'Tis the season to be reading: what to read during Christmastime

Well, the title says it all: what do you read and what do you suggest to read during Christmastime?
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  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,529
    Well, @Ludovico, I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that I don't give a horse's arse about Christmas and what it supposedly means. My interpretation of Christmastime is 1) it's cold outside, 2) I've got some spare time, 3) let's top off the old to-read pile again.

    So, here's what's on my list:
    - Joan Didion's PLAY IT AS IT LAYS
    - Kurt Vonnegut's SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 (again!)
    - David Wong's JOHN DIES AT THE END

    Since I got married five months ago, I will have to cut my usual reading efforts in half. ;-)
  • Posts: 14,816
    Well, during Christmastime I mostly read crime fiction set... during Christmastime. And old Norse sagas, because so much of the imagery of Christmas come from Norse myths and folklore.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,104
    There are a few old favourites I always re-read this time of year:

    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    The Hundred and One Dalmatians
    A Christmas Carol
    The Christmas Mystery - Jostein Gaarder
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,526
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Well, @Ludovico, I'm sure you can appreciate the fact that I don't give a horse's arse about Christmas and what it supposedly means. My interpretation of Christmastime is 1) it's cold outside, 2) I've got some spare time, 3) let's top off the old to-read pile again.

    So, here's what's on my list:
    - Joan Didion's PLAY IT AS IT LAYS
    - Kurt Vonnegut's SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 (again!)
    - David Wong's JOHN DIES AT THE END

    Since I got married five months ago, I will have to cut my usual reading efforts in half. ;-)

    Congratulations!

    Might try to read FAAD this Christmas season to kickstart another read through of the series. I got a couple of Fleming books (biographies and such) for the holidays I might try to read as well.
    Sorry it’s all Bond and nothing more interesting/diverse! ;)
  • Posts: 14,816
    For those into graphic novels and crime fiction, I suggest Cassandra Darke by Posy Simmonds.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,896
    Solstice, the Dynamite comic. It's a Christmas Bond story featuring snow, The Nutcracker and a big tree in Trafalgar Square.
  • Last_Rat_StandingLast_Rat_Standing Long Neck Ice Cold Beer Never Broke My Heart
    Posts: 4,403
    Started reading John Gardners Seafire.

    Fell asleep 3 chapters in
  • Posts: 14,816
    Started reading John Gardners Seafire.

    Fell asleep 3 chapters in

    Not a good sign.
  • Posts: 14,816
    One of my favourite Christmas reads, Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson. Twelve Christmas stories and twelve Christmas recipes (!): https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/29502605-christmas-days
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,104
    Ludovico wrote: »
    One of my favourite Christmas reads, Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson. Twelve Christmas stories and twelve Christmas recipes (!): https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/29502605-christmas-days

    That looks great - thanks for the rec!
  • Posts: 14,816
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    One of my favourite Christmas reads, Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson. Twelve Christmas stories and twelve Christmas recipes (!): https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/29502605-christmas-days

    That looks great - thanks for the rec!

    One of my favourite. It has traditional ghost stories, modern tales, a rather interesting spin on the Nativity story (told by the donkey), it has dark stories, sweet and bittersweet ones. I haven't tried the recipes yet, but at least one is from Nigella Lawson, so they should be all right. They all seem mouth watering anyway. The stories and memories associated with each recipe are quite fascinating in themselves.
  • Posts: 14,816
    Bumping this thread as Christmastime is here. Here's a suggestion for those who love crime fiction (I do). One of my annual read during Christmas: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/38331583-cassandra-darke
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 534
    I've heard a lot of love for Cassandra Darke, I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I've started reading "Baby It's Cold Outside". I just wanted a standard-issue Christmas romance novel because I don't really read anything Christmassy at Christmastime and it's doing what it says on the tin so far.
  • Posts: 14,816
    I've heard a lot of love for Cassandra Darke, I'll have to keep an eye out for it. I've started reading "Baby It's Cold Outside". I just wanted a standard-issue Christmas romance novel because I don't really read anything Christmassy at Christmastime and it's doing what it says on the tin so far.

    CD is a great Christmas read and a solid crime fiction novel in its own right.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,104
    Christmas Eve, I like to drag out festive picture books from when I was very small. Charles Causley's The Animals' Carol and Shirley Hughes's Lucy and Tom's Christmas.
  • Posts: 6,803
    Soeaking of picture books, sort of.
    Just received in post 2 books, one on cartoonist Ronald Searle ( he of St. Trinians fame, though there was a lot more to him than that!) And a book on famed book illustrator Raymond Briggs.
  • Posts: 6,677
    Jorge Luis Borges selected poems. That’ll keep me warm throughout the holidays. One recommends it.
  • Posts: 14,816
    The recent death of Dominique Lapierre got me thinking: The Fifth Horseman is a pretty good Christmas read, as it's set on the 13th of December.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,104
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    Soeaking of picture books, sort of.
    Just received in post 2 books, one on cartoonist Ronald Searle ( he of St. Trinians fame, though there was a lot more to him than that!) And a book on famed book illustrator Raymond Briggs.

    Oh lovely! I love Searle - first encountered him as the illustrator of the wonderful molesworth books.
  • Posts: 14,816
    Another crime novel set during Christmastime: Nick's Trip by George Pelecanos.
  • This year I read for the first time Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Great tale, much better in its original form than the legend imho. Highly recommended
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,526
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Another crime novel set during Christmastime: Nick's Trip by George Pelecanos.

    Can’t wait to see where I’ve gone.
  • Posts: 14,816
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Another crime novel set during Christmastime: Nick's Trip by George Pelecanos.

    Can’t wait to see where I’ve gone.

    Read it. It's the perfect Christmastime crime novel.
  • Posts: 14,816
    Another crime fiction novel to read during Christmastime: Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo. It's set in the season and it is very Noir: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23602504-blood-on-snow
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 534
    Since @QBranch mentioned Solstice I went back and reread it and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Moustafa's art is easily some of the series' best (not a high bar tbf), and also being the writer no doubt helped to keep things consistent, it's a perfect little one-shot.

    It also led me on to rereading Reflections of Death which I misremembered as a Christmas anthology because of the snow in one of the middle stories. I think it works as something to read at Christmas though, because there's a naffness to it (there's a panel where Bond looks more like George Takei) but on a certain level I think it knows it's a bit naff. The whole Chekov's gun gag, Penny trying to get Bond to do karaoke, the repeated trips to the bathroom, and of course Uncle James playing chauffeur for Felix's daughter, there's a cosiness to the whole thing which feels festive.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited December 2022 Posts: 13,896
    @CharmianBond It's a nice little read isn't it?

    I could say a lot on what I love about this comic, but just on the Christmas tip:

    - When Bond returns to MI6, Moneypenny is decorating a small tree for her desk
    - Bond stands outside a theatre where The Nutcracker's showing, suggesting the story unfolds on Christmas Eve
    - Bond receives a message in a gift box
    - Bond has his debriefing with M in Trafalgar Square, where the annual Christmas tree is prominently displayed

    I haven't read all the comics yet, particularly from the last couple years, but perhaps Solstice is what OHMSS is to the films - thee Christmas Bond comic!
  • Posts: 14,816
    Another one which I barely started thus year: The Haunting Season, ghost tales for long winter nights. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56075256-the-haunting-season
  • Posts: 14,816
    Reading The Darkest Season by R.J. Ellory at the moment. Suitable for Noirvember and Christmas.
  • CharmianBondCharmianBond Pett Bottom, Kent
    Posts: 534
    This Christmas I have lined up 'Stay Another Day' by Juno Dawson because she's one of my favourite writers but I've not read of any of her books before she jumped into non-YA fiction.

    Along with rereading 007: Solstice given that according to the Shakespeare Fleming biog (which is another book I still need to get to) the Trafalgar Sq Christmas tree was one of his ideas.
  • Posts: 14,816
    'Tis the season to be reading. Tonight's suggestion: Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess. Not that it's set around Christmas, in fact it covers most of the XXth century, but there are some key elements related to the season: it is at Christmastime that the homosexual narrator goes to confession and ends up renouncing his faith, he makes his coming out to his mother at the same time and one of the stories of the legend of Saint Nicholas (where the saint resurrects three children that had been murdered by a butcher) is used to illustrates the nature of free will. Also maybe Burgess' greatest novel, so now's a good time as any to give it a go. Or ask Santa to put it under your Christmas tree.
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