Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Talk - Holiday Edition

November has flown by and it is already time to share favorite Christmas books.  Many are books I have shared before but they are long time favorites, as well as a new favorite.  

Please also forgive the odd spacing now and then.  I think I tweaked it enough that it looks better than it did originally.  Blogger is not amused when you do some cut and pasting.  ;)

Books - Nonfiction
~When my friend, Heather LeFebvre, told me she was writing a book about the traditions of Christmas, I knew it would be good.  Heather is an excellent writer and artist (as well as the friend who knitted my Mrs. Beaver tea cozy and put together the best wedding survival box for me to enjoy after my son and daughter-in-law's wedding).

The History of Christmas came out last year and I was right, it is lovely and enjoyable to read.  This is not only a book of stories but contains many hands on activities a family can do together to celebrate the various traditions,  She was right when she predicted the chapter on Colonial Williamsburg would be my favorite.  I gave this as a gift to loved ones last Christmas.  More information... here.

~Nigel Slater is a British writer best known for his books about food but he is oh so much more than that.  I'm sure we do not share the same opinions on politics and religion but there are times we can find an area of agreement with people and this author is proof of that, especially in his book which is an ode to both Christmas and Winter called Christmas Chronicles.

I love Christmas like many people but I also love Winter... a season many people do not love. I think those of us who are introverts enjoy an excuse for reading and candlelight. I adore snow as long as I don't have to drive anywhere.

He also made a podcast talking about Christmas Chronicles and it is available again this year by searching your podcast app for that name. You can also listen to it on the website. I can't think of anything better to listen to during the season (other than Christmas music!).

More information on the book Christmas Chronicles is... here. (Also available on Kindle.)  More information on the podcast is... here.

~I only own a few cookbooks specifically for Christmas and sometimes they don't even make it off the shelf in December.  I keep them more for reference.  However, one book I always take off the shelf is Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm by Marge Clark.

This is a book full of recipes, crafts, and lots of photographs of Marge's Oak Hill Farm all decked out for the Holidays in the 1990s.  It is good anytime of the year when you need recipes for when you have guests. Marge was a well known cook, gardener, and herb specialist.  I was saddened when I heard she lost her life in a traffic accident many years ago now.

I also own her cookbook called Best of Thymes, which I refer to often when wanting a recipe to use a specific herb.  It doesn't have photos but it has lots of recipes and information about cooking with herbs.

Info about Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm can be found... here. (Third Party)
Information about Best of Thymes can be found... here. (Third Party) 

~Christmas with Rosamunde Pilcher is not a recipe book but it does contain some of her favorite Holiday recipes.  If you are a fan of Pilcher's novels, you will love this book with a lot of photos sharing her family's Christmas as well as a short story by Pilcher.

Info about Christmas with Rosamunde Pilcher is... here.

~Christmas in the Heartland by Marcia Adams is a book I've had for a very long time.  I loved her old PBS show about Amish cooking.  This book is full of chapters about various places in the Midwest, their recipes, and their crafts.  Many of them come from an ethnic perspective brought by the original settlers of the towns.  The photos are beautiful.

Info about Christmas in the Heartland can be found... here.

~Cozy Christmas Baking: A Hygge-Inspired Christmas by Abby Jo VanHoutain is a beautiful cookbook by the blogger at Forgotten Way Farms and her daughter.  Each recipe has its' own page (two if needed) with a photo of the finished product.  I keep this in the basket that holds my most used cookbooks all year round.  It is lovely and the recipes are excellent!

Info about Cozy Christmas Baking can be found... here.

Books - Fiction
~A City of Bells is one of my very favorite of the Goudge books.  At least part of it takes place at Christmas and as with most Goudge books, I came to love these characters.

~The Dean's Watch is set during the Christmas season and it is a favorite Goudge book of many readers.  ~Pilgrim's Inn has a Christmas section, also making it an enjoyable reread this time of year.  I think Pilgrim's Inn is a great introduction for someone who has never read a Goudge book before.

Of course, there is Goudge's "children's book" called I Saw Three Ships.  It is a beautiful Christmas book, one of her rather mystical stories.  The black and white illustrations are beautiful.

~I've mentioned her A Christmas Book on previous posts.  It is quite difficult to find right now but it contains Christmas scenes from the afore mentioned books.  I bought a very reasonably priced copy a few years ago that was a library discard.  I kept the title on my Wish List and would check when a low price was available.

More information about A City of Bells in paperback is... here. (Third party)
More information about The Dean's Watch in paperback is... here. (Also available in Kindle.)
More information about Pilgrim's Inn in paperback is... here.  (Also available in Kindle.)
More information about I Saw Three Ships in paperback is... here.

More information about A Christmas Book is... here. (If you are interested, I would keep it on your Wish List on Amazon for when more copies are available at reasonable prices... or look elsewhere.)

~Christmas at Fairacre by Miss Read contains three of her Christmas novels in one volume.  They are Village Christmas, The Christmas Mouse, and No Holly for Miss Quinn.  I reread these stories every year!  They are so cozy as they speak of quaint English villages.

The newer edition of the paperback version can be found... here. More information on the hardback version of Christmas at Fairacre can be found... here

~Jan Karon's lovely Christmas novel called Shepherd's Abiding is a favorite of many people.  It is a stand alone novel, which can be read even if you have never read any other Mitford books.  Although, if you are a fan of Mitford, you will love it even more.

More information about Shepherd's Abiding can be found... here.

Enjoy your Holiday Reading!

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

Image:  Book Shop by Kim Sung 


Vee said...

No Holly for Miss Quinn is sitting on my reading table right now. Whether it gets read or not is debatable. This post was an intriguing read as I am thinking of books just now for gifts. I like the guideline of Christmas giving...something you want, something you need, and something to read.

Kay said...

I think I've said this before but will again, THANK YOU so much for introducing me to Elizabeth Goudge's books. I'm reading the "Dean's Watch" for the first time right now and am loving it. Pilgrim's Inn is another very favorite. I plan to reread all her books after the holidays.
And I think I found Nigel Slater through you also. I love his books.

My most favorite Christmas book is Grace Livingston Hill's "Substitute Guest" The description of Christmas Eve preparations in the kitchen just fill my soul.

Roseamunde Pilcher's "Winter Solstice" is another calming, filling book.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I listened to Christmas Chronicles last year, at your telling us about it, and enjoyed it so much! I probably will listen again this year.

I love to reread Shepherd’s Abiding, and will need to dig through my Miss Read books and see if I have any of her Christmas stories.

Jennifer B. said...

I also read "Christmas in Fairacre" every year! I love it! :) ~Jennifer B.