Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My Holiday Reading List

Every year, I choose a stack of books I want to read over the Christmas holiday season.  Rarely do all of the books get read, at least all the way through... but many do and they are far more likely to be read than if they stay on a shelf.  Currently the stack resides at the end of my desk (which is actually a fold down table as one would find in a cafeteria).

This year most will be re-reads, although a couple of the books have not been taken off the shelf in years.  I have been known to pick up a book not mentioned here to read, too.  So the list is not written in stone, just the backbone of my "most likely to be read" books now through Christmas.

In addition to these books, I will be perusing some favorite Christmas cookbooks and such, as time permits.

Here is my Christmas book stack for 2018.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, edited by Nancy Guthrie
I've used this small volume of essays as my Advent reading for a few years.  It has essays from writers as diverse as George Whitefield, Francis Schaeffer, and Alistair Begg.  Each essay will bring the true message of Christmas closer to you and they are just the right length for a busy season.  Information... here.

What the Land Already Knows: Winter's Sacred Days by Phyllis Tickle
This small-ish book is one of the three volumes of the Stories From the Farm in Lucy series.  She is a magical writer, with the ability of making the every day work we all do seem more grace filled.  Some may know her from her more liturgical writing but the Farm in Lucy books cross all denominational lines.  Information... here.  (Third Party)

Christmas in Fairacre by Miss Read
This book contains three of the Christmas stories written by Miss Read, including Village Christmas, The Christmas Mouse, and my favorite... No Holly for Miss Quinn.  I adore these stories and all of them add a special touch of Christmas in "long ago England" to my season.  Information... here.

A City of Bells by Elizabeth Goudge
This is one of my very favorite Goudge books and definitely the one I have re-read the most.  Since it mostly takes place at Christmas, it deserves a place in my yearly Christmas reading.  This book was my introduction to Henrietta and Grandfather, who are two of my most beloved literary people.  Information... here. (Third Party)

A Christmas Book by Elizabeth Goudge
This delightful anthology contains sections of Goudge's books relating to the Christmas season.  It is not as well known as most of her other books but makes for perfect Christmas reading when one has only time to read an excerpt here and there.  Information... here. (Third Party)

Shepherd's Abiding by Jan Karon 
While this much beloved Christmas story is part of the Mitford series, it very definitely can be read and enjoyed by any person who has not read even one Mitford book.  Each year, I find the story of how Father Tim patiently restores a creche as a gift to Cynthia, her surprise gift to him, and the glimpse of Christmas in Mitford to be a special joy.  Information... here.

The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater
A friend whose taste in books is much like mine recommended the writings of British food writer Nigel Slater to me a few years ago.  I found the books to be very enjoyable reads.  So I was particularly interested last year when I heard about his new book called The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories, and 100 Essential Recipes for Winter

It was my Christmas gift to myself last year, purchased Third Party from a London bookstore before it was available in the States.  For I not only love Christmas but Winter is my favorite season to spend time in the Kitchen. This is a book that lasts beyond Christmas, one that you can curl up with on many a Winter's evening, full of delightfully written essays, photos, and recipes.  Information... here. (Third Party)

I want my Christmas reading to be stories (real and fiction) that will bring the joy of the season to my heart, regardless of what is happening in the real world.  Books I can read when the news has been turned off, in the light of the Christmas tree, with a hot beverage and a lit candle.  :)

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.  I thank you.


Vee said...

Great! One of these books is coming my way next week, a used copy. ☺️ Can you guess which one? (Do you get any credit for used copies!)

oursearskithome.blogspot.com said...

I, too have a holiday reading list. On it are Jan Karon's Shepherd's Abiding, Miss Read's Christmas books, and many Grace Livingston Hill Christmas books. Elizabeth Goudge......still haven't read her, but I must. The book by Nigel Slater looks wonderful. I can lose myself in recipes as easily as any good book. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kay said...

I'm sure I've commented on my two favorite Christmas books, but I'll share them again with Amazon links.

1. Winter Solstice by Roseamunde Pilcher. Love this book and how family can be whoever you love.

2. The Substitute Guest by Grace Livingston Hill. I love this one even more. Home, cozy, comforting and the gospel is woven into the story. I've read this one each season for years.

I have a collection of Christmas stories from famous authors like Bess Streeter Aldrich also and Christmas in Fairacre (I think)too.
Some people do puzzles. We read. :)

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I need some new Christmas books to read. I want to make a priority of reading more everyday. I've become so busy that I haven't been reading much lately.

Suzan said...

I love the Miss Read books and I am unsure if I have read these. So I thank you.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

This is a wonderful list, Brenda! Wishing you and all your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

What a lovely Christmas book list! I'm off to hunt for Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater. For myself and as a gift.

Happy reading, Brenda.
Brenda L.

Kathy T. said...

Thanks for the recommendations, I need some new Christmas stories. For many years I always read “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder during the holidays. It’s been a couple years, I may just read it again. Her books were the first “chapter” books I started reading when I was young. I learned so many things, and they are wholesome stories, just perfect to curl up and read!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder to start getting out Christmas books in preparation for seasonal reading! Some of my selections this year will include a few of those you listed. I also hope to read the following: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Barbara Robinson), Sister of the Angels (Goudge), A Little House Christmas (excerpts from the LH books - like Kathy, I enjoyed these books as a child and love having all the Christmas scenes in one book), Where Treetops Glisten (a new favorite because of your earlier review!), and I am presently enjoying Bess Streeter Aldrich's short stories in Journey Into Christmas. I will also use Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift as a devotional. It is based on the "Jesse Tree" approach to advent. Happy reading! -Joy