Sunday 10 December 2017

[article] Christmas Books

Christmas tiiiime, mistletoe and boooooks

Christmas Books

Or, Cold Makes Me Want To Curl Up With A Good Book

Now, this article isn't quite what you think it's gonna be. I was going to talk about my favourite novels that prominently feature Christmas in them, but being mainly a devourer of fantasy and sci-fi novels, such a list would go:

  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis

Hmm. That wouldn't be a very long article! Whilst I do thoroughly recommend the entire Narnia series (if you haven't read it, you definitely should!), that's not exactly article material. So instead, I'm going to write about books I love to read around Christmas, or books that I associate with Christmas. 

Good Books I've Read At Christmastime

There are some books that I will see on my shelf and they'll make me think of Christmas, conjure memories of reading them by a roaring fire with a glass of quality wine (a rare occurrence). Maybe I received this book as a Christmas gift, or maybe I read it on a Christmas holiday and really enjoyed it; despite often having to study for January exams over the Christmas break, I do typically make lots of time for reading in December.

I have had an odd history with the popular book that is Six of Crows. I bought it first in 2015, read about twenty pages, and then used it as a doorstop to prop open my dorm room in University halls. This is mostly because it didn't make much sense to me, as I hadn't yet read Bardugo's Grisha series. When I read those, I finally gave Six of Crows a second chance at Christmas 2016 - I devoured it in a couple of days and swiftly moved on to Crooked Kingdom which was read on New Years Day. Ooops.

What a fabulously violent, rich, and rewarding book Red Rising is. The first few chapters are rough - stuffed with lingo, slightly difficult to read, a whole complex world that you are thrust into - but after that, man, what a wild ride. I was glued to this book over last Christmas holiday, and I intend to read the sequel this Christmas with a whole pile of cookies.

I got Lexicon as a Christmas gift quite a few years ago now. This is a massively underrated book about the power of language, words as magic, and I thoroughly recommend it! The cover I have is also blindingly white, which definitely helps that ~Christmas feeling~

Warm and Fuzzy Books

Christmas is a holiday that, to me, will always feels soft and warm and fuzzy (and it's not just the effect of mulled wine). Books that evoke those sorts of feelings will always remind me of Christmas - sometimes they are loved books from my childhood, sometimes they are excellent adult books. Sometimes they just have white covers. Who knows how my mind works, exactly? But these books make me feel like it's Christmas, inside:

The Cry of the Icemark is the first book in one of my favourite childhood trilogies. It's fairly standard stuff: Thirrin is princess and a warrior and her kingdom, Icemark, is in danger. To save it, she must seek allies amongst her enemies. Yet I borrowed this book from the library so many times that finally my mum just bought it for me. To young me it was just so amazing and bold and brave and I wanted to be Thirrin such that just the thought of this book makes me feel warm and cozy inside. It also features a wintery holiday (Yuletide) so bonus points for that. And so much snow!!

And if you thought that I wasn't going to feature my favourite book ever you were sorely mistaken. If you've followed my blog for any particular length of time, you'll know that I simply adore Assassin's Apprentice. I pick this book up and read it when I'm stressed, when I'm sad, when I'm happy, and when it's Christmas. Fitzchivalry Farseer is a dork but he's my dork and he's soft and angry and tired, oh so tired, and he deserves a damn good Christmas.

Myths are sort of like Christmas tales, yeah? Tessa Graton's The Weight of Stars is one of my favourite collections of retellings of Norse myths, of any myth retellings at all in fact. It's sort of Percy Jackson style in that the myths have been modernised - gods are rockstars and we're in the United States of Asgard - but it's so much better: I think my favourite novella of this book is Glory's Teeth, about the wild and brutal and glorious Fenris Wolf, destined to devour Baldur, and I'm gonna reread it this Christmas.  

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