It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
You can find out more about how it works here. Or, hey, on any of the blogs above!
The December theme is Let It Snow: Best Book Set in Winter
It’s a tough category… But my pick is going to be Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
It’s an oldie, for sure, but I absolutely loved it as a child. It’s timeless, beautifully written, and holds up as an adult. Joan Aiken is one of my favourite writers. Fun fact, I had one of the illustrations from Joan Aiken’s Black Hearts in Battersea (the second book in the Wolves series) tattooed on my leg… Yeahhh. That’s how much I like her! Plus, cool illustrations…
But I didn’t just pick it because I’m a fan. I also think you’d be hard pressed to find a more atmospheric use of the winter setting / theme than at the start of Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Even as an adult, it’s stuck with me.
It was dusk – winter dusk. Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees. Snow law piled on the dark road across Willoughby Wold, but from dawn men had been clearing it with brooms and shovels. There were hundreds of them at work, wrapped in sacking because of the bitter cold, and keeping together in groups for fear of the wolves, grown savage and reckless from hunger.
Snow law thick, too, upon the roof of Willoughby Chase, the great house that stood on an open eminence in the heart of the wold. But for all that, the Chase looked an inviting home – a warm and welcoming stronghold. Its rosy herring-bone brick was bright and well-cared-for, its numerous turrets and battlements stood up sharp against the sky, and the crenellated balconies, corniced with snow, each held a golden square of window. The house was all alight within, and the joyous hubbub of activity contrasted with the sombre sighing of the wind and the hideous howling of the wolves without.
How good is that, right?
Do you have a favourite book with a winter theme? Have you read Wolves of Willoughby Chase?