December 8, 2011

Favorite Christmas Books

If you're like me, there are lots of movies that are fun to watch this time of year. I'm not personally a fan of Elf (It's so embarrassing. I have to hide behind a pillow for half the movie), but I love Rudolph, White Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Die Hard!

But, surprisingly, I had to rack my brains to come up with a list of Christmas books that I like. I'm not sure why that is -- maybe because this time of year even we bookworms tend to spend lots of time socializing with family and friends, and movies are better for that?

Here are the books I did come up with though, in case you're looking for something festive to read...

  • Envious Casca --  a mystery by Georgette Heyer (my favorite author), set in the 1930s. Nathaniel Herriard, a very Grinch-like man, has reluctantly invited his extended family to stay for Christmas. His nephew, brother, niece and other family members spend all their time bickering in a very un-merry fashion, until Nathaniel himself winds up with a knife in the back, and the police join the party. A fun, old-fashioned house-party type murder, with a bit of romance and Christmas cheer thrown in. I just re-read it over the weekend, and liked it as much as ever. Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Forever and a Day -- a cheesy but very Christmas-y romance by Emilie Loring. Set in 1960s New York, a lovely young heiress (Antoinette Carew) is spending Christmas alone, because the man she loves (Rodney Meredith) won't marry while he has to care for his blind and handicapped brother. But, lo and behold, Christmas miracles ensue, true love wins, and Tony and Rodney live happily ever after. I'm actually rather sheepishly mentioning this, because it's really hokey, but I have to 'fess up and admit that I re-read it every Christmas. Rating: 3 out of 5
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever -- a childhood classic by Barbara Robinson. Watch out! The bullying, rambunctious, cigarette-smoking Herdman kids are trying to take over the local church's Christmas pageant! It's going to be a disaster...isn't it? A sweet, timeless book that would be a great read-aloud to enjoy with your elementary age kids. Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Hercule Poirot's Christmas -- Another locked room, house-party Christmas mystery set in the 1930s. This time by Agatha Christie herself, starring the famous egg-headed detective. I personally prefer Envious Casca, but this one is entertaining too. Rating: 3 out of 5
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe-- I haven't finished this yet, I'm only halfway through the audio version. But so far it's another great entry in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, starring Miss Arabella Dempsey, Mr. Reginald "Turnip" Fitzhugh, and a mysterious Christmas pudding. For those of you unfamiliar with Willig's books, they're like Bridget Jones meets The Scarlet Pimpernel. Historical, frothy, spy-laden romances that are so much fun! Rating: 3.5ish...? out of 5
What Christmas books do you enjoy? Or are you an Elf fan who is shocked at my lack of taste?