Here at Chez Skerwink we are major advocates of getting outside during the winter to enjoy the beauty and joy that it can bring. That being said, even the most die-hard fans of winter have to accept that there are always a few days in every snowy season that are just that little bit too cold, or too wild to brave the great outdoors. So with this in mind, we thought that today’s post would focus on downtime. That wonderful time you spend rugged up in a fluffy blanket next to a roaring fire, with a glass of wine, or a mug of hot cocoa, and a good book.
To help you prepare for those cold nights, we have compiled a list of fantastic literature from Newfoundland and Labrador to keep you entertained all winter.
Stories, Essays, and Articles
1. Gary Collins A Time that was: Christmas in Newfoundland
A Collection of True Stories from Newfoundland’s favourite story-teller Gary Collins
2. Strand Dagland Winter in Tilting: Slide Hauling in a Newfoundland Outport
This oral history, paired with stunning watercolours, traces the author’s trip along the winter slide path, and describes the communal effort and activity behind maintaining these paths throughout the winter.
3. Ray Guy That Far Greater Bay
Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal winning collection (1977) of Ray Guy’s best and most vitriolic articles that have appeared in newspapers and magazines countrywide.
1. Nix Wadden Gower Street
This charming and witty memoir traces Wadden’s life growing up in St Johns. At times a wistful remembrance of days gone by, while at others a laugh-out-loud recollection of a sometimes misspent youth.
2. Miles Frankel I Want to Know if I got to get Married
In his memoir Frankel recalls with compassion and good humour the places he visited in rural Newfoundland and Labrador when recruited as a young British Doctor by the Grenfell Mission. He recounts the province’s lively customs and traditions, and the resourceful people he met
3. Alan Doyle for Where I Belong: From Small Town to Great Big Sea
From the lead singer of the band Great Big Sea comes a lyrical and captivating musical memoir about growing up in the tiny fishing village of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, and then taking to the world stage.
1. Michael Crummey Sweetland
One of Canada’s finest novelists―Crummey conjures up the mythical, sublime world of Sweetland’s past amid a stormbattered landscape haunted by local lore. He masterfully weaves together past and present, creating in Sweetland a spectacular portrait of one man’s battle to survive as his environment vanishes around him.
2. Lisa Moore’s Caught
Moore’s most plot-driven novel to date, Caught is a thrillingly charged escapade that thrums with energy and suspense and deftly captures a moment in the late 1970s before the almost folkloric glamour surrounding pot smuggling turned violent.
3. Robin McGrath The Winterhouse
When the bereaved Rosehannah Quint and her mysterious “mister” retreat into winter quarters at the back of Ireland’s Eye, the two begin to develop an understanding based on curiosity as well as upon need – an understanding that works its way down the years. The Winterhouse is a compelling novel about finding oneself and creating one’s own community.
1. Michael Crummey Under the Keel
Whether charting the merciless complications of childhood, or the unpredictable consolations of middle age, these are poems of magic and ruin. Under the Keel affirms Crummey’s place as one of our necessary writers.
2. Mary Dalton Hooking
Mary Dalton’s fifth collection, Hooking, is a series of centos that, on one level, draw inspiration from a traditional Newfoundland craft. . As Dalton’s lines hook together syntactically and emotionally, they create a striking music, by turns subtle, startling and dazzling.
3. Carmelita McGrath Escape Velocity
From the elegiac, to the playful, to the meditative, McGrath effortlessly shifts from a natural refinement to a near breathless elegance. Well worth the wait, Escape Velocity marks the return of McGrath’s receptive intelligence, gathering strength and taking flight.