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Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Explore how the dormancy and difficulty of winter can be a
time of spiritual preparation and transformation.

For many, winter is a time of postponed activity--and of shoveling snow, navigating ice, and trying to keep warm. What can easily be forgotten in winter's cold and occasional dreariness is that it can also be a time of shoring up, of purity, praise, delight, and play
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Skylight Paths Publishing (first published 2002)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
I picked this up for $1 at a used bookstore and put it aside for a wintry day. (I should be careful what I ask for.) We were without power for 26 hours during an ice storm so I decided to chill my mind as well by reading about winter.

On the one hand, I appreciate the work of the editors in compiling and grouping the essays and poems into five sections. On the other hand the introductions to each 1-3 page selection were completely unnecessary, often longer than the selections themselves, and I fo
Jan 28, 2013 Michaela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't as lyrical or uplifting as I expected and the editors introduction to each piece added very little and probably detracted. However, there was one short story about a young man and his grandfather who resides in a nursing home that was beautiful and heart-breaking and worth the read.
Jan 19, 2014 Mikaela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Winter" is a book you never truly finish reading. Like the other three volumes in this four volume series, it's a book you savor throughout the season. An essay a week or every two weeks, so that the poetry and wisdom of the writers has time to seep into the soul.

Winter is neither vilified nor divinized in this collection: love her or hate her, you'll find an essay to fit the mood of the day. I happen to love winter ~ especially those cold, snowy days in the woods and the fields. Not so much wh
One of a four-book series with lovely illustrations and selections that will help you live in the moment of winter. One to return to year after year.
Mar 14, 2017 Craig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Did not finish. This book is a collection of stories??? if you will and they seem to ramble and I did not care for it.
Sep 14, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, essays, winter
I'm trying to read each volume in this series at the height of its season. But this was the winter of the polar vortex, and it got to be just a bit much reading about winter while battling it on a daily basis as well. That shouldn't reflect on the book itself, though, which is a fine work on its own. It's a mixture of poetry, essays, memoirs, fiction, and sacred writings gathered into five categories: winter as times of sorrow, scouring, shoring ourselves up, purity, and delight. I appreciate ho ...more
I love the season of winter and this was primarily essays from people who couldnt wait for it to end, so i was a little dissapointed and wishing there were more lyrical and poetic descriptions of the beauty of winter. Also the religious essays were way over my head so i skipped those. But the real gem was the nursing home story of a grandfather and grandson, it had me in tears. I was also fascinated with the section of stories of how truly horrible and cold some winters were in the past and the ...more
Edmund Davis-Quinn
I am reading this a piece at a time and think it is so rich.

Compelled to get it to from Amazon after really enjoying quite a few of the pieces.

Anthologies that are wonderfully curated like this are a joy.

Excellent and brief introductions of the author and then a short piece.

I plan to get all the books in this series.
Happened to stumble upon this at the library and decided to give it a whirl as a way to "celebrate" the subzero temperatures where I live this January. I liked the essay "Cold" by John Updike, who writes prose poetically, the best. I'll also give a shout out to Patricia Hampl for her funny peek inside the lives of Minnesota denizens who are perpetually buried in snow.
Dennis Schvejda
Dec 30, 2012 Dennis Schvejda rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, spirituality
Completed reading this "Winter" book sitting on the deck wearing a short-sleeved shirt ... in the Catskills! As the record warm temps continue, perhaps at some future time "Winter" will be something to be read about, rather than experienced. Weather vagaries aside, a very good anthology and a good read. On to the Spring volume!
Collection of essays, some better than others, each with the common thread of winter.

More than the book itself, I like that it inspired my own thoughts about winter and all that it represents for me. And that's the point of a book, nay? to inspire the reader's own reflection?
Jan 11, 2011 LVD rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The highlight for me is the essay by E.B. White, which so gracefully captures the New England winter. In fact, I appreciated the New England authors throughout!
Kathy Brunner
Jan 01, 2010 Kathy Brunner rated it it was amazing
I love winter and this book captures the essence of the season.
Shayna Wieferich
Was very hit-and-miss for me. Honestly didn't even finish it. To be fair that was partially because it wasn't winter'y enough here for me to get in the mood for it.
Patrick M.
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Feb 19, 2010
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Jun 11, 2007
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Nov 20, 2014
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Jan 29, 2016
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Dec 22, 2012
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Nov 23, 2010
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Feb 10, 2015
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Jan 11, 2015
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May 18, 2014
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

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