Reading sunny stories in the winter cold

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At the Library with Denise Corey

If you’re anything like me you’re dreaming of tropical climes during this never-ending winter. Every time I go out to shovel the driveway (again) or scrape a layer of ice off of my car (again) I’m thinking of how nice it would be to be laying on a beach, sipping daiquiris, and soaking up the sun.  My finances won’t allow for a tropical vacation this winter so I’m going to live through books.  Here are a few books that you may want to check out if you’re looking for a sunny getaway:

The Spice Necklace: a Food-lover's Caribbean Adventure is the story of Ann Vanderhoof and her husband Steve.  They gave up their jobs and lives in Canada to sail around the Caribbean.  I’m neither a foodie nor a sailor but I absolutely loved this book. Vanderhoof’s book is more about the people she encounters and information about the islands she visits. Foodies don’t despair; there are lots of recipes as well.  This is the follow up to An Embarrassment of Mangoes.

I’m not a sailor but they tend to travel in tropical climes so here’s another sailing book; Fair Wind and Plenty of It by Rigel Crockett.  Crockett sailed aboard the Picton Castle from Lunenburg to points around the world.  They traveled to lots of exotic locations and had adventures.  

Looking for a nice long epic that you can sink your teeth into?  Something that it will take a while to read?  Try James A. Michner’s 672 page tome, Caribbean.  Starting in 1310, it follows seven hundred years of life in the region, from Columbus's arrival to the rise of Castro.  

With a hot, dry climate, Australia would be a great place to go until our winter is done.  Bill Bryson, a fantastically funny and interesting writer, takes on the land Down Under In a Sunburned Country. The book covers Australia's history, natural wonders and weather patterns, a whole host of deadly critters found nowhere else in the world, some really bizarre people both past and present, and his own hilarious and harrowing experiences.

Of course, you can always pick up some travel guides to read about all the warm places you’d like to be until this winter finally ends, places like Cuba, the Bahamas, Las Vegas, Florida, or for something truly exotic there’s Fodor's Complete Guide to African Safaris: with South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, and the Seychelles.

For these books and more check out your library.  You can see what we have by visiting


Denise Corey is the chief librarian for the Cumberland Public Libraries.

Organizations: Fodor's, Cumberland Public Libraries

Geographic location: Caribbean, Canada, Australia Lunenburg Cuba Bahamas Las Vegas Florida South Africa Kenya Tanzania Botswana Namibia

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