by Katherine May


A really wonderful book that is hard to encapsulate into a single thesis: there are several chapters, all exploring in the style of a memoir different aspects of May’s experience with and study of winter. But the main idea is that humans, unique among living organisms, resist the idea that we must rest and retreat at times in our lives. Other organisms understand this well, and pare back and slow down in times of trouble. This paring back, however, is not inactivity: it is work, but a different kind of work, that allows these things to survive. So must we rest and retreat.

My favorite chapters were “Epiphany” and “Midwinter”. My favorite stories were here telling of Stonehenge and her experience pulling her son out of school.