Looking to Cool Off This Summer with Some Winter Reads?

The Winter Wildlands Alliance staff has got you covered! Check out our recommendations to transport you to snowy landscapes and winter adventures, even in the heat of summer.

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“One of the best winter tales I’ve ever read was recommended to me, ironically, by a Catalan fine artist one recent spring afternoon in the Pyrenees north of Barcelona. I say ironically because the story is by a prolific Montana-based author and is about a crazy winter spent in the late 70s in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho—and I’d never heard of it. It’s great writing: crisp, funny, smooth-rolling, surprising, full of true adventure. A hapless, idealistic college dropout meets cold, sustained northern winter, deeply underprepared. ‘You’ll need about seven cords of firewood,’ says the ranger, dropping him off in the late fall. ‘Though I didn’t want to ask, it seemed important,’ he writes: ”What’s a cord?” It’s like the Chris McCandless story only in this case the guy actually learns some things, makes it out alive and writes a great book about it.”

– David Page, Executive Director

Melinda Quick, Events and Marketing Director, recommends The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. The Snow Child is set in the 1920s and follows Jack and Mabel, a childless older couple struggling as homesteaders in the Alaskan wilderness.

“I am currently reading the Memoirs of Stockholm Sven. It is a quick summer read, and reading about winters in Spitsbergen (now Svalbard) is a good way to cool off on a hot day!”

– Hilary Eisen, Policy Director

“I’ve been reading this one over and over and over again lately. If you have an inquiring young mind as a reading buddy then this “lift-the-flap” style board book nicely covers all the essentials in 12 succinct pages including how snow crystals form, the relationship between mountain snow and water supply, and of course it explores all the fun things you can do with snow. It answers lots of questions but also seems to inspire just as many new ones!”

-Kerry McClay, National SnowSchool Director

“Like the title suggests, In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende, is set against the backdrop of a snowstorm. You will love it because, Allende captures the introspective mood of winter. Beyond its wintry setting, the story is rich with emotional themes of love, resilience, and personal transformation, woven through the lives of characters all facing their own inner ‘winters.'”

-Emily Scott, Operations Coordinator

“Most of what I read is non-fiction or investigative journalism. Building community-based organizing power is rooted in understanding historical contexts and how communities overcome struggle to protect the places they love most. This book brings to life the struggles and luxuries we experience in a mountain town like Durango. I was so captivated by Heather Hansman’s previous book, Downriver: into the Future of Water in the West, that this book was also a must-read.”

-Brittany Leffel, Colorado Stewardship Coordinator