A festive reading list

MrjamesHave you reached that time of year when you’re casting about for something suitably wintry or festive to read to prepare you for spending some quality time with your sofa? Today I’m sharing some of my recommended reads for Christmas:

1. Box of Delights – John Masefield –Yes, it’s a children’s book but it is also possibly the most Christmassy book ever. If you’re looking for some festive viewing too it’s well worth finding yourself a copy of the 1984 BBC adaptation (it is available on DVD).

2. The Dark is Rising – Susan Cooper – The second book of the five part sequence (also called The Dark is Rising) is the last of the children’s books on my list, it has a splendidly wintry feel to it and features the sort of massive kitchen we’d all like to be doing our festive cooking in.

3. Out Stealing HorsesPer Petterson – it’s the Norwegian setting that earns Per Petterson a spot on my list, there are industrial quantities of snow and a reflective mood throughout making it a fine fireside companion.

4. Miss Smilla’s feeling for SnowPeter Høeg –Scandinavians do know their snow, and this is a thoroughly enjoyable, intelligent thriller with the added bonus of a lot of snow (it’s a central plot feature) and an icebreaker ship. How festive.

5. Whistle and I’ll come to you – M.R. James – A classic winter ghost story, get yourself a copy of the Collected Ghost Stories though – one short story won’t be enough…

Would anyone else like to share their festive reading habits?


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