Deck the halls with boughs of books: 10 Christmas must-reads
Christmas is just around the corner and they say it is the season to be jolly! While some of us prefer celebrating the world’s largest religious festival socialising or partying, there’s a section of people that would rather curl up with a book, ringing in the spirit of Christmas, with the magic of words and a warm cup of coffee. We have compiled a list of books that’d be perfect for the occasion. Check it out:
1. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
An overtly Christmas book, this one is a no-brainer. This classic novella written by Charles Dickens in 1843, still warms the hearts of millions of readers around the world who are sympathetic to the u-turn that the protagonist Ebenezar Scrooge takes after three ghosts from the Christmas Past, Present and Future scare him and he goes from a “covetous old sinner” to a man who wakes up with love in his heart on Christmas Day.
2. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, Agatha Christie
For those who like a little bit of mystery in their reading experiences, comes a suggestion penned by the queen of detective fiction herself – Agatha Christie. The book, a collection of short stories follows the adventures of both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Need we say more?
3. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”
From the penmanship of Louisa May Alcott, comes this classic book featuring the lives of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March and their transition from childhood to adulthood.
4. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris
If you like your humor dark and witty, then this collection of essays about Christmas published in 1997 by David Sedaris is for you. The book is very funny and will surely tickle your funny bone.
5. The Faber Book of Christmas
Published in 1999, The Faber Book of Christmas, edited by Simon Rae, isn’t your normal Christmas book. More than the traditional package of Christmas trees, cards and decorations, the world’s largest religious festival has its roots in a variety of pagan cultures and legends from all over the world, something which is well-captured in the book. The book, an anthology of memories, poems, stories and recipes is a good mix of everything and forms for an engaging mix of Christmas spirit and is sure to excite the history buffs.
6. The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
Awarded the Caldecott Medal for children’s literature in 1986, this book by Chris Van Allsburg is considered to be a classic Christmas story for young children. The protagonist, young Billy’s family doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, which is making him skeptical as well. Luckily for him, a mysterious train arrives on Christmas Eve to take him to North Pole to meet Santa himself. Read this to your children and watch them squeal in delight, or to relive the childhood glory days.
7. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
A series of five contemporary fantasy novels, written by author Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising is the second novel in the series, published in 1973. Christmas is fast approaching and it is Will Stanton’s 11th birthday. But there’s a surprise in store for him: he’s about to find out that “he’s an immortal guide of the light and must destroy the evil magic of the dark”. This book is sure to delight the fantasy aficionados.
8. Nigella Christmas, Nigella Lawson
It is the season to be jolly, and what better way to celebrate than with food. Comprising of practical, reliable and easy-to-follow recipes this book is a sure shot guide to all those who are planning to cook this December 25th. From recipes of delectable Christmas cakes to easy homemade presents, the book has it all, written by the queen of cooking Nigella Lawson.
9. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Schulz
Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Waterson wrote in 2007: “Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip” the clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale—in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow. It’s Christmas and Charlie decides to set the tone by arranging for a real tree rather than an artificial one as requested by Lucy. For all the Charlie Brown fans out there, this comic strip is bound to stir up old memories.
10. The Ecco Book of Christams Stories, Alberto Manguel
Christmas is the time of storytelling – tales both suspenseful and mysterious. ‘Internationally acclaimed anthologist’ Alberto Manguel brings together in this book an immensely enjoyable collection of twenty-three Christmas stories, from across the globe.