Monday, December 16, 2013

All I Want for Christmas is Books

I am a total Christmas Elf. I am a lost Who of Whoville. I am Cindy Lou Who. I am Buddy the Elf's jollier little sister. I sing carols, I bake cookies, I make decoration, I write Christmas cards. I LIVE for the holidays, immersing myself in as much Christmas-ness as possible. Which means I like to read books that feel like winter and holidays, and what's more, I like to give them out as gifts!

Here's a quick and easy guide of holiday-adjacent reading you should check out this December:

For the classics lover:


The Annoted Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is one of my favorite novels of all time, and in this annotated edition, it's brought to life with gorgeous illustrations and historical asides. Plus the cover is shiiiiiny.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Only part of this book revolves around Christmas, but for me, the classic Little Women will always be associated with winter nights, family cheer, carrolling around the piano, and poisonous Amy March plunging into a frozen pond. Ahhh, gotta love the holiday season.

For the lover of cuteness and romance:


Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
The book is comprised of three connected novellas by three of the biggest contemporary YA authors. Of the three stories, the Johnson's is my favorite, followed closely by Green, but the book as a whole will make you laugh and swoon and fill you with all the holiday fuzzies.

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
This book is both supremely silly and supremely hilarious. This book is like a candy cane: sweet and rather insubstantial, but that's precisely its charm. I enjoyed myself so thoroughly reading this. It's also really not that Christmas-y, despite the title and cover. Whatever. Don't over think it. It's cute.

Ex-Mas by Kate Brian
Now, I haven't read this one myself, but it's about two battling exes and a magical adventure and a love-hate story, so it totally sounds like something fun and enjoyable.

For the quirky hipsters:


Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I'll admit I only read part of this book, and while it's not to my style, there are others out there guaranteed to love quirky, intelligent Lily and Dash and their unconventional holiday romance.
For the history buff:


The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford
Despite that rather unwieldy post-colonic subtitle, this book is a swift and interesting look at the man who helped define Christmas culture in the Western world.

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 by Stanley Weintraub
I love European history, mostly because it's full of strange and wonderful and confusing little moments like this one, when soldiers on opposite sides of the trenches put down their weapons for one Christmas and joined together to eat and drink and sing carols together.

For those is need of a laugh:


Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Few people are funnier than David Sedaris, so I'm sure a book chock-full of his Christmas stories can only be hilarious.

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas
I've never read any of Burroughs's books, but I hear he's terrifically funny and dark, and this cover made me laugh for about a solid minute,

 For the fantastical:


Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce
Frozen, Disney's interpretation of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, just released in theaters, but a few months ago Pearce's newest fairy tale reimagining came out too.

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series, and the final installment, set in the snowy mountains between two battling kingdoms, might be the best of the three. Plus, HECTOR. HEEEEECTORRR.

These next three books are all based on a snowy fairy tale, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". As to which one is the best, I'm not sure, because I haven't read any! They all look quite intriguing ot me.


Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

East by Edith Pattou

What are your favorite holiday-related reads? Do any on my list intrigue you? What would you add?


  1. Of these, I've only read Ice and Decked With Holly. I enjoyed both.

    I would definitely add North Pole Reform School! It is adorable, hilarious and quirky! And has zombies! :D

  2. Of the last three I've read 'East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon' and 'East.' I thought that the former was better. That's one of my favorite fairy tales!

    For Christmas, I always read 'A Christmas Carol' (of course) 'Treasures of the Snow' (SWITZERLAND!), and 'Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree.' The last one is a picture book, but everybody should read it. There's a character named Mistletoe Mouse :).

  3. Great list! I''m currently rereading Little Women this Christmas. I love you comments about Amy. I'm always struck by how much I dislike her and then I feel like a terrible person that I don't feel bad when she gets punished for bringing in limes or when she falls in the ice. You made your bed Amy!

  4. Aw, amazing post Gillian :D Thank you for sharing. <3 Sigh. The Bitter Kingdom. So good.

  5. Great list! I need to check out 'let it snow' and that Sedaris book. :)

    Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is an excellent book- very much written as a fairytale, but lovely and did great justice to one of my favorite stories. I recommend it! :)


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