Christmas 2018: Six must-read books for the Christmas break
It’s officially that time of year again. The time when Starbucks rolls out its festive menu, and when warm mulled wine is a mere market away. But it is also the season when the weather gives you the perfect excuse to hibernate inside with a book or your Kindle. Forget the overpriced coffee and settle with a bottle of your convenience store’s finest wine to help you through this list. If looking to give, it is also the perfect time for stocking fillers that you can purchase online from the comfort of your warm, cosy home. Here are some books that fit snugly in that stocking, with themes of Christmas, togetherness, happiness and snow.
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and more
What do you get when 12 of the most influential YA writers collaborate? This book. My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of short holiday-themed stories by the likes of Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park) and David Levithan (does he even need an introduction?). The excitement of a first love is combined with festive cheer, resulting in a book that will warm even the coldest of hearts. For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, do not fear, there are also stories detailing Hanukkah and even Winter Solstice. This is truly a gift that you wish your true love would give to you.
The Ice Monster by David Walliams
Comedian David Walliams, known for his more adult roles, shows that his humour is versatile, and he can even be serious in this touching book. What can only be described as a Roald Dahl tale for this generation, The Ice Monster is a simple story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth. The backdrop is a mix of Victorian London and a still, Victorian Arctic, as the orphan travels to the North Pole for her new mammoth friend. Spoiler: there is lots of snow.
PS. Your Cat Is Dead by James Kirkwood
If you prefer your books as dark as the winter nights, then this novel is for you. Forget togetherness, happiness and all of the Christmas clichés, and prepare to experience solitude and sadness. If being abandoned by his girlfriend on New Year’s Eve wasn’t bad enough, Jimmy Zoole’s cat also dies, so he is feeling less than festive when confronted with cat burglar Vito in his own apartment. However, the two form an unlikely bond over their shared sexuality struggles, and the rest is somehow forgotten.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
The holidays aren’t just for snacking on cheese, they are for literal cheese. This plot may be the cheesiest yet, but that just means it’s a perfect Christmas read. Laurie doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but that changes when she falls in love with a man…at first sight. She sees him through the misted window of a bus and swears she’ll never see him again, though that wouldn’t be much of a story. So One Day in December details not only when they see each other again, but every sighting for a period of ten years.
After the Snow by Susannah Constantine
Feel like the list is lacking some mystery? Well, look no further. After the Snow brings us the burning question of what exactly happened to 11-year-old Esme’s mother. The story is set in the fantastical location of Culcairn Castle, and Esme must solve the mystery; though, even if she does, she knows life will never be the same after the snow.
Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
The stocking would not be complete without a mention of the festive master. Charles Dickens is given an ultimatum by his publisher: write a Christmas book in a month, or they collect his debts, and this is how A Christmas Carol came about. He is taken on a Scrooge-like journey through Christmases past and present, as he desperately seeks the inspiration he needs.