ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Our series, You Must Read This, starts the new year off with author Diana Abu- Jaber. She remembers discovering the work of her favorite writer when it was cold and dreary outside.
DIANA ABU: As I read the collection, huddled in my drab room, I flipped to the photograph of the frowning author. I imagined him crossing Russia at night in a horse- drawn sleigh, calling on his patients, dispensing glittering insights upon a sea of darkness. Chekhov said, people don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy. His stories captured the way people moved between their wishes and the cold realities of the world. Even in Siberia there is happiness, says the narrator of "In Exile." Those snowed-in winters of reading would eventually help me become a writer. Even in the coldest, darkest places, there is comfort and joy.
SIEGEL: You can find several of Chekhov's stories plus a winter's worth of book recommendations at NPR.org.
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