When the weather gets cold, there's no better time to curl up with a book (or two) and some tea. Actually, I would say the same thing for every season, but winter seems to have a need for staying warm and cosy inside more often than other seasons.
Here are a few books I have been thoroughly enjoying lately.
The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is an incomplete alliterative poem. Just as the suspense is building up and the story gets into a full swing, the story breaks off, and Tolkien never finished it. Tolkien's son Christopher does a wonderful job working with the various drafts and manuscripts written by his father, and writes several essays included in his book about the continued story. Where would Tolkien have taken the story if he worked on it more? What would happen with Lancelot and Gawain? It is interesting to ponder about what could have been.
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Have you read this book? If not, then why aren't you reading it now? I just re-read it this weekend, and each time I read it, it is more wonderful, in the same way the Narnia books get better with each reading. It is a book for young people, and the theme of love is the undertone of everything. Meg is one we can relate to, as she feels inadequate and lacking the smarts (that her parents, both scientists, have), and yet she is the only one who can save her little brother. Her faults actually help her accomplish a triumph over darkness. L'Engle always wrote about family dynamics, struggles, and the love that families can demonstrate in her books. Mix all these deeper themes with space and time, traveling to other galaxies, and experiencing other planets and the strange inhabitants and you have a story you won't forget. Oh, yeah, and there is a movie coming out, but the book is always better. Be sure to read the book.
The Beautifull Cassandra by Jane Austen
'She has many rare and charming qualities, but sobriety is not one of them.' This tiny Penguin classic book holds a collection of Austen's early writings, that include her usual wit and sarcastic humour about those in society. She wrote about what she knew best, and she can certainly capture some silliness and some very accurate portrayals of situations at that time. Austen is always so fun to read. I found myself chuckling several times while reading this little book.
Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne
I have been slowly reading this book for a while, and finished it at the end of the year. It is a collection of his reflections and responses to life's questions. It is like a book of wisdom, written in the mid 1600's. Traherne went to Oxford, and C.S Lewis mentions reading this book in his letters, and enjoying it very much, so of course these things motivated me to read it. I have grown to like Traherne. Some of the passages are above my head, in the realms of metaphysical that I reach for. My imagination needs to work more to get to that point. I can see the influences he had on George MacDonald, and C.S. Lewis. I really did enjoy these writings, even if I didn't fully understand them all. These are the kinds of writings that the more I read them, the more they will unravel and reveal truths.