. Amazingly the poster includes all the words to A Clockwork Orange. (Because it’s just the kind of novel you want to read in really tiny script…)
3. L’Echange, Montreal, 2007. See another here. An ingenious marketing strategy for a popular secondhand book store.