December 16, 2012

Christmas Books for Grownups

'Tis the season, right? It's probably a little late in the month, but I thought I'd share a list of my favorite Christmas reads, and a list of Christmas-themed reads for kids. Today is the grown-up list, Tuesday or Thursday I'll share the kid list. (You may recognize some of them from last year, but there are a few newbies!)
  • 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 re-read it every year. 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, really hokey, but I have to 'fess up and admit that I re-read it every Christmas. Rating: 3 out of 5
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe -- I mentioned last week that I'm reading Ivy & Intrigue this year - a Christmas-themed novella by Lauren Willig. Last year I read The Mischief in the Mistletoe, which stars Miss Arabella Dempsey, Mr. Reginald "Turnip" Fitzhugh, some French spies, 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: 3.5 out of 5 
  • Winter Solstice -- After last year's Christmas post Katie recommended this book by Rosamunde Pilcher to me. I'll admit to some snobbery - I almost didn't try it because when I worked at Bookmans Pilcher's books almost exclusively sold to elderly women, and the cover art is terrible. But, I decided to trust Katie, and gave it a shot, and really enjoyed it. It's a story of loss, and new beginnings - where an old house brings assorted grieving strangers together for Christmas. Rating: 4 out of 5 
  • Miracle and Other Christmas Stories -- This collection of fantastic holiday-themed short stories by Connie Willis is a little odd, but quite interesting. There are talking gorillas, an alien invasion, a time-traveling Mary and Joseph, and some office party Secret Santa shenanigans. Rating: 3 out of 5
What are your favorite Christmas-themed books?