This year I’ve decided to embrace the festive period by reading some Christmassy novels so I thought I’d share those all with you. As always full disclosure that there are affiliate links in this post – this means when you order through a link of mine I get a cut of the sale with no additional costs to you.
Firstly I’m starting with The Unwrapping of Theodora Quirke by Caroline Smailes. I’ve heard such amazing things about Caroline Smailes and this book in particular so I’m really excited. I’m going to share the blurb below:
Theodora Quirke has no reason to be merry. It’s bad enough that she has to work on Christmas Eve but now there’s a drunk bloke dressed as Santa and claiming to be St Nick hanging around outside her flat. Given he’s professing to be the giver of Christmas miracles and nearly 2000 years old, she’s wary. Things get even more weird when St Nick insists he’s there to save Theo. And with the next St Nicholas Day somehow fast approaching, he’s even got a plan that’ll change her life forever .It all seems pretty straightforward, apart for one awkward fact: Theodora Quirke doesn’t actually need saving.
Next is In The Time We Lost by Carrie Hope Fletcher! Now this isn’t strictly Christmas (as far as I’m aware) but it looks frosty and wintery and Carrie is a genius writer so I know I’ll love it.
Blurb: Luna Lark used to love her name, but that was before people started saying it differently. “I’m so sorry, Luna. Are you alright, Luna? Everything will be okay, Luna. Now Luna is taking back control by starting again in the most remote place she could find: Ondingside, a magical little town with barely a hundred and fifty people in the middle of nowhere important. She’ll finally finish her latest novel, get herself back to normal, maybe even find love (and continue being a hopeless romantic). But on her first night in Ondingside a freak July snow fall freezes the town. Snowed in, the town stands still. Can Luna break out of the monotony and do what she came to do?
Last Christmas collated by Greg Wise and Emma Thompson is my next pick!
Blurb: When you think back to Christmases past, what (if anything) made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change? This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas, written by a unique plethora of voices from the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden. Away from the John Lewis advert, the high street decorations and the candied orange in Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas pudding, this gem of a book introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance – and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas.
Another collation is British Library’s A Literary Christmas.
Blurb: This seasonal compendium collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’s ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new—from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Benjamin Zephaniah’s “Talking Turkeys,” from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to P. G. Wodehouse’s wry story about Christmas on a diet. Enjoy a Christmas Day as described by Samuel Pepys, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, or Nancy Mitford. Venture out into the snow in the company of Jane Austen, Henry James, and Dickens’s Mr. Pickwick. Entertain the children with the seasonal tales of Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Grahame, and Oscar Wilde.
Second to last is In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren!
Blurb: It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions. But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy. The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.
And lastly is Winter by Ali Smith. I’ve heard nothing but praise for Ali’s season quartet so I’m really excited to get reading. I know you’re typically supposed to begin with Autumn but I’m hoping it will still be ok.
Blurb: Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer’s leaves? Dead litter. The world shrinks; the sap sinks. But winter makes things visible. And if there’s ice, there’ll be fire.