Most people get a little time off over the Christmas-New Year period, and what better way to relax and enjoy the festive season than with a good read? We’ve compiled six of our favourite festive reads to keep you busy over the holidays.
Skipping Christmas | John Grisham
Grisham’s Christmas novel reached number one on the New York Times Bestseller list when it came out in 2001. It was later adapted into the 2004 movie Christmas With The Kranks – but don’t be fooled, the book version is much more satisfying than the film. The story follows Luther and Nora Krank as they attempt to avoid the madness leading up to Christmas by going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise. When the Krank’s neighbours realise the couple’s plans, they enact all sorts ploys to get them to change their minds.
Hiddensee | Gregory Maguire
The bestselling author of Wicked is a fantasy novel that explores the Nutcracker’s backstory, from when he was carved by Drosselmeier the toymaker to his Christmas Eve romance with a girl named Klara. The story examines deeper issues of abuse, loneliness, death, afterlife and hope in a wintry Christmas setting that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! | Dr. Suess
One for the whole family, Dr. Suess’s classic tale follows the grumpy Grinch’s efforts to end Christmas forever. The fictional creature steals Christmas trees and gifts from the homes of Whoville village residents, only to discover they celebrate the festive occasion regardless. A timeless story of friendship, family and giving with Dr. Suess’s iconic illustrations, this is a must-read.
A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens’ famous novella, first published in 1843, explores themes of kindness and loneliness much like Dr. Suess’s famous story. When a miserable old man named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, as well as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come, his life is changed forever. The visits show Scrooge the person he has been and will become if he does not change his ways, set against a Christmas backdrop.
Last Christmas in Paris | Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
A romantic novel of the First World War, Last Christmas in Paris is seen through the eyes of Eve as her brother and his best friend leave for war. Thinking, as most did, that the war would be finished by Christmas, the three plan a holiday in Paris. What happens next is far from what they expected, and readers experience the war from each youth’s perspective. While it might not be the most uplifting of Christmas novels, this is a great holiday read and a must for all romance lovers.
Holidays on Ice| David Sedaris
A collection of old and new Christmas essays by comedy writer David Sedaris, Holidays On Ice will get you laughing. The collection contains the popular essay Santaland Diaries, where Sedaris imagines working as an elf in a department store grotto, and Cow and Turkey, which details a barnyard secret Santa scheme that falls through. Hilarious but also dark, this collection is a great light read for those stolen moments during the holidays.
Looking for more? Here are 5 Festive Films To Watch This Christmas.