It’s that time of year again! Michael Bublé is crooning Silver Bells in the coffee shop, and Christmas trees are sparkling in households across the world. While some people may bah-humbug at the thought of Christmas and the holiday season, I morph into my final form during this season. Emily the Elf is even more obnoxiously excited and––true to elf form––even more of a cookie fanatic. One of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit (other than baking and music of course) is diving into my Christmas book collection. Every reader has a few books that they set aside to read every year with a cup of their favorite festive beverage. Here are four books that I love reading during the Christmas season.
1. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
The Snow Queen is a holiday classic that I’ve loved since I first read it in middle school. This book is also what loosely inspired Frozen! Emphasis on loosely. This story follows a little boy and girl, named Kay and Gerda. When Kay is cursed to only see the bad in the world, he is taken by the Snow Queen to live in her palace of ice. It’s up to Gerda to save her best friend and travel through the realms of the seasons to get to the Snow Queen’s palace. This story is a lovely fairytale that reminds me of the stories I heard as a kid. It can be read at any age and has a fun host of side characters that both help, and hinder, Gerda on her quest.
2. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is one of those YA Christmas novels that’s perfect to read while curled up on the couch! The story is a fun combination of crazy adventures, scavenger hunts, as well as a cute romance. It all kicks off when Lily leaves a red notebook in her favorite bookstore with a list of dares. Dash comes across it, and soon they are on a scavenger hunt of festive tasks. Anyone who loves Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist will consider this one a holiday staple!
3. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Let it Snow is a fun group of short stories that take place during a snow storm. The first tale, by Maureen Johnson, follows Jubilee, a high school girl who finds herself on a train to Florida on Christmas Eve after her parents get arrested. Why? Waiting for a new limited edition piece of their Christmas village decor got heated! The train gets stranded in a tiny town, where she meets a new friend, and the other stars of the stories. The second short story, by John Green, follows three friends as they travel through the perilous roads to get to a Waffle House for hash browns, and the stranded cheerleaders on Jubilee’s train. It’s a fun adventure that reminds you of your friends, and makes you crave delicious hash browns. The third story, by Lauren Myracle, wraps up the tales with a story of a barista who is going through a hard time. The lovesick barista is tasked with protecting her bff’s teacup pig, but everything goes awry. The three tales are unique, but all share the same humor and charm that will warm you up on a cold winter day!
4. I’m Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
The fourth and final book on my recommendation list is a bit different. I’m Half-Sick of Shadows is the fourth mystery in the series by Alan Bradley. It follows the eleven-year-old British sleuth and scientist Flavia de Luce as she goes on a quest to trap Father Christmas. Everything’s going to plan, when a film crew arrives at her family’s estate to shoot a movie with a standout star. During a blizzard, the members of Flavia’s town of Bishop’s Lacy gather at the de Luce estate to watch the star perform. It’s all Christmas cheer and excitement, until she’s found murdered! It’s up to Flavia to use her wit and solve another murder, and hopefully catch Father Christmas along the way. Fans of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie will be charmed by this witty girl. You can read this book mid-series, but if you enjoy it, why not check out the others? Flavia’s charming stories are also wonderful on Audible, where the talented Jayne Entwistle brings her to life.
I hope you enjoy these Christmas-themed books, and that they get you into the holiday spirit! What are some books that you like to read during the holidays? Comments below to let me know! Also, if you have any book recommendations for me, you can send them by filling out the survey found here. Happy Holidays everyone!