2010 Christmas Reading List

Christmas is upon us and with it holidays and downtime.  For the readers out there, this is a time for reading.  We don’t often get this much time to sit down and relax with a good book so I’ve put together a list of 20 books to read over the festive season.  In no particular order, you’ll find books of all genres; some thrillers, crime novels, romance, spiritual stories, classics and some funny stuff.  Oh, and two non fiction novels too.  This list is for adult readers so take a look and enjoy.  If you manage to read any of these or have read them already, leave us a comment with your thoughts.  You’ll notice I’ve included 4 offerings from Richard Paul Evans on this list and the reason is because they are said to be beautiful novels with powerful messages –  I plan to read those 4 this Christmas.

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

London 1843 few know any leisure, and Christmas has all but been forgotten…Enter Charles Dickens and his “Ghostly little book,” in which he invents the modern concept of Christmas Spirit and offers one of the world s most adapted and imitated stories. We know Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, not only as fictional characters, but also as icons of the true meaning of Christmas in a world still plagued with avarice and cynicism. (GoodReads)

Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding’s devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud account of a year in  the life of a thirty-something Singleton launched a genre and transcended the pages of fiction to become a cultural icon. (GoodReads)

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington D.C. to L.A in  time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures and holiday magic. He has no idea that the locomotives pulling him across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, as he rediscovers people’s essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost. The Christmas Train is filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief…and shows how we doget second chances to fulfill our deepest hopes and dreams, especially during this season of miracles. (GoodReads)

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection of Truman Capote’s rural Alabama boyhood has become a modern-day classic. We are proud to be reprinting this warm and delicately illustrated edition of A Christmas Memory—”a tiny gem of a holiday story” (School Library Journal, starred review). Seven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas season by crying out to his cousin, Miss Sook Falk: “It’s fruitcake weather!” Thus begins an unforgettable portrait of an odd but enduring friendship between two innocent souls—one young and one old—and the memories they share of beloved holiday rituals.  (GoodReads)

There’s Something about Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Bestselling author Debbie Macomber (who won a Quill Award for Best Romance with 44 Cranberry Point) delight her many fans with an annual Christmas romantic comedy. This time, she delivers not only love and laughter but also fruitcake.  Macomber’s sweet romance pits Emma Collins, a young reporter, against pilot Oliver Hamilton. Yes, he’s attractive; yes, she’s attracted; but Emma has issues. She is estranged from her father, she doesn’t trust men, and Christmas is just another day to go to the movies alone. A coveted feature assignment takes her by plane to interview the three finalists in a national fruitcake contest. By the time the article is finished, Emma has learned more than a little about life and love from each woman — and, with Oliver’s help, she has rediscovered the joy of Christmas. (Bakers, take note: Recipes for the winning fruitcakes are included — applesauce, chocolate, and a special no-bake version!) (GoodReads)

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

“The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!/Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.” Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. Noisy holiday preparations & infernal singing by the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. He decides the frivolous merriment must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville & strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee forever.  Looking disturbingly out of place in his makeshift get-up, the Grinch slithers down chimneys with empty bags, stealing presents, food, even logs from humble fires. He takes the ramshackle sleigh to Mt. Crumpit to dump it, anticipating the sobs of the Whos when they wake up to discover the Christmas trappings have disappeared. Imagine the their dismay when they discover the evil-doings of Grinch in his anti-Santa guise. But what is that sound? It’s not sobbing, but singing! Children simultaneously adore & fear this triumphant, twisted testimonial to the undaunted cheerfulness of the Whos, the transcendent nature of joy, & of course, the growth potential of a heart that’s two sizes too small. This holiday classic is perfect for reading aloud to your favorite little Whos. (GoodReads)

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.  A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition. (GoodReads)

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

‘Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.  But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he’s not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn’t run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.  But hold on! There’s an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It’s none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel’s not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say “Kris Kringle,” he’s botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.  Move over, Charles Dickens — it’s Christopher Moore time. (GoodReads)

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

It all started when Jeff Guinn was assigned to write a piece full of little-known facts about Christmas for his paper, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A few months later, he received a call from a gentleman who told him that he showed the story to an important friend who didn’t think much of it. And who might that be? asked Jeff. The next thing he knew, he was whisked off to the North Pole to meet with this “very important friend,” and the rest is, well, as they say, history.  An enchanting holiday treasure, The Autobiography of Santa Claus combines solid historical fact with legend to deliver the definitive story of Santa Claus. And who better to lead us through seventeen centuries of Christmas magic than good ol’ Saint Nick himself? Families will delight in each chapter of this new Christmas classic-one per each cold December night leading up to Christmas! (GoodReads)

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

This year the Auditors, who want people to stop believing in things that aren’t real, have hired an assassin to eliminate the Hogfather. (You know him: red robe, white beard, says, “Ho, ho, ho!”) Their evil plot will destroy the Discworld unless someone covers for him. So someone does. Well, at least Death tries. He wears the costume and rides the sleigh drawn by four jolly pigs: Gouger, Tusker, Rooter, and Snouter. He even comes down chimneys. But as fans of other Pratchett stories about Death (Mort, Reaper Man, and Soul Music) know, he takes things literally. He gives children whatever they wish for and appears in person at Crumley’s in The Maul.  Fans will welcome back Susan, Death of Rats (the Grim Squeaker), Albert, and the wizardly faculty of Unseen University, and revel in new personalities like Bilious, the “oh god of Hangovers.” But you needn’t have read Pratchett before to laugh uproariously and think seriously about the meanings of Christmas. (GoodReads)

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s seasonal mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man! (GoodReads)

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Rosamunde Pilcher’s novel, despite its chilly setting, will warm the hearts of her growing army of loyal fans. Winter Solstice has all the familiar trademarks of a Pilcher saga, spun in her inimitable, homey, beguiling style. The story is told, chapter by chapter, from the perspectives of an eclectic array of characters. Former actress Elfrida–not very good by her own admission–leaves London for a geriatric bolthole in the country where she meets retired schoolmaster and organist, Oscar. Meanwhile, Carrie (Elfrida’s second cousin), returns to London from Austria where she had a brilliant career in the tourist industry, only to find her niece, 14-year-old Lucy, sadly neglected by her selfish mother and equally spoiled grandmother. Finally, handsome Sam is recalled from New York by his company chairman to revive an ailing Scottish textile mill.  As one character after another must learn to live with their losses, they find themselves collectively spirited northwards, from Sussex to Scotland, by way of Cornwall. And, as events unfurl, slowly, surely, but inevitably, those in need find solace in unexpected places. While her characterizations are generally carefully crafted and entirely rounded, Pilcher’s greatest strengths lie in her natural, easy narratives of everyday life and her thoroughly researched and captivating descriptions of scenery and surroundings. (GoodReads)

The Gift by Richard Paul Evans

There is no hurt so great that love cannot heal it. Nathan Hurst hated Christmas. For the rest of the world it was a day of joy and celebration; for Nathan it was simply a reminder of the event that destroyed his childhood until a snowstorm, a cancelled flight, and an unexpected meeting with a young mother and her very special son would show him that Christmas is indeed the season of miracles.  From the beloved author of the international bestseller The Christmas Box comes another timeless story of faith, hope, and healing. (GoodReads)

Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans

Finding Noel is about how people come into our lives for a reason. It is a love story about Macy and Mark, two young people from different worlds. (GoodReads)

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

This inspiring holiday tale tells the touching story of a widow and the young  family who moves in with her, and the ways in which they discover together the first gift of Christmas and what the holiday is really all about. Written by the author as a token of affection for his daughters, The Christmas Box has captured the hearts and minds of over a million readers. (GoodReads)

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

Like his 2008 bestseller The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans’s novel exudes true holiday spirit. Evans got the idea for the fiction while watching a local theater production of Dickens’s Christmas Carol. Almost instantly, Evans realized that is the story he wanted to write: the transformation of a present-day Scrooge into a caring human being. The list in the title isn’t a conventional reminder for gifts; it’s a roster of the people whom protagonist James Kier has most wronged. Unabashedly heartfelt and sentimental, The Christmas List has all the best elements of a redemptive Yuletide tale. (GoodReads)

Mr. Ives’ Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos

Hijuelos’ novel tells the story of Mr. Ives, who was adopted from a foundling’s home as a child. When we first meet him in the 1950s, Mr. Ives is very much a product of his time. He has a successful career in advertising, a wife and two children, and believes he is on his way to pursuing the typical American dream. But the dream is shattered when his son Robert, who is studying for the priesthood, is killed violently at Christmas. Overwhelmed by grief and threatened by a loss of faith in humankind, Mr. Ives begins to question the very foundations of his life. Part love story—of a man for his wife, for his children, for God—and part meditation on how a person can find spiritual peace in the midst of crisis,Mr. Ives’ Christmas is a beautifully written, tender and passionate story of a man trying to put his life in perspective. In the expert hands of Oscar Hijuelos, the novel speaks eloquently to the most basic and fulfilling aspects of life for all of us. (GoodReads)

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

O. Henry’s most famous short story, “The Gift of the Magi” has a universal  appeal that extends beyond the Christmas season. Set in New York at the turn of the century, the story centers on a young couple and the sacrifices each must make in order to buy the other a gift. (GoodReads)

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts

At Christmas time, it seems as though a woman’s work is never done. Trimming the tree, mailing the cards, schlepping to the mall, the endless wrapping—bah humbug! So this year, Joy and Laura and the rest of their knitting group decide to go on strike. If their husbands and families want a nice holiday—filled with parties, decorations, and presents—well, they’ll just have to do it themselves. The boycott soon takes on a life of its own when a reporter picks up the story and more women join in. But as Christmas Day approaches, Joy, Laura, and their husbands confront larger issues in their marriages and discover that a little holiday magic is exactly what they need to come together.  Sheila Roberts gives the best gift of all in this funny, heartwarming novel that touches the very core of Christmas spirit. (GoodReads)

Christmas: A Candid History by Bruce David Forbey

Written for everyone who loves and is simultaneously driven crazy by the holiday season, Christmas: A Candid History provides an enlightening, entertaining perspective on how the annual Yuletide celebration got to be what it is today. In a fascinating, concise tour through history, the book tells the story of Christmas–from its pre-Christian roots, through the birth of Jesus, to the holiday’s spread across Europe into the Americas and beyond, and to its mind-boggling transformation through modern consumerism. Packed with intriguing stories, based on research into myriad sources, full of insights, the book explores the historical origins of traditions including Santa, the reindeer, gift giving, the Christmas tree, Christmas songs and movies, and more. The book also offers some provocative ideas for reclaiming the joy and meaning of this beloved, yet often frustrating, season amid the pressures of our fast-paced consumer culture. (GoodReads)

Happy Reading!  If there’s a really good Christmas book missing from the list add your recommendation in the comments.

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Verity M

WRITER #Reading #Photography #Creativity #LifeDesign blogging on Lilolia. Van Gogh: "It is good to love many things, for therein lies strength..."

5 thoughts on “2010 Christmas Reading List”

  1. Pingback: and Make-A-Wish
  2. If I may suggest CLAUS, A Christmas Incarnation. Three volumes in 5 paperback books. An 850,000 word saga that will most certainly remove you to another place and time for a couple of weeks during the long hard winter months.

    1. Hi CJ, suggestions are always welcome! I’ll have to pull together a new Christmas reading list for this year and will definitely include Claus. Thanks!

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