Sometimes you can just stare at the screen and wonder what you are going to do. And then you just get a random idea. I was passively wondering how to fill in a slot in my schedule. This one actually. I wanted it to be somewhat Christmassy as it is Christmas Eve tonight. But I didn’t want to do the usual gift guide (and what point would that be at this moment anyway) or what I want to get because I already did that with top ten tuesday.
Making a list of Christmas reads was another option. But I don’t really read Christmassy books and I’d just list Jonathan Stroud books anyway since I always feel like rereading the Bartimaeus series in the Winter. But then I had the idea.
I could ask other bloggers what is the best book to read during Christmas. It doesn’t have to be a Christmas book. Just a book that gives you THAT feeling. Well that is what I asked of the below lovely people who were willing to answer me. I mixed up English and Dutch book blogs. They are all worth a visit in any case!
‘I don’t do Christmas reading, but if I did it would be Sorcerer’s Stone because we bought it for my son for Christmas and started reading it that day. We used to watch the movie every Christmas Eve.’
Myrthe from Boeken Books Bucher:
‘Harry Potter – Didn’t everyone give that answer? I love reading Harry Potter always, but especially around Christmas time. I adore that it focuses mostly on the friendship between the main characters of the books. Of course, it also has a few great Christmas scenes.
On top of that it’s just a lot of nostaliga. I’ve been reading the books since I was probably 11. Going back and reading Harry Potter makes me feel warm, fuzzy and happy, all the Chirstmassy feelings. That makes it totally worth rereading.
However, I made a pact with myself to not reread them untill all of the illustrated editions are out. So it might be a while before I go through these again. It is however, definitely a Christmas favoite.’
Liesbet from Zwartraafje:
‘I am going to sound predictable but I am choosing the first Harry Potter book. There aren’t many books that I link to a season or a holiday but with The Philosopher’s Stone this is different. With both the book and the movie. I can see a very festive hall in my mind along with sweaters created by Molly Weasley for me. Another book that makes me think of Christmas would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’
Alicia from A Kernel of Nonsense:
‘There is only one set of books that I consistently associated with Christmas. Maybe it’s because I received the first books of this series for Christmas years ago. Maybe it’s because it’s now a tradition for me to be gifted the illustrated editon of this series every year. Maybe it’s because I introduced my nephew to this series a couple of years ago at Christmastime. Or maybe it’s because no matter how many years pass between when I first picked up Harry Potter and now, there is nothing like the wave of nostalgia that overwhelms me when I read that first line, “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privot Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”When you’re no longer a child, when the anticipation of Santa leaving presents under the tree has vanished, nostalgia becomes the closest thing to feeling like a kid again. Harry Potter opened a world of magic to me and every year when I find another edition of the book under the tree (because you can’t have too many editions, right?), I’m reminded of this and I’m a kid again.’
Inge from Of Wonderland:
‘This will probably come as no surprise to anyone, but my suggested Christmas read is the Harry Potter series. They always play the movies during Christmas time on TV as well, so that’s sort of helped make the connection, but in every book there’s a Christmas scene as well. It’s just the perfect read for that wonderful time of the year when you’re inside on a cold day and cosying up with a soft blanket and a hot beverage. Poor Ron and his maroon Christmas jumpers.
This Christmas, though, I have been recommended The Afterlife of Holly Chase, which is a Christmas Carol retelling but also really reminds me of Before I Fall. Merry Christmas!‘
Ayla from Books & Babbles:
‘My favourite Christmas read is a bit of a cliché probably, but it’s Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I didn’t read HP until last year (OMG, shame on me!) but I love the movies and for some reason, they’re always on TV during Christmas time. I know it’s not a Christmas movie or book, but Philosopher’s Stone really gives me that Christmas vibe.
The illustrated edition is at the top of my Christmas wishlist. It would just be so wonderful to sit down next to the Christmas tree with this book and a cup of tea! It’s like the ultimate Christmas read and I really hope to find it underneath the tree this Christmas!’
Emmy from Zon en Maan:
‘The first book I thought of was Wonderland. This is a Dutch book. Another book that I always link to Christmas is Harry Potter, because with Christmas I got my first Harry Potter book, I often reread the book and because they show the movies on televison.’
Joost from NerdyGeekyFanboy:
‘Recently I read The Nutcracker, illustrated by Sanna Annukka, and this book was able to give me that lovely Christmas feeling. The story is about Marie, whose godfather gives her a nutcracker with a special story. It is Christmas Eve’ and from the start she loves her little nutcracker. As time passes she hears about the evil king of mouses and Marie experiences a magical story with the nutcracker. This book is for young and old, and will be able to warm you in the cold winter months with this touching, intimate and fantasy filled story.
Not only is the story gorgeous, the illustrations are a sight for sore eyes. Annukka uses very simple shapes in her illustrations, but manages to create a big artwork out of them. I was amazed during my read of this book and I got very hyped for Christmas. I know for sure that in the coming years I will grab this book during Christmas, an ideal Christmas book to read (to someone)!’
Jolien from The Fictional Reader:
‘I have to be honest here… When I think about a Christmassy read, I think about Harry Potter. Mostly because it’s so nostalgic (as are the holidays) and the movies are always on TV during Christmas. But when I took a closer look at my shelves, I noticed that I hadn’t read HP during the holidays in a while. I do have a tendency to re-read books during the holidays! So to me, a Christmassy read is a nostalgic re-read. Last year, I actually re-read The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. I hadn’t read them in years because they take me quite a while to get through. Yet something about the week between Christmas and New Year’s makes me feel like I can take my time and savour an old favorite.I’m not entirely sure what my holiday re-read will be this year. I’m thinking it might by the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan -or The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’m sorry I’m making this so hard on Annemieke by not being able to choose a single book! I really don’t know what I’ll be choosing for my Christmassy read this year. All I know is that it’ll be a re-read of a book I love, that it will make me feel cozy and bring a smile to my face.’
Kristen from Metaphors and Moonlight:
‘I haven’t read that many Christmas books, but Krampus: The Three Sisters by Sonia Halbach would have to be my favorite. The story involves some fun twists on the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem, and it mostly takes place in this fantastical little underground town that is pretty much how I would envision Santa’s North Pole. It’s also got action, mystery, adventure, and sweet sibling relationships, so it was just overall a really fun Christmas read for me!’
Marcia from Oog op de Toekomst:
‘When asked which book to read for Christmas, I normally would immediately shout HARRY POTTER because of the christmassy feel of the books and lots of more nostalgic reasons. But this year, I”ll go with another series.
I’d love to recommend the Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel, consisting of Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods at the moment (the third book Only Human will be published in May. aaaaah! I can’t wait). These were by far the best books I’ve read in 2017. The story is so unexpected and mysterious.. The scientific end-of-the-world tale is told by interviews and journals, which gives the reader an unique point of view and keeps you interested the whole way through. But at the same time emotions hit hard. Especially Waking Gods made me scream at her pages – I just couldn’t believe what happened.
It’s a bit frustrating that we’ll have to wait ’till May to find out how this crazy cliffhanger will turn out next, but besides that: these books are the perfect Christmas read. Especially if you like your Christmas Tales a bit gloomy.’
Jackie B. from Death by Tsondoku:
‘Growing up Jewish, I don’t have many childhood memories focused on Christmas. But when I was twelve years old, I received an amazing book for Hanukkah– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Day two of Hanukkah was Christmas Eve. I stayed up all night reading. It was snowing outside as I started to read about Christmas in Hogwarts and from that moment on, a tradition was born! Every year, I take time to read one of the Harry Potter books starting on Christmas Eve. It’s not always snowing, but I find myself feeling nostalgic and happy every time Ron opens a box with another homemade “R” sweater in it. There’s something about the holiday season and Harry Potter which fills me with joy.
In 2018, I will be marrying into a family who celebrates Christmas. Currently, their Christmas Eve tradition is to watch a Harry Potter film on TV with the 2- and 6-year-olds. As my niece and nephew grow, I hope to impart my holiday tradition to them. In a few years, we’ll stay up late reading Harry Potter late into the night waiting for Santa to come. But until that day arrives, you can find me on Christmas Eve reading Harry Potter long after the family stops watching the films. And every time Christmas appears, know I’ll be bursting with happiness.’
Maraia from Buecher Monster:
‘Aside from Harry Potter, which reminds just about everyone of Christmas, I have a whole collection of children’s books that I’ve read every year at the holidays for as long as I can remember. It doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’ve taken out The Polar Express, Tree of Cranes, or The Snowman. Above all, though, I love Jan Brett’s Trouble with Trolls, Christmas Trolls, and The Wild Christmas Reindeer. The stories themselves are cute, but it’s the illustrations that really make these books special. Jan Brett illustrates them herself, and I could stare at her gorgeous, Scandinavian-inspired drawings for hours. There’s so much detail that I always notice something new. I especially appreciate the little hedgehog that appears somewhere on each page of many of her books. I can’t recommend these enough, whether you have kids or not. They’re the perfect books for Christmas!’
Sarah from Dragons & Zombies:
‘I love Christmas. Christmas movies, Christmas food, Christmas songs etc.
What I don’t like is reading happy & fluffy Christmas romances or contemporary Christmas novels. I actually don’t like reading Christmas themed novels at all! There is one exception though. It’s a book that combines my favourite genre, Fantasy, with one of my favourite holidays, which is Christmas!
This novel is called ‘Hogfather’ and is the 20th book in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. It’s funny and gives an insight into how the Discworld celebrates Christmas. It’s not how we do it, it’s not even called Christmas, but Hogswatchnight, but the concept is the same. n Hogswatchnight, The Hogfather is granting wishes to children. Just like Santa Claus. Unfortunately, this year he went missing.. and to not disappoint the children, Death himself has taken over the job of the Hogfather, leading to lots of funny scenes & chaos!
If you like the Discworld, you might want to pick up ‘Hogfather’ this season!’
Thank you so much to La La, Myrthe, Liesbet, Alicia, Inge, Ayla, Emmy, Joost, Jolien, Kristen, Marcia, Jackie B, Maraia and Sarah for sharing their Christmas reads and for their enthousiasm!
I hope everyone enjoyed reading their pieces as muc as I did. It is great to see how some of these books mean so much to others and to pick up a few reccomendations along the way.