Holiday Reads

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and holiday music is suddenly blaring through every radio station, convenience store, and shopping mall. That’s right, December has arrived. To welcome the season, we’ve gathered some of our favorite titles in a few genres. So, gather your coziest blanket and warmest beverage and get into the holiday mood with these novels.

Festive Favorites:

STORY OF HANUKKAH by Amy Ehrlich (BR 08929 and DB 33242)
Retells the biblical story that is celebrated by Jewish people in the feast of Hanukkah.

SEVEN SPOOLS OF THREAD by Angela Shelf Medearis (BR 13078 and DB 97859)
Tale about seven argumentative Ashanti brothers, who are given the seemingly impossible task of turning spools of silk thread into gold. They join together to solve the problem, thus exhibiting the spirit of Kwanzaa.

A collection of Christmas letters penned by J.R.R. Tolkien and signed as Father Christmas that were sent to Tolkien’s children from 1920-1943. Each recapped activities of the preceding year at the North Pole, including reindeer running amok and the North Polar Bear breaking the moon into four pieces.

MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL by Samantha Silva (LB 09285 and DB 87973)
Depressed about the failure of his most recent book, feeling pressured by his publisher to write a Christmas book, and worried over his family’s financial stability, Charles Dickens seeks refuge in nightly walks. On one, he meets Eleanor Lovejoy, who takes him on a Scrooge-like journey.

Hallmark Holiday:

ROYAL HOLIDAY by Jasmine Guillory (BR 22879 and DB 96768)
When her daughter gets a job styling a member of the British royal family for the holidays, Vivian Forest jumps at the chance to travel with her. She is intrigued by Malcolm Hudson, a private secretary to the Queen, but Vivian is supposed to return home after Christmas. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS by Jenny Bayliss (DB 101994)
The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with dating prospects, but thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner’s best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. With twelve dates with twelve different men, she hopes for love by Christmas. Unrated.

WINTER NIGHTS by Francis Ray (DB 52196)
Compilation of three short African American Christmas novels. In “Until Christmas” Samantha becomes a housekeeper for Principal Rawlings and his twins. “Kwanzaa Angel” finds Erin being reintroduced to an old high school crush. In “Round Midnight” radio talk-show host Summer falls in love with her director. Some descriptions of sex.

Family Fiascos:

SEVEN DAYS OF US by Francesca Hornak (DB 89399)
The Birch family are under the same roof at Christmas for the first time in years, including Olivia, a doctor usually off saving the world. When Olivia is told she must stay in quarantine for a week, it means she and her family are stuck together for the duration. Some strong language.

CHRISTMAS STORY by Jean Shepherd (DBC 13520)
This edition of A Christmas Story gathers in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.

SKIPPING CHRISTMAS by John Grisham (BR 13636, DB 52929, and LB 04959)
Tax accountant Luther Krank calculates that a Caribbean cruise will cost less than what he and his wife, Nora, spent celebrating the holidays last year. Since daughter Blair is in the Peace Corps, they plan to skip Christmas. Luther, however, doesn’t anticipate the town’s reaction. Some strong language.

Murder, Mystery, and More:

FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK by Georgette Heyer (DBC 11081 and LB 07187)
Locals claim it is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door, but to siblings Peter, Celia, and Margaret, the Priory is nothing more than a rundown estate inherited from their late uncle and the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday. But when a murder victim is discovered in the Priory halls, the once unconcerned trio begins to fear that the ghostly rumors are true, and they are not alone after all. Some strong language and some violence.

MISTLETOE AND MURDER by Carola Dunn (DB 73122)
England, 1923. Daisy Dalrymple, her husband Alec, and other relatives spend Christmas at Brockdene, Lord Westmoor’s Cornish estate, which Daisy is writing about. They are hosted not by Westmoor but by his poor Indian relations who reside there. Daisy and Alec investigate when a visiting Indian cleric is murdered.

IN A HOLIDAZE by Christina Lauren (DB 101089)
With her life a mess, Maelyn Jones is looking forward to spending one last Christmas at her family’s cabin in Utah. On her way, she is in an accident, and wakes to find herself in a time loop where she relives the same holiday over and over. Descriptions of sex and some strong language.

Nonfiction Noel Narratives:

CHRISTMAS MEMORY by Truman Capote (DB 30913)
A late November morning and the exclamation “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather,” conjure up for Truman Capote the memory of a beloved cousin, Miss Sook Faulk, and Queenie, a little rat terrier “who has survived distemper and two rattlesnake bites.”  They make fruit- cake on this, their last Christmas together.

Selections from forty years of the award-winning author’s reflections on Christmas themes conveyed in stories, poems, essays, letters, and journal entries. Topics follow the Christmas season: Advent, Incarnation, Epiphany, Glorious Mystery, Redemption, and Celebration. The title piece recalls a past Christmas when L’Engle feared her daughter had leukemia.