Notice I didn't say "leave me cold." Because that would be a totally different thing. And these books did not leave me cold.
Anyway, I've read three books lately, all of them set in cold climates. And they've been so vividly rendered that I CANNOT GET WARM. Even though I'm in my house wearing the flannel housecoat I bought from the Vermont Country Store for Christmas this year because I'm an old fart named Donna Reed now.
But that's another story.
Anyway, these are the books.
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra--a collection of short stories set in old Soviet places like Chechnya, Siberia, and Moscow. It's honestly the best thing I've read in a long, long time.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys--a young adult novel set during WWII about four refugees, trying to make it to a seaport where they will be evacuated from the eastern front by ship. Based on a true story, this book is stellar.
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit--another young adult novel set against the backdrop of wintry WWII (why so many WWII stories for young readers these days?). Although this book is stunning on a number of levels, I don't really see it as a book for young readers. Or if it is, it's for kids the way The Little Prince is for kids.
I think it's interesting that I read books about winter during the winter. You'd think I'd reach for Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler and take myself to Mexico in my head instead. What is wrong with me?