What books are just perfect to curl up with when the jack frost comes a-nippin’ and reindeer are breakin’ up your roof with their big clumsy freaky magic flying hoofs??
We’ve picked a handful of our favourites! They aren’t necessarily about or during Christmas, but they are the perfect accompaniment to warm drinks and good food and coziness and merriment and warm fuzzies (without being sickly…! Just good, y’know?)
Winter always feels like a good time for fantasy, mystery and longer reads. Not all of my picks (read: none) are directly ‘Christmas’ related, but they certainly put me into the spirit when it’s cold and winter outside, and I want to warm up inside and be comforted by a good story.
First book on the winter holiday recommendations list is The Hobbit! Isn’t that cover just perfect too?! I love a bit of old fashioned high fantasy when it starts to get colder. And that’s probably due to social conditioning to believe ye olde European settings are the default/only settings for fantasy and those environments tend to be cold and ‘wintery’ feeling with forests and dragons and goblins and such. But for now we’ll just focus on the fact that this story is lovely and fun and goes great with a flagon of mulled wine and some biscuits? I am…really not a fan of the films…BUT I would probably follow this reading up with the Lord of the Rings film trilogy!
Next up is A Series Of Unfortunate Events! These books are so fun and the mood is just right for when things start to get a little gloomier. They’re great for a giggle and, because it’s a middle grade series, they’re short enough to consume in no time at all. I really love Tim Curry’s brilliant performance of the books on audiobook so I would actually recommend giving them a listen. It not only brings the books to delicious life(!) it also feels a bit like (what I imagine it was like) back in the old days (like 1930s? I don’t know) when you sit around the radio and listen eagerly to stories all warm and toasty in your cosy living room.
And for a little bit of mystery, The Secret Adversary…! This is the first of the Tommy and Tuppence series by Agatha Christie. It’s another fun one, but one that keeps you guessing nearly to the end (at least it did me). For me, these classic mysteries fit so well into winter. I find contemporary mysteries are often gritty, intense and uncomfortable…which is fine, but when winter rolls around, what I really want in a mystery is a fun little adventure to warm the cockles of my soul…sort of like next-level Scooby Doo. :’)
Perfect with a bottle of wine. (Or, as I like to say, a bottle of ‘win’!)
Norwegian Wood is the only one in this list that I wouldn’t describe as “fun” but it is, nevertheless, such an enjoyable read. For all the conflicting issues I have with much of his work, Haruki Murakami’s writing is beautiful but unobtrusive. It is accessible enough to pick it up without any difficulty at all and the words flow seamlessly as he weaves his tale. This was my first introduction to Murakami and I read it before knowing what a big deal he was. If you’re looking to try Murakami but not sure where to start, I would strongly(!) recommend starting with Norwegian Wood.
This one is perfect for winter as physical and emotional frigidity is so prevalent in the story, but there is also warmth to be found…
Are we suprirsed that Harry Potter is on this list? No, not really.
So this makes no sense, all of my choices are hardly Christmasy but for some reason, they bring me to thoughts of my favourite season! Actually, I do know why I chose all 4 of these, they all involve snow. Growing up in The Bahamas, one does not see snow, like ever (though there is a story about snow falling on the island I grew up on one frigid winter, which also brings stories of hell in The Bahamas). So I associate the snow in the books I grew up reading with Christmas. Hurrah.
Plus I reread the series every Christmas.
But yes, Winter Is Coming. Shush, don’t make fun of my cheesy inclusion of what has to be the most violent book I’ve ever read on a “Christmas” list.
Winter is coming, so duh, Christmas.
Plus, plus, I never understood what the heck Mulled Wine was till I read this book and even then it didn’t click till I moved to the UK for a year. Brilliant, I want to sit by a fire with a goblet of mulled wine with a direwolf by my feet (and live, I want to live).
I’ll say it once: Turkish Delight.
This is a true Christmas story for me. I was given the novels as a child for Christmas and I was also given the extended films and I’ve just grown up reading and watching them when it got a bit colder. The Lord of the Rings is an amazing series with quests and adventures and I will always think of the Shire in Christmas terms.
I hope to reread the series this Christmas, if I ever find the time to do so, and re-watch all of the films. Yes.
What books would you recommend to us for the season?