Wintertime conjures certain fragrances: cinnamon and cloves, smoke from burning pine and cedar, the crisp sharpness of clean air after a snowfall. But what greets a weary traveler who stumbles on the lonely hut of an old, wizened figure in a cold dark forest at night? The smell of herbs and boiling potions? The smell of death and decay?

Sean McConnell, 34, is already entering his third decade of songwriting — with a collection of A-list pop and country clients that includes Tim McGraw, Meat Loaf, and Brad Paisley. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Gig Performance Space, fans of McConnell can see the artist perform twice — as both a headliner and as one-third of the opening act My Sister, My Brother with Garrison Starr and Peter Groenwald.

A warm hearth and hearty foods: those two things can feel like manna from heaven on a wintry day. But it’s not always easy to find eateries that satisfy both needs. Here are a few that have menus to stoke the appetite — and well-stoked fireplaces, to boot.

The winter weather may make you dream of summer, but that season brings its own challenges: tourist crowds, among them. So why not invade someone else’s home territory this summer? Here are three road trip possibilities for culture lovers  — an overview followed by a recommended week — to help get your travel plans going.

Alan Taylor’s latest book, Thomas Jefferson’s Education, addresses the connection between slavery and the University of Virginia (UVa), where he has served as a professor of history since 2014.

Admirers of famed filmmaker Agnès Varda, who died in March at 90, may be looking for a fitting remembrance. But those who are unfamiliar with Varda’s work may be wondering where to begin. Her final film, Varda by Agnès, answers both needs. It’s a perfect introduction and a lovely valediction.

There is a letter in his bag for you — an invitation to take part in three workshops at the National Hispanic Cultural Center relating to Opera Southwest’s February staging of Il Postino (The Postman) by composer Daniel Catán. 

During the late ’60s and ’70s, Joan Didion lived in and wrote about climes of shimmering heat where apathy, violence, and paranoia jostle. These are the settings for Didion’s novels (Run RiverPlay It as It Lays, and A Book of Common Prayer) as well as the majority of the essays in Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album. All of these works are gathered in Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s, the first of several planned volumes of her work from the Library of America. 

Cormac O’Malley talks about his father’s relationship with Dorothy Stewart in “Dorothy Stewart and Ernie O’Malley: Santa Fe’s 1930s Residents — An Artist and A Poet,” at Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s El Zaguán.

What was set in motion over the last few weeks still echoes and calls for action. But with less major action you may have less excitement this week; instead of more being heaped upon our plates, we get a chance to work on what is already here.

During the American Civil War President Abraham Lincoln bestowed sovereignty on New Mexico’s 19 Pueblo nations, an act commemorated through the gifting of ornamental, silver-tipped canes to each of them. In this Emmy Award-winning documentary, Wes Studi (Cherokee) narrates the story of how the canes came to represent symbols of tribal authority. 

Former Pratt Institute instructor Bill Sayler, who taught at the noted art school for 43 years, has been a working artist and photographer since the 1960s. His solo exhibition showcases works that reflect his recent interest in exploring combinations of color and form. 

The exhibition’s focus is on the period between 1938 and 1943, when Mandelman, a Taos Modernist, participated in the Federal Art Project of the Works Project Administration.

Since 1974, the governor of New Mexico has been honoring artists and contributors to the arts with the annual awards for excellence. Head up to the fourth floor of the Roundhouse for an exhibit showcasing the latest honorees.

Training from childhood, the troupe members perform wildly colorful acts of strength, precision, and pageantry. Catch them at the Lensic.

From Combat to Carpet: The Art of Afghan War Rugs is a traveling exhibition coming to the Museum of International Folk Art, opening Jan. 12.

In November, Sze, 69, won the National Book Award for Sight Lines, his 10th book of poetry. This writer of national and international acclaim has been a staple of the Santa Fe poetry community since the 1970s. He is often referred to as an experimental or avant-garde writer, and, though he doesn’t chafe at such labels, he doesn't find them especially useful. He writes the poems that come from deep inside of him. Many of the signature aspects of Sze’s writing are rooted in his study of ancient Chinese poetry and translations of Chinese characters. 

The standard for the New Mexican food that I’ve come to expect in Albuquerque follows a classic pattern of red and green chile sauce; salsa; tortillas; small amounts of chicken, beef, or pork; and a lot of cheese. There’s all of that on the plate at Cocina Azul, but there are also surprises, which makes me curious. I have never seen such attention to the preparation of the meat, nor seen the large amount included in the dishes that I ate at Cocina Azul. I’ve never seen the range of inventiveness, either.

The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It, by Malcolm Nance, Hachette, 358 pages, $28

Golda Meir was elected prime minister of Israel in 1969, when American women were just beginning to wake up to feminism. Today, Israeli women perform military service alongside their male peers, while in the United States, we’ve never had a female president and women are not conscripted, even during times of war. From the outside, it’s easy to assume that gender equality must be fundamental to Israeli society — but that is not the case, says Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, an Israeli legal scholar and feminist.

The year is 1959, and Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere) is bringing his forward-looking, humane approach to an institution still mired, under the direction of smug administrator Dr. Orbus (Kevin Pollak), in the Dark Ages of psychiatric treatment. 

Singer-songwriter Dana Cooper plays a fundraiser for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12, at Tumbleroot Brewery on Agua Fria Street. 

Dar Williams plays with guest Seth Glier at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at James A. Little Theater. Doors to the all-ages show open at 7 p.m.

Sam Mendes’ characters go through scenes that carry the unmistakable whiff of screenwriting, even if they may have been extrapolated from granddad’s wartime tales. But what is truly magnificent about this movie is Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography. 

The 1964 documentary Seven Up, and its successive, periodic check-ins with young British children from different backgrounds as they grow up culminates in the latest iteration, 63 Up.

If your brain is in a musically induced coma from all those high-carb holiday tunes, the Pacifica String Quartet has the aural antidote. Its concert on Sunday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m., St. Francis Auditorium, features nourishing works by Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Shulamit Ran. An open rehearsal takes place at 10 a.m., no charge.  

The planets start a new 38-year cycle as Saturn and Pluto conjunct in Capricorn on Sunday, as the sun and moon do every new moon. What we begin now will set up the rhythm for our work, structures, and power dynamics — which are all Saturn and Pluto issues — for the next 38-year cycle.

Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life marks a return to narrative form for the auteur director, aided, as is typical of Malick, by the world of nature — so reverently evoked as to become almost a character in its own right.

TripAdvisor users gave Santa Fe’s Geronimo a tip of the hat in the review platform’s 2019 Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Awards. They named it the No. 5 U.S. restaurant …

By challenging almost every norm in an industry that sometimes focuses on safe repertoire and conventional marketing, Albuquerque-based chamber music group Chatter has gotten ahead of the curve.