By Mary Simon

Recent storms on the East Coast got me thinking about books and movies that either describe blizzards or are something you would want if you were seeking shelter from a storm. So cuddle up with your favorite blanket, stoke the fire, put the kettle on to brew up a "cuppa,", and browse these recommendations.

  • Fargo


    One of the best Coen Brother's movies ever made—dark, twisted, and set in a very cold location. The perverse humor will keep you laughing during any blustery day.

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  • Smilla's Sense of Snow


    Yes, there are scientists who study the shape and conditions that create various type of snow and ice crystals and formations. This thriller is about one such scientist, her family relationship, the death of a child, and an intriguing complicated plot line set in a far North location. It's a fascinating study of the strained relationship between Greenland and Denmark, as well as the importance of language (in this case Inuit) in contemporary Danish society.

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  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

    1997 by Krakauer, Jon

    Krakauer's description of the 1996 climbing disaster on Mr. Everest, when 12 climbers perished. Riveting, and certainly educational since it portrays the acclimation process that climbers must adjust to in order to reach the summit. Unsettling, disturbing with glimpses into human nature during stressful interactions with nature.

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  • The Snow Walker


    Based on Farley Mowat's story, "Walk Well My Brother," this film about a pilot and his passenger trying to survive after their plane crashes in the Arctic Tundra is sure to keep your attention during any winter storm. Mowat's ability to describe the raw emotions that surface during extreme conditions, along with his first-hand account of life in the Canadian North, make for extremely satisfying viewing.

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  • The Children's Blizzard

    2004 by Laskin, David

    Having grown up in Minnesota and witnessed many blizzards, I must admit that this book still scares me because I know how quickly weather conditions can change - especially on the great plains of Western Minnesota. Laskin vividly details the tyranny of the storm, the tragedy of the loss, and the uncertainly commensurate with living in remote areas of the Midwest in 1888. It also serves as a reminder even today that weather changes can be sudden and deadly despite seemingly perfect days.

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  • Winter Sisters

    2018 by Oliveira, Robin

    The blizzard that hit Albany, NY in 1879 crippled the city for days, but when there appeared a reprieve, two sisters were discovered missing. So starts the story of a horrendous winter storm story that is sure to enthrall readers.

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