Monday, December 20, 2021

Monday Mood: A few good Christmasy/Winter books.

 This is by no means a complete list or an accurate list, just some books that take place around Christmas time that I have loved or re-read every year or so. Some of these are books I've written about before but I feel are worth repeating:

This Darkly Weird Modern Fairytale
A Wild Winter Swan It's a coming of age story set in 1960s New York at Christmas time and I do love a bit of modern day fairytale. It's written by Gregory Maguire who wrote Wicked, so you're in good hands. It's not a super happy story (fairy tales rarely are) but it does have a satisfying ending, is dryly funny in parts, and also just beautifully written. Give it a try. 

A Christmasy British Romcom That Doesn't Disappoint
Marianne recommends The Twelve Dates of Christmas which is exactly the kind of cozy and relatable small British town Christmas romance novel we both enjoy. (I read it last year and loved it, especially as I've gone on quite a few internet dates in the past and know that pain all too well.) 

The New Jenny Colgan Which Did Not Disappoint
I just finished The Christmas Bookshop and y'all, it's really, really delightful. Unlike some of her other Christmas books, this one is a stand-alone so you don't have have read the others in the series (though there are some cameo appearances.) It's got everything: Beautiful snow-bound Edinburgh, a relatable protagonist, a cozy but decrepit book shop, a love triangle, and a deliciously hate-able villain. 10/10 - the best cozy Christmas read. 

A YA Favorite I'm Currently Rereading
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper is a favorite from when I was a kid and it starts on midwinter's eve (that's today!) which is the day before the main character's birthday, the day he discovers he's an Old One, destined to fight
 in the ancient struggle against The Dark. It's the second book in a series that weaves Arthurian legend in with the struggle of darkest and light but you don't have to have read the first one to follow it - this one is good all by itself. 

Another YA Favorite You Really Should Read
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken isn't a Christmas book but it takes place in the winter and is another one of my favorites from when I was a kid. It has everything: Adventure, orphans, poverty, riches, bad guys and good guys, wolves and geese. Trust. I love that it's little dark, that most of the heroes are women, and the Edward Gorey cover art cannot be beat. 

This One I Can't Believe I Haven't Mentioned
Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher isn't my favorite of her books (that would be Coming Home) but it's a really good, engrossing read about a group of people, all with painful pasts, brought together for the holiday. I mean, you can't beat a Christmas book set in the Scottish countryside, right? 

Honorable Mentions: Obviously Little Women is a classic with some good Christmas action and the Little House books (especially The Long Winter) have wonderful Christmas scenes in which we should all be delighted to get a tin cup, a stick of candy and an orange for gifts. 


  1. Thank you for the reminder about The Dark is Rising. Xmas media that really isn't about xmas is the best kind. Also, I always wanted maple snow candy, just like Laura Ingalls got to eat!

  2. Coming Home is also my favorite Rosamunde Pilcher. I reread it every couple of years.

  3. I loved the Dark is Rising series when I was a kid but haven't read it in ages. Thanks for the timely reminder!

    1. I hadn't read it in years! It mostly holds up though as an adult I'm like, WHY DON'T THEY JUST TELL HIM WHAT TO DO.

  4. I also like to read "seasonal" books this time o' year, and in 2021 I picked up Jane and the 12 Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron, thinking it would be amusing (Jane Austen and all), and I thought it was really great! Good enough to go back and read the others in the series. I also reread Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe and cried (again). Jenny Colgan is just so good. I will watch The Dark is Rising instead of reading it, because I like Ian McShane THAT MUCH. Happy holidays!

    1. Ooh, I didn't know there was a movie! I'm definitely going to watch that. And thanks for the book rec!

    2. Wait, Roberta. I just watched the trailer and oh no. Have you read the book? They changed too much! I am not sure about this even with Ian McShane.


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