Curl up with 10 top win­try reads

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WORDS DEBORAH BOGLE ALL THE LIGHT WE CAN­NOT SEE Anthony Do­err At their or­phan­age in pre-WWII Ger­many, Werner and Jutta Spring use news­pa­pers tucked un­der their cloth­ing to ward off the freez­ing win­ters and at night se­cretly lis­ten to broad­casts on a home­made ra­dio. Sent to cadet school, Werner en­dures bru­tal train­ing ex­er­cises in the snow. Do­err won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel, with its page-turn­ing plot that links Werner, by now a Ger­man ra­dio op­er­a­tor in Oc­cu­pied France, with blind French girl Marie Laure, hid­ing in the at­tic of a bombed-out house. This is a crack­ing read, one to keep you en­thralled on a wet long weekend. AN EM­PIRE OF ICE: SCOTT, SHACK­LE­TON, AND THE HEROIC AGE OF ANTARC­TIC SCIENCE Edward J. Lar­son There are so many books on po­lar ex­plo­ration, it’s hard to know which to choose. Lo­cal bias might lead some to one of the many that tell of Dou­glas Maw­son’s ex­pe­di­tions. Rather than fo­cus of tales of hard­ship and der­ringdo, Lar­son makes an as­sess­ment of the ex­pe­di­tion­ers’ sci­en­tific achieve­ments. Who made it to the Pole first is not, in his view, as im­por­tant as the field re­search, the legacy that gave mean­ing to the suf­fer­ing and sac­ri­fice. ANNA KAREN­INA Leo Tol­stoy Tol­stoy’s epic love story has in­spired nu­mer­ous film ver­sions and sev­eral English trans­la­tions. Set in Tsarist Rus­sia, it tells the tan­gled tale of a cast of char­ac­ters linked by love and mar­riage, at its cen­tre the adul­ter­ous af­fair be­tween Anna Karen­ina and am­bi­tious army of­fi­cer Count Vron­sky. Anna’s young sis­ter-in-law Dolly, who spurns her suitor Levin be­cause she has her heart set on Vron­sky, is dev­as­tated. Nat­u­rally, it all ends in tragedy. Crit­ics ar­gue about the trans­la­tions; Con­stance Gar­nett’s is avail­able free as an e-book. BURIAL RITES Han­nah Kent If you’ve yet to read Ade­laide-born au­thor Kent’s stun­ning de­but, there’s still time be­fore her sec­ond novel,

now in the hands of her pub­lish­ers, is re­leased in Oc­to­ber. Set in Ice­land, where Kent was an ex­change stu­dent, a reimag­in­ing of the last months in the life of Agnes Mag­nús­dót­tir, the last woman ex­e­cuted there, for mur­der, in 1830. Kent’s de­pic­tion of the Ice­landic land­scape is par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable, draw­ing the reader into the claus­tro­pho­bic world of an iso­lated farm­ing fam­ily. DOG BOY Eva Hor­nung This mar­vel­lously ab­sorb­ing novel of an aban­doned boy adopted by wild dogs liv­ing near a rub­bish dump on the out­skirts of Moscow won Ade­laide au­thor Hor­nung the Prime Min­is­ter’s Award for Fiction in 2010. Ramochka, 4, fol­lows a mother dog home to her lair and, once ac­cepted, joins her pups at the teat. Hor­nung bril­liantly recre­ates the dogs’ lair, as Ramochka be­comes one of the pack, join­ing them for play and hunting, and their pre­car­i­ous ex­is­tence on the freez­ing streets of Moscow and its sur­rounds. MISS SMILLA’S FEEL­ING FOR SNOW Peter Hoeg Fa­mously point­ing out that the Inuit lan­guage has not one but nu­mer­ous words for snow Hoeg’s best-sell­ing suspense novel sets Smilla Jaspersen on a quest to un­cover the real story be­hind the death of a six-yearold boy she finds face down in the snow near her home in Den­mark. With her feel­ing for snow, passed on by her no­madic Green­lan­der mother, Smilla reads the boys tracks and con­cludes, con­trary to po­lice, that he was mur­dered. The labyrinthine plot takes her to Green­land and a thrilling con­clu­sion. THE SHIP­PING NEWS E. An­nie Proulx Pub­lished in 1993, this is the novel that earned Proulx the Pulitzer Prize and brought her world­wide fame and suc­cess. Set in a small coastal town in New­found­land it cen­tres around Quoyle, who sal­vages his chaotic life by mov­ing to his an­ces­tral home with his two young daugh­ters. As­signed to cover the ship­ping news in his new job as a reporter at the Quoyle re­builds his life, and makes star­tling dis­cov­er­ies about his heritage. THE SNOW GOOSE Paul Gal­lico First pub­lished in 1941, this is a tender, haunt­ing story of an artist who lives in a light­house on the deso­late Great Marsh of Es­sex. One win­ter, a child, Fritha, ap­pears with an in­jured snow goose. To­gether they care for it, and next win­ter, it re­turns. One win­ter, the artist is nowhere to be found — he has set off for Dunkirk to res­cue the stranded sol­diers. In 2007, a new edi­tion was pub­lished with beau­ti­ful il­lus­tra­tions by An­gela Bar­rett. It’s also avail­able as an au­dio book. TRAV­ELS IN SIBERIA Ian Fra­zier Ian Fra­zier made sev­eral jour­neys to Rus­sia af­ter the break up of the So­viet Union, and be­came en­thralled with the idea of Siberia – as he notes, for most peo­ple, not a place but a fig­ure of speech, a metaphor for cold, iso­la­tion and ex­ile. This ac­count of his jour­ney is a vastly en­ter­tain­ing, some­times hi­lar­i­ous, at oth­ers deeply dis­turb­ing, look at Rus­sian so­ci­ety, cul­ture and its for­bid­ding land­scape. WIN­TER’S BLAN­KET Phil Cum­mings, il­lus­trated by Donna Gynell The sea­sons are an al­le­gory for emo­tions in this gen­tle tale for very young chil­dren. The on­set of win­ter is sig­nalled by a fall­ing leaf which lands on the nose of a young bear cub. Her mother ex­plains that the leaf is a sign that win­ter is “creep­ing in”. “Does it sneak and creep about like a ghost?” she wants to know. Ade­laide au­thor Cum­mings ex­plores themes of anx­i­ety and hope and the im­por­tance of fam­ily sup­port with sweet, lively il­lus­tra­tions by Ade­laide artist Donna Gynell. SAWEEK­END

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