Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Reading

I know everyone is crazy busy during this season, but we all need a few minutes here and there to wind down, even if it's not until bedtime.  Do you have a favorite book or short story that you like to read (or re-read) at Christmastime?  I have a few favorites that I never seem to grow tired of reading during the holidays.  Maybe you've read some of them too?

I think I've read almost all of Rosamunde Pilcher's books and short stories, and this is one of my very favorites.  I usually like to start reading it in the early part of December.  It's what I call a cozy read; the kind where you can curl up with a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate at the end of the day.

If you're a Jan Karon fan and you've read the other books in her Mitford series, but somehow managed to miss this one, you really need to read it.  Preferably at Christmastime.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

One of my very favorites since childhood, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".  I like the movie versions with George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart as Scrooge.  I also got to see the play at our local theater years ago performed by the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival -- loved it.  :)

These last two books are a bit of a departure from classic Christmas stories, but if you've managed to read all the classics and are looking for something different to read, here are two murder mysteries that take place at Christmas.  I know -- murder mysteries during the holidays.  But these aren't gruesome, psychotic crime thrillers.  They're actually English murder mysteries (written by an American author) and she does a bang-up job too, I might add.  I would recommend all of her mysteries in the "Inspector Jury" series, but I mention these two because, again, the stories take place at Christmas.

All of her titles are named for English pubs, by the way.  These books have a combination I find hard to resist; the mysteries are hard to figure out, they're full of quick, clever British humor, and just enough melancholy to keep them from being too "light".  If you didn't know better, you'd swear Martha Grimes was British.  She has mastered the accents and idioms of the Brits, and for me, that's a big part of what makes these books entertaining to read.

I'd love to hear about what you like to read during the holidays.  I'm always glad to add new favorites to my collection.

Have a great evening, and thanks for visiting the House at Forest Manor.



  1. I haven't read a single one of them. Thanks for the recommendations! I couldn't think of a single distinctly Christmas book to share back. I will say that I love O. Henry and keep a collection of his stories to read reread. "The Gift of the Magi" never gets old to me. My favorite children's story is "Why the Chimes Rang". I loved it as a kid, as a teacher, as a mom, and now I still just love as a nearly vintage old woman.

  2. Thanks for the tip on the martha grimes novels. I'm needing something to read and those sound perfect.

    I'm also in NC- nice to meet you.
    Merry Christmas
    PS~ Love your blog name

  3. I should have reread Shepherds Abiding in Dec. A perfect seasonal read!

  4. Denise, I know this is an old post, but I saw the book pic on "you also might like" at the bottom of one of your recent posts.
    Winter Solstice is one of my favorite books by her. She is one of my all time favorite authors. I may have told you that before, but just in case, I think I just might read it again for Christmas. Checking out your other suggestions, too. Thanks!
    xo Babs



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