Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Books

I set out with the best of intentions to compile a list of fun holiday reads, only to discover that the books I re-read around this time of year only have one thing in common. They're massive. My traditional holiday reads are 1) The Lord of the Rings and 2) all the Harry Potter books except the second one. Harry Potter does have great holiday scenes, but they're kind of a non-recommendation. You've either read Harry Potter or you haven't and nothing I write will change your mind on the subject.

So I wracked my brain, scoured my shelves and came up with the following list. Of two books. Um, hopefully Elizabeth can do better. I did come up with a rather long list of holiday books that I hate. You'll find that at the end of the post.

1) Little Women. It references Christmas in one of the greatest opening lines ever! And it just keeps going from there: pickled limes, burnt bangs, and the stupidest rejection of a proposal of ALL TIME. It was my favorite book for about ten years (I think it kind of brainwashed me into becoming a transcendentalist for a while). Regardless, Little Women is heartwarming and long, both integral ingredients for a cracking holiday read.

2) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It's the most random appearance of Father Christmas ever! He arrives, distributes weapons to the underage and unsupervised children, and then, with nary a ho ho ho, drives off in his non-flying sledge. But the rest of the book (and the series) is awesome and since most of the action takes place in an endless winter, it's totally holiday appropriate.

Holiday books I thought of but refused to list for parenthetical reasons:

A Prayer for Owen Meany (irrational hatred of John Irving); The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (irrational hatred of children who constantly misbehave); A Christmas Carol (irrational hatred of Jim Carrey and anything he's associated with); and The Gift of the Magi (irrational hatred of morals that are FORCED DOWN YOUR THROAT).

So it appears I might actually be something of a holiday book Scrooge. Does anyone have suggestions I missed? Impassioned defenses of books I maligned? I know there are good holiday reads out there, help me out!


  1. Just realized I forgot David Sedaris. Can never hold my head up again. 'Santaland Diaries' = genius.

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  3. Stephanie, I love that 'Moby Dick' is your holiday read! I am really trying hard not to make a "whale of a tale" joke and not doing very well.

  4. you just did a whale of a good job, kerbear. . .