If you’re in the East, the Midwest, or even Florida, you know this winter has been anything but predictable. With forecasts like rain on Monday, -10 degrees on Tuesday, a blizzard on Wednesday, and a possible tsunami on Thursday (here’s looking at you, Alaska), it’s impossible to know what to wear, much less what to read! At the Off the Shelf, we’re here to help. Match your current weather predicament to our list and get reading.
Temperature: -40 degrees
Snowfall: 0 inches
This is a book about the only people who may be colder than you. In 1928, Billy Gawronski, a scrappy teen from New York’s Lower East Side, stowed away on an expedition to Antarctica. This true story will take you from the dance halls of Tahiti all the way to the blinding white of Antarctica, following the unforgettable voyage of a boy who would become an international celebrity.
Location: The Florida Panhandle
Temperature: 30 degrees
Snowfall: 1 inch
This is not the weather you were expecting when you retired to Florida. We understand. Be reminded of your former, warm paradise with this novel about a movie location scout trying to convince the mayor of a small Florida town to let her team film within their community casino.
Location: Los Angeles
Temperature: 70 degrees
Chance of rain: 30 percent
Okay. Stay calm. It MIGHT rain today. You might have seen a cloud already. I promise, it’s not time to panic. This short story collection contains a hundred real apocalypses, some only a few lines long, showing the many forms of apocalypses, from the end of a relationship to the end of the world.
This dazzling collection is powered by one hundred apocalypses: a series of short stories, many only a few lines, that illuminate moments of vexation and crisis, revelations and revolutions. An apocalypse might come in the form of the end of a relationship or the end of the world, but what it exposes is the tricky landscape of our longing for a clean slate.
Temperature: 32 degrees
Snowfall: 14 inches
It will be snowing all day, and you know from experience that it will take much longer for you to get out. That’s okay. You have bread, milk, toilet paper, and Stephen King. Begin with THE GUNSLINGER and work your way through this eight-book fantasy series that begins with Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life.
For almost a decade, Stephen King fans have been yearning to see this epic series on the big screen, and they’ll finally get their wish with this adaptation, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It tells the story of the fallen land of Mid-World, through the eyes of a knight whose primary mission is to save his decaying world by reaching the titular tower that stands at the intersection of time and space. This mix of horror, western, and sci-fi will be a must-see. RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2017
Location: New Jersey
Temperature: 25 degrees
Snowfall: 5 inches
New Jersey does not completely shut down for 5 inches, but everything does slow down. From the trains to the traffic, you will quickly come to relate to the title of this novella. This is the moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his memories and his family’s efforts to care for him as they let go. I recommend bringing Backman’s A MAN CALLED OVE with you, too. It may be a few hours. . . .
Temperature: 20 degrees
Snowfall: 2 inches
Two inches shouldn’t be enough to impede your drive to work, but we all know the ice will be the real problem. Get prepared for your day on ice with this memoir from US National Champion figure skater and 2018 Olympian Karen Chen. Beginning her ice-skating training at five years old, Chen describes her journey to becoming a champion.
Location: New York City
Temperature: 15 degrees on Monday, 50 degrees on Tuesday
Snowfall: 0 inches
Your roommate has the flu. Your boss has the flu. If you don’t have the flu yet, you will soon. Don’t worry. While you’re lying in bed, this novel will reassure you of your ability to find love during an epidemic. Florentino and Fermina were once passionately in love, but when Fermina decides to marry a rich doctor, Florentino is devastated. Over the next 50 years, he builds his business career and carries out affairs, all while saving his heart for Fermina.
“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
Temperature: 40 degrees
Snowfall: 0 inches
Today may be your only chance to hike Camelback Mountain or the White Tanks and pretend you’re climbing Mount Everest. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you, you can feel the entire Everest experience—perils and all—through Jon Krakauer’s INTO THIN AIR. This is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Mount Everest from a man who reached the summit on May 10, 1996.
Jon Krakauer’s been through the book-to-film process before (2007’s Into the Wild garnered substantial acclaim and award-season buzz), but this time, it’s personal. Into Thin Air details his presence on Mount Everest during the 1996 storm that left eight climbers dead and stranded several others. Adapted under the name Everest and starring Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, and Jake Gyllenhaal, it promises to bring the harrowing disaster to life.
Release date: September 25, 2015
Temperature: 77 degrees
Snowfall: What is snow?
In case you’re wondering what’s happening on the mainland this season, THE CHILDREN’S BLIZZARD will give you a better idea and make you very happy about the choices that have led you to the islands. On the prairie in January 1888, an unseasonably warm day ended in a deadly blizzard, killing hundreds of newly arrived settlers. This is the story of a storm that is still included in local lore in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota, reminding parents to bundle up their children and you to really enjoy that beach.