Choose December's Reading group book

Assuming that winter does eventually settle in, next month our theme is cold. Please nominate your chilly choices

The seasons are out of step. As I write this post, it's weirdly warm. The central heating is off. I've just been for a walk in my shirt sleeves and – as everyone keeps saying – there are still wasps about. But even if the weather refuses to stick to its usual patterns, The Reading group will – for now. It's December soon and damn it, we're going to talk about the cold.

The first book that sprang to my mind was – perhaps not surprisingly – John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, which would make an excellent subject. In fact, any books touching on the cold war would work for me. Le Carré is now rightly recognised as one of the best authors writing in English in the last 50 years, but plenty of his contemporaries deserve more attention, too. Len Deighton's Game, Set and Match trilogy certainly match Le Carré for cynicism, as a portrayal of the pain of betrayal, and for simple reading pleasure. Then there are the novels of Adam Diment, Frederick Forsyth, Graham Greene … Also, recommendations from the other side of the iron curtain could be interesting …

Thinking more literally of snow and ice, meanwhile, it occurred to me that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Dark Is Rising and all those other cosy, wintry children's books would be well worth discussing – and also provide an enjoyable few hours of fireside reading. Then there are the more adult books of everlasting winter such as Ursula K Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

I also recently read Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer's true story of an Alaska-based misadventure and would welcome nominations for that or similar accounts of the chilling cruelty of nature. And on the subject of Alaska, how about Jack London's White Fang - a book whose influence can still be traced to the best modern literature? (At which point, David Vann's Legend Of A Suicide inevitably springs to mind.)

But as I do every single month, I've been carried away with enthusiasm for making recommendations when really I should clear the floor for you. So what do you think? Does one of those books get your spine tingling? Or do they leave you cold? Feel free to overturn all my ideas so far and set out on an entirely new tangent – so long as you can make some kind of connection to chills …

All you have to do to nominate a book is name it in the comments below – although if you really want to get a discussion going, you'll have to talk about it too.

Next week, the nominations will all go into a woolly hat.

Contributor

Sam Jordison

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Choose December's Reading Group book
With next month's nativity at the top of everyone's mind, let us gather together suggestions for faith-themed readings

Sam Jordison

27, Nov, 2012 @10:14 AM

Article image
Choose December's Reading group book: Family
More than any other month, December belongs to kinfolks – so they're the focus of our next Reading group. Which family is up to you

Sam Jordison

26, Nov, 2013 @9:30 AM

Article image
Choose April's Reading group book

Enough of the literary lovey stuff. This month we're looking for books that wind us up – or authors we'd like to see in a scrap

Sam Jordison

26, Mar, 2012 @10:43 AM

Article image
Choose August's Reading group book

Sam Jordison: In honour of a summer with some sun, let's go for a beach read. Lay down your literary towels on the comments sun loungers now!

Sam Jordison

31, Jul, 2013 @9:00 AM

Article image
Choose July's Reading Group book
Sam Jordison: This month, rather than giving you a subject to base your choice around, we've gone for a location: namely, France. Join us, s'il vous plait, in our search for a book written in, or inspired by the beautiful country

Sam Jordison

26, Jun, 2012 @11:08 AM

Article image
Choose October's Reading Group book

As evenings darken and dampen, let's escape somewhere else this month

Sam Jordison

09, Oct, 2012 @9:56 AM

Article image
Choose February's Reading group book

One slight restriction this month: it's got to be a Dickens title in honour of the bicentenary, but there's an awful lot to choose from

Sam Jordison

24, Jan, 2012 @1:23 PM

Article image
Choose April's Reading group book

Sam Jordison: A huge range of books have covered feats of construction – whether the Great Wall of China or the Titanic. Some build whole new imaginary worlds themselves. Which one should we read?

Sam Jordison

26, Mar, 2013 @12:14 PM

Article image
Choose October's Reading group book

With Halloween on the way, it's a good time to choose a scary story. Vote on the blog for what you'd like to read

Sam Jordison

03, Oct, 2013 @9:00 AM

Article image
Choose September's Reading group book
After the unrepresentative and elitist choices of recent months, this time we'll go for bestsellers

Sam Jordison

03, Sep, 2012 @3:33 PM