Books That Make You Cold

So… I was recently re-reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.

And I was struck by one scene. (Note: This may be a minor spoiler for those who haven’t read the book. But my question is this, WHY haven’t you read this book yet?!)… As Jonas and Gabe are on the run, they are attempting to hide from the heat-seeking aircraft. In order to avoid detection, Jonas transfers memories of snow to Gabe. The memories cool down their body temperatures.

Now, I don’t consider myself a scientist. So my question is this: Is this even possible? Would a heat-seeking device be fooled? Does a memory, such as snow, cool the body down?

(Note: I will give Lois Lowry gets a pass on this detail because of the nature of her story world. Technically, in our world, it’s impossible to transfer memories to another person by laying your hands on their back. But in the world of The Giver, well, this is exactly how it happens for Jonas, the Giver, and Gabe. So story world definitely takes care of this heat/memory/cool thing in the book.)

That said, here’s something I do know…

When I read certain books, they make me feel cold.

long-winterCase in point: The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

In the book, Wilder encapsulates the whole feeling of winter. The never-ending blizzards. The family huddling next to the stove, trying to keep warm. Laura and Pa twisting hay in the freezing lean-to. The train that never comes. Christmas that never comes.

The isolation of the Dakota territory.

The snow. And more snow. And even more snow.

LongWinter1Wilder intended to name the book The Hard Winter… Because that’s probably how in later years they would refer to that winter of 1880-81… Can’t you just see them sitting around the fire saying: “Remember the Hard Winter? This snow is nothing compared to that!”

But the publishers ultimately changed the title to The Long Winter. (I mean, just look at those covers. Neither of them seem to be shouting “hard”.)

By the way, this book received a Newbery Honor in 1941 for its writing.

I know why. Because those words bring feelings of COLD.

Which is great if you’re reading beside a nice, warm fire. Or in summer. Yes, a nice, hot summer day might be the perfect for reading cold books.

What about you? Do you have any books that make you feel cold?

7 thoughts on “Books That Make You Cold

  1. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read “The Long Winter” either as a child/teen/young adult or to my boys.
    A few years ago I had a book published called “Winter Watch.” I can’t read my own stuff once it’s in book form but several friends say they reread it in the winter while sitting by a fireplace and drinking something warm. And when I was writing it I kept snuggled up 🙂

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    • I think this is one of the best of the Little House books. As an adult, it’s certainly one of my favourites. (Of course, then I read the other books in the series, and I think they’re the best, too!)

      Always a compliment when people tell you that your writing elicits a response that affects them in such a way 🙂

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  2. The problem is, when your body is cold, it starts shivering, which HEATS IT UP. So a snow memory would theoretically trick the body into thinking it is cold, which would make it heat up. I’m not sure that would have worked, then. 🙂

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  3. I like reading “seasonally” as well! One thing I do is read non fiction books about arctic/antarctic explorers during the wintertime. A few I’ve cold reads that come to mind: “Endurance,” by Caroline Alexander; “In the Land of the White Death,” by Valerian Albanov; “Alone,” by Richard Byrd; “The Iceberg Hermit,” by Arthur Roth; “Ghosts of Cape Sabine,” by Leonard Guttridge; and “Race to the End,” by Ross McPhee.

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    • Yes, arctic or antarctic reads would be cold. Especially if there are blizzards or frostbite.

      Thanks for the list of books. I’ve read “The Iceberg Hermit” and “Endurance”. I’ll have to check of the others. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Review / The Children’s Blizzard, 1888 | Of Maria Antonia

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