Christmas 2017: Six must-read books for you and your family over the Christmas break
There’s nothing like settling down on Boxing Day with a good book, a mince pie and a glass of your favourite festive tipple. We’ve picked six of the most Christmassy books to lose yourself in.
Bah! Humbug! by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross
Dickens’s quintessential Christmas story gets a modern retelling by the brilliant Michael Rosen. Harry Gruber is all set to play Scrooge in the school play but he’s not sure if his dad can stay and watch, as he’s so busy. Will the spirit of love and goodwill reach him before it’s too late? Make sure you’ve got a hanky on standby for this heartwarming tale.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Curl up with this gorgeous festive edition of Agatha Christie’s most famous whodunnit. As the luxurious train hurtles through a snowy Aleppo things take a sinister turn when someone on board is murdered just after midnight. Luckily, the diminutive Poirot is on hand to quiz the 13 strangers and unlock the mystery.
The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright
Anna Wright’s third picture book for children brings to life the popular carol with beautiful illustrations, richly rendered in pen, ink, watercolour and collage. Hula-hooping frogs, trumpeting hares, woodpecking drummers and more leap from the pages and will have you singing along with your little ones.
An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe
This charming little book is an ode to the madness and joy of the most magical time of the year. There are family stories featuring Christmas pudding fires and turkeys thawed with hairdryers, hilarious advice (“Never give cigarettes or toothpaste unless the person is in prison”), and an A to Z of all things Christmassy. And it’s all wrapped up in Stibbe’s trademark wit.
Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford
Silliness abounds in Nancy Mitford’s story of a Christmas house party at Compton Bobbin – reissued in this lovely hardback. Written a while before the critically acclaimed The Pursuit of Love, it’s a much more frothy affair but the social commentary is just as sharp. As things start to unravel, Lady Bobbin’s guests are embroiled in a farcical comedy of errors. Best enjoyed with a generous injection of brandy.
The Faber Book of Christmas edited by Simon Rae
This collection is a real seasonal treat. Simon Rae has gathered up a diverse offering of Christmas stories, poems and historical accounts from authors including WH Auden, Philip Larkin, Charles Dickens, Wendy Cope and Jilly Cooper. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, the gorgeous fabric cover features the iconic Liberty of London Citronella print.