Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas books: A list

The end of the year is list season, especially in the world of books. What better reason is there to come up with my very own list of 10 Christmas-themed books? If you can't get away from the jollity and insanity, the next best thing is to throw yourself in wholeheartedly, even down to the books on your bedside table. So here goes:

Liane's list of Christmas-themed books

1. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
The creator of Wizard of Oz unleashes his imagination again in this story of the origin of Saint Nicholas.

2. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
My mother was a fan of this author and I read several titles from her bookshelf, all of which gave profound insights into the Chinese culture. This story is a departure from her pet setting and themes: here a penniless teenage boy finds a way to give his father a precious Christmas gift.

3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
What list is complete without this classic? Especially a list by someone nicknamed 'Scrooge' at this time of year. Meet Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge and all the Spirits.

4. The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens
This novella is divided into Chirps instead of chapters. Published in 1845, it tells the story of a family with a cricket in the house. The cricket, their guardian angel, warns the master that his wife may be having an affair. Doesn't sound like Christmas fare, does it? Despite the sobering premise the spirit of the season manages to prevail.

5. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Sedaris turns his sardonic wit to Christmas and pulls it off with style in this collection of Christmas-themed stories. From the hilarious SantaLand Diaries in which Sedaris chronicles his time working as an elf at Macy's ("You are not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf.") to Dinah, the Christmas Whore and Six to Eight Black Men, these stories are funny and sad, hilarious and sobering.

6. On A Snowy Night by Debbie Macomber
Love romance novels? Love Christmas? Here are two heartwarming Christmas stories in one package from a queen of the romance genre.

7. The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Baldacci has been venturing beyond the thrillers that made him a household name into historical and science fiction mystery. Here he takes a shot at the Christmas-mystery-humour-romance racket with a thriller set aboard a cross-country train. If you're a fan of train lore, you're in for a treat.

8. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
A hilarious Christmas satire set in the fantasy universe of Discworld. The Auditors want people to stop believing in things that aren't real, so they've hired an assassin to eliminate Hogfather - you know, that fat, white-bearded, red-suited guy who cries "HO HO HO!"

9. Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Christmas Treasury by Jack Canfield
Looking for Christmastime inspiration? Pick up this book for a bowlful.

10. Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou
First read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony, this stirring poem and the lovely artwork will resonate with all ages.


Charles Gramlich said...

Cool idea for a list. I've only read Dicken's book.

Liane Spicer said...

Charles, of the others on the list I think you might enjoy Hogfather by Terry Pratchett best.

Chris Stovell said...

I could do with a bit of Christmas cheer so there are some titles for me to check out there.

Have a very merry Christmas, Liane - and wishing you all the best for 2011.

Liane Spicer said...

Chris, many happy returns! ((()))

Anonymous said...

The only one I read so far is A Christmas Carol. All is not lost as I do look at Christmas movies in August so why not read a Christmas book off season. Nice recommendations I think :)

Season's Greetings!!!

Liane Spicer said...

All the best to you too, akalol!

I think everyone must have read A Christmas Carol. I did so long ago it's due for a re-read.