'Tis the season to be reading

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which to me is the sight of a pile of new books in the glow of the lights of the Christmas tree. If you’re all partied out, full of mince pies and looking to read a book with a bit of a bit of a festive flavour, take a look at my list of Christmas-themed reads. Hopefully there’s something for everyone!

For the traditionalist in their ‘kerchief: The Night Before Christmas (A Visit from St. Nicholas) by Clement C Moore

Who doesn’t love this classic poem, which somehow makes you nostalgic for the Christmas you never had? By writing these beautifully simple verses Moore created most of our modern ideas of Santa Claus, as well as arguably some of the best rhyming this side of Shakespeare. Perfect for reading aloud to your over-excited children at bedtime, stressing the part about ‘not a creature stirring’!

For the sensitive child inside you: The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

I’m sorry for bringing up what I’m sure is a painful memory in all children of the ‘80s! While the book of The Snowman is less overtly Christmassy than the popular TV version, I do believe this is still a must-read at this time of year. Also, if you manage to read it without getting a shrill Welsh choir-boy singing in your head it will be a Christmas miracle. Also check out Briggs’ lesser known book ‘Father Christmas’, the TV adaptation of which was a personal childhood favourite!

For the Hipster: The Chimes by Charles Dickens

Sure, everyone’s read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (or at least pretends to when they have only watched the Muppet version) so to be truly unique this Christmas why not tell everyone you’ve read his more obscure Christmas tale. More of a social commentary than festive fun, this is still a great book for those who crave the simpler times of Christmas past.

For the person who always gets their pet a present too: The Christmas Kitten by James Herriot

A recently discovered gem for me, in the form of an early Christmas present from the hubby. I of course already knew Herriot, the vet-cum-author, for his memoir series All Creatures Great and Small, but how I missed this simple children’s classic for so long I don’t know. With its beautiful artwork and a bitter-sweet story this book will hopefully show you that small acts of kindness make a big difference. Made me hug my cat extra hard.

For someone who finds A Family Christmas murder: Hercules Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Just because it’s Christmas, that doesn’t mean your reading material should be all goodness and light. The premise of Hercules Poirot’s Christmas is a classic one, often used in soaps; a dysfunctional family all gather together for Christmas, with fatal results. Featuring the best fictional detective ever and all the ingredients of a typical Christie novel: mistaken identities, dark secrets, and of course a gruesome murder, this story is perfect for reading on a cold dark night.

Here’s to a bookish Christmas!

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