Series | How to Have that Jenee sais quoi

Recently I was having a conversation with a doctor of Chinese Medicine and he spoke of the need to adjust ones routines and regimes according to the season. It's all quite rational, really. In winter one should relax more and recoup from what should have been a vigorous summer.  This reminded me of another conversation I had years ago with a guy at a dinner party during the winter . I knew him to be a very active person and when I asked him what he was up to he said that he took winters to stay in more, read more and reflect more.  He happened to be a doctor of Western Medicine...

So this weeks advice on how to have that (jenée) said quoi is not only my personal recommendation but apparently "medical" advice too. Winter is a great time to get wrapped up in a long novel or several short ones. The background noise of wind and rain is the perfect soundtrack for the printed word. Then, for those inevitable sick days, getting lost in a character's adventures or misfortunes should be able to make you forget your own ailments. 

My top 3 Book recommendations to aid in your hibernating this season are:

by Julie Orringer

This is certainly a book to get lost in and got me through the worst cold last winter. 

The summary:

Paris, 1937. Andras L vi, an architecture student, has arrived from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to Clara Morgenstern a young widow living in the city. When Andras meets Clara he is drawn deeply into her extraordinary and secret life, just as Europe's unfolding tragedy sends them both into a state of terrifying uncertainty.
From a remote Hungarian village to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labour camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a marriage tested by disaster and of a family, threatened with annihilation, bound by love and history.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
by: Dai Sijie

This book I read many years ago as I became more interested in Chinese culture. Through these fictional characters I could better understand this exceptional period of Chinese history in the not so distant past. Like "The Invisible Bridge", it adds a human element to the harsh facts of historical data.

The summary:
The surprise literary bestseller of the year, this is a beguiling fable that shines with the wonder of imagination, the beauty of romance, and the power of storytelling. Set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the novel tells the story of two hapless city boys sent to a remote mountain village for reeducation.

by: Kelsey Osgood

This book I plan on starting immediately. While I can't give a personal testament to how good it is, I can attest to how incredibly entertaining and thought provoking Ms. Osgood is. If this book is as well written as her emails are to me, then I feel confident recommending this for winter's hibernation.
More here about how we celebrated the book being published.

The summary:
With attuned storytelling and unflinching introspection, Kelsey Osgood unpacks the modern myths of anorexia, examining the cult-like underbelly of eating disorders in the young, as she chronicles her own rehabilitation. How to Disappear Completely is a brave, candid and emotionally wrenching memoir that explores the physical, internal, and social ramifications of eating disorders and subverts many of the popularly held notions of the illness and, most hopefully, the path to recovery.