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Winter: Five Windows on the Season (CBC Massey Lecture) Paperback – September 27, 2011
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"Winter is a soulful, studied meditation on the season that most captures our imagination highly recommended." New York Review of Books
" a stream of endlessly entertaining insights and ideas -- a treasury of people and places and art." Globe and Mail
" beautifully written " Columbian
" outstanding [Adam Gopnik's] windows on winter illuminate varied aspects of the season, but, more profoundly, they also shed light on the human condition and our complex relationship with nature." Toronto Star
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He covers a wide range of attitudes towards winter (e.g. romanticizing winter's beauty and pace, the development of Christmas and winter holidays into occasions for both renewal and reversal of life's typical flow, winter's role as a marker in time, reminding us of time's passing), which help us understand better our relationship with winter, and why it's important. Winter becomes multifaceted, a source of consternation for many who don't like the cold, but simultaneously a time to slow life down and look forward to Spring's bloom. Gopnik's ability to capture emotions generated by common experiences in winter were instantly recognizable to me, and are a nice treat.
These individual journeys read very well, as if you're recounting stories of winters past with Gopnik. One final note: the lectures were written for a Canadian audience, and reference North American and European history and literature. So he doesn't aim for this to be an exhaustive look into winter, but it certainly succeeds as a view into North American winter in modern times.