Winter Reading and TV, or I Don’t Want to Leave the Couch for 4 Months


October 31, 2012 by Melissa


So, fall is here and winter is closing in. It’s time. Time for a winter reading list and an update to our Netflix que to get us through the long cold nights here in Minnesota.

My winter reading list, like my summer reading list, is ambitious, to say the least. When will I learn? Ah, screw it. I like having a long list.

First of all is a remnant from my summer reading list but I just got it from the library. The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chemila. I want to buy this book and I’ve only had it in my hungry little hands for a few hours. First of all it’s a gorgeously photographed cookbook. Makes me ambitious to make my own crackers and ricotta cheese immediately. It really does have great recipes and the author is so laidback about it all and gives tips on giving anything your own spin. Buying less processed foods and making them with ingredients you love is something I can devote time to. Unless I have a good book to read.

The next book is Geraldine Brooks’ latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing. Historical fiction with a headstrong female narrator set in the early 1600’s in Martha’s Vineyard-what’s not to love about that? Perfect snowy read as far as I’m concerned. Although I probably won’t get a copy from the library until the heat of July so I may be getting too excited too soon.

Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel, Flight Behavior, is next up. I’m a sucker for Ms. Kingsolver’s stuff. I don’t even need to know what it’s about. Although I know this is about a woman in Appalachia who is being confronted with how climate is affecting her rural life. If you love Ann Patchett or Haven Kimmel or Joyce Carol Oates, give Kingsolver a try.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt is a perfect read for me right now. I’m fascinated with why people seem to define themselves by how they vote or where they go to church when we are so much more complex than those categories. And how despite fundamentally wanting the same things in life, we can be so divided from the people around us, even considering them enemies. This book has the possibility to scare me but will hopefully help me more fully understand and embrace our inclinations.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan is another title that I can’t wait to open. It’s out in a few weeks but I’m eagerly awaiting it. The last several titles that I’ve read of Mr. McEwan’s I’ve read in one sitting-they completely draw me in. His characters are intriguing yet familiar. He always gives me a great read.

Now for something terrifying and scientific at the same time, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen. Mr. Quammen is a really great writer and he puts his talent to use in a book about biology making it interesting and readable. I can’t wait for this one. It’s been too long since I’ve read a good science title…I think The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes was the last one I read that really fascinated me.

Finally, I’m going to tackle a book about Afghanistan written by a Medal of Honor recipient, Dakota Meyer. It’s called Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. I’m woefully unaffected by the wars going on in the Middle East and I feel this is one way to not only know what’s going on but to feel is viscerally as well. This book is not without its controversy as Mr. Meyer disobeyed his commanding officer in the battle which earned him his Medal of Honor.

Those are the books I’m planning on getting to. I’m always looking for recommendations, thought, so let me know if there’s something missing I need to read now.

As for Netflix we’ve got The Walking Dead, Mad Men season 5, Homeland, and Game of Thrones in our que. We don’t watch nearly as much tv as we once did so this list may take us a while to get through but that’s ok. TV shows are better for us as a movie takes a commitment of time we don’t always have so if there are cable tv shows we need to see, do tell.

Have a happy Halloween everyone! I’ve got a little pirate and a little red riding hood that I’ll post pictures of on Facebook before they trick-or-treat tonight. What are you or your kids going to be?

2 thoughts on “Winter Reading and TV, or I Don’t Want to Leave the Couch for 4 Months

  1. Gina says:

    Thanks for the reading list Melissa! I love Kingsolver and McEwan and didn’t realize either of them had new books out. Now, these are on my list too! I’ve had “In the Graveyard of Empires” by Seth Jones on my list for about two years about the Afghanistan war. I really want to read it but since we have been so close to the wars (2 deployments at our house) I just don’t seem to dive in with both feet. Can’t wait to read some of the others on your list too!

  2. Jody says:

    I always enjoy your lists Melissa. You’ve pointed me in the direction of many good reads. 🙂 I am eager to pick up Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s latest “The Prisoner of Heaven”. I fell in love with the characters and old Barcelona ambiance in “The Shadow of the Wind” and now they’re back again in his latest novel. Others I’m looking forward to reading this winter are “Bring Up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel, “Sacre Bleu” by Christopher Moore, and “Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.

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