Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowbound Reading

Getting to the bookstore today may prove impossible.  Getting out of the house at all might not be such a good idea just now.  So this would seem to be the perfect occasion for some wintry reading before the fireplace, next to the space-heater, or just huddled in bed with extra blankets and a stocking-cap.

By way of suggestion, you might try reading some of the delightful stories of Saki.  If you don't know him, Hector Hugh Munro was an Englishman and one of the true masters of the short story.  His stories are invariably funny, and occasionally chilling.

Three stories come immediately to mind when looking out the picture window today at all the evil white nothingness:  The She Wolf -- about the dangers of being glib in matters supernatural, The Wolves of Cernogratz -- which concerns making the best of servant problems, and finally, and particularly, The Interlopers,  of which I am reminded every time I forced to take a walk in the woods.

All three are of course included in The Complete Stories of Saki, from Penguin, available at the bookstore and to be ordered online.

Saki is best read in such weather as we're having now.  With a nice cup of tea, with lemon, not milk, and certainly without sugar, though a drop of whiskey wouldn't do a bit of harm on a day like this.

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