Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Some of My Favorite Christmas Books
I was asked to share some of my favorite Christmas books. I have collected quite a few through the years, most of them at book sales and used book stores. I've also been known to bring a Christmas book home from the library but mostly I like to own them. Some of these favorites are out-of-print, thus the treasure hunting for used editions at affordable prices.
I never feel I have to read every book each year for that would be adding pressure to an already busy season. Instead I choose those I want to read that year (another reason for owning my books) and then leave others for either the next Christmas season or, gasp... off season reading.
I included some favorite books here, all with a Christmas theme. Some are actual Christmas books while others are novels taking place at least part of the time during Christmas season. For instance, Little Women is not really considered a Christmas book but it has lovely Christmas scenes within so it can be part of your Holiday reading.
Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon - I've mentioned this before but I absolutely love this book and you need not have read the Mitford series to enjoy it. The scenes of Mitford during the Holidays as well as Father Tim and his wife working on their handmade Christmas gifts make for a delightful Season... even if your own may be less than wonderful this year.
Christmas at Fairacre by Miss Read contains three deliciously lovely Christmas stories; Village Christmas, The Christmas Mouse, and No Holly for Miss Quinn. I read it every year.
I also have a vintage copy of No Holly for Miss Quinn that I keep just for the cover. I can't be the only reader who does that.
Info... here. (This book is also now available for the Kindle.)
These three stories take place in English villages that make one long for the quaint village life of that time period. However, they are also not overly sweet or too nostalgic. I think many of us will be thankful to Jan Karon, who made the Miss Read books better known here in the U.S.
The Sister of the Angels by Elizabeth Goudge - This lovely Christmas story is the sequel to A City of Bells (one of my favorite Goudge books). It is about Henrietta, her grandfather, her father, and the rest of the residents of "The City of Bells".
This long out-of-print book may be hard to find but if you love A City of Bells, it is well worth it. This link takes you to an Amazon third party seller but you may find it cheaper elsewhere. Info... here.
A Christmas Book by Elizabeth Goudge is an anthology of sections from various Goudge books where the story takes place at Christmas. It is enjoyable to pick it up on a busy day and read one story or many at one time.
This book may also be hard to find but it is worth it for lovers of Goudge's stories. Amazon link to a third party seller... here.
Winter Solstice is a story by Rosamunde Pilcher, part of which takes place in Scotland at Christmas. This was the second book I read by Pilcher, the first being her well known The Shell Seekers.
While I enjoyed the first book, I totally fell in love with the story in Winter Solstice and found myself wanting to live in a small Scottish town at Christmas.
Info... here. (Kindle version available.)
Christmas With Rosamunde Pilcher takes you into the real world of Pilcher's family at Christmas with photos, and family stories. It also contains a Christmas short story written for this book. If you are a fan of Pilcher and Scotland, you will enjoy this book. It is one to sit down with to enjoy with a cup of tea when you need to "get away from it all".
This book is out of print but there are very reasonable used copies available. Link to a third party seller is... here.
The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a classic, of course, but have you read it outside of a classroom? It is a classic for a reason. Lovely writing and perfect for reading aloud to the children.
Link to this paperback edition is... here.
There are a lot of more recent and popular authors who write Christmas books and I'm sure I've read a few. It's just none stuck to my memory since I often bring one of these home from the library.
However, last year I bought the book by Robin Jones Gunn that contained both Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas in it. I didn't get a chance to read it last year so it is rather high up on my reading list this year. I think I can recommend them because people I trust recommended the stories to me.
Link to this book with two stories is... here. (Kindle version available.) There is also a third story available which you can follow at the same link. I have my copy out to read for the first time soon.
I also own some books which are more Advent oriented. Even though I do not attend a liturgical church, I do like this kind of reading during the Holidays. The first book is by an Episcopalian whose writings I have longed appreciated.
What the Land Already Knows: Winter's Sacred Days is part of the "Stories from the Farm in Lucy" trilogy by Phyllis Tickle. I own all three of these books but this one was the first I read. Only Phyllis Tickle can write liturgical stories that include cows, barns, and raising children in rural Tennessee.
Out of print but a link to third party book sellers is... here.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, this book is edited by Nancy Guthrie and includes chapters written by many different authors including George Whitefield, John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Randy Alcorn, Francis Schaeffer, Joni Erickson Tada, and more. I have used this book for years, reading one chapter off and on through Advent.
I'll share more as I think of them!
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.