Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Blogs of Christmas: Favorite Books

As a writer, I think there is no better gift at Christmas than a story.  For the 12 Blogs of Christmas, I took book suggestions from several others and had quite a response! From traditional, to humorous, to contemporary and a few that some wouldn't think of as a Christmas story, the list is quite diverse and entertaining.  Click on the book covers for more information, and be sure and visit all of the author blogs below in the 12 Blogs of Christmas!

My blog, I go first! One of my fav books ever is The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips. It's Christmas Eve in Wichita and most people are home celebrating with their families-but not Charlie Arglist. He's trying to tidy things up, so to speak, before he leaves town with the million dollars he has just stolen. Although I love Christmas cheer and happy thoughts, I like this book because it's a reminder that 'other things' are going on while the rest of us are celebrating---and not always the kinds of things we want to think about. And I have a mad writer crush on Scott Phillips.
 
Karen DeLabar is all about romance.  "I love reading it, writing it and experiencing it. My "go-to" book during the holiday season is The Gift which is a collection of three Nora Roberts books, Home for Christmas, All I Want for Christmas, and Gabriel's Angel. The three stories are short and can be considered romance fluff, but this time of year a little fluff is okay. Plus, they encompass everything I love about the holiday: magic, hope and love." Visit Karen's blog to discover some great Christmas movies with the 12 Blogs of Christmas!
 
No, Natalie Kenney the Toys'R'Us Big Book doesn't count. But your second choice certainly does! "I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Mystery Series and she wrote a Christmas-themed Plum story: Visions of Sugar Plums. It's so difficult to choose a favorite book of any kind, but this one has tons of laughs, a hot guy, and a little Christmas spirit. What more can a gal ask for?"  Natalie is sharing some unusual, traditional and fun Christmas cookies on her blog during the 12 Blogs of Christmas. 

 "I have always had a love/hate relationship with life Christmas" says author D.C. McMillen. "It is for that reason that I recommend You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs. If you have ever confused Santa with Jesus (and who hasn’t?), tried to create an edible masterpiece in the kitchen without bothering to follow a recipe or waking your parents’ (and who hasn’t), or if you have ever felt undeserving of a perfection you cannot help but relentlessly strive for (and who hasn’t?) then this is the book for you. Filled with acerbic observations, witty commentary, and a consistent stream of self-depreciating humour, this is the perfect book to read while sitting in front of your freshly decorated tree and sipping a glass of red. Until you laugh too hard and accidentally snort wine out your nose. In honor of the 12 Blogs of Christmas, D.C. is toasting us with favorite Christmas drinks on her blog today! 
 
Erica Lucke Dean is all about a traditional Christmas. "I want to create a completely vintage feel in the house during the Christmas season.  It makes me feel like I'm back in my grandmother's farmhouse.  I like Dickens' A Christmas Carol for that very reason. Bring on those Ghosts of Christmas past. I'll be wearing my very best flannel nightie."  To share some special Christmas memories, visit Erica today, one of the 12 Blogs of Christmas.
  My favorite Aussie, Ciara Ballintyne chose The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett as her favorite. "The Hogfather is the Disc's equivalent of our Santa, but his sleigh is pulled by four hogs. An assassin has been commissioned to kill the Hogfather, which he plans to achieve by causing children to stop believing in him. To encourage children to believe in the Hogfather, Death takes his place to deliver all the presents. If the Hogfather dies, the sun will not rise."  Ciara is spotlighting some unusual Christmas decorations for the 12 Blogs of Christmas, so check those out!
 No, Wendy told him with a little smile. Only until Christmas. Then we have the capon.
Why is Justin Bogdanovitch's recommendation Stephen King's The Shining? "Well, long ago, while reading it for the first time, I had to look up what a Christmas capon was (how it was invented by the Romans also lands in Stephen King country). But back to The Shining...It takes place in the lead up to winter, the promise of the holidays brings a semblance of family unity even to the Torrance family. The ghosts come out before Thanksgiving. Danny eventually meets the dead thing in room 217 and it wraps her hands around him in a terrifying embrace. After Thanksgiving, when Wendy contemplates how to cook that special Christmas capon, the bruises on Danny's neck have faded. The Torrances, like any family, look forward to Christmas. Unfortunately, at this moment in the novel, they are in the calm eye of a monstrous hurricane force. I try to read The Shining or watch the Kubrick film sometime during the holiday, just to get in the mood; it's a perennial favorite!" For the 12 Blogs of Christmas, Justin is highlighting Christmas Faux Pas on his blog!

Now for something safe for the kiddies...
Raine Thomas says, "I love the Grinch! My favorite Christmas story is How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. My parents always let us stay up to watch the annual showing of the movie on TV, and they would read us the story before bed on Christmas Eve.  I've continued this tradition with my own daughter." Raine is entertaining us with Christmas music today, one of the 12 Blogs of Christmas!

Maureen Hovermale dug herself out from a pile of books and assorted bookmarks to address the subject of Christmas books properly: Charles Dickens is the MAN. Forget about Ebenezer, turn your eye on the Messrs. Snodgrass, Winkle, and Tupman and drink a glass of hot brandy-and-water while you’re at it. The best quote ever concerning Christmas is by Charles himself: Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!  ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
For the 12 blogs of Christmas, Maureen is treating us to Christmas lingerie and other sexy holiday apparel (like fuzzy socks) today!


 As a kid, Amberr Meadows was a timid little bookworm, but she always dreamed of what it would be like to be one of the bad kids. "In real life, it never would have happened, because my mom would have killed me, but my rebellious daydreams were safe. I discovered The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in movie form first, and immediately after I saw it, I had to read the book, by Barbara Robinson. (Even then, I was of the opinion that a book is almost always better than the movie based upon it). The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is about a family of cheating, stealing, swearing, smoking kids who hijack the annual Christmas Pageant at the church and make it best one ever (hence the name). I thought the book was awesome, because it proved that even the most unruly kids could be kind, too." Amberr has some favorite and delicious holiday foods on her blog today for the 12 Blogs of Christmas!

Ever wonder how Santa gets down the really tiny chimneys?  Some houses have no fireplace and hence no chimney.  How is it that Santa manages to leave presents at those houses?  Melody Ann Jones-Kaufmann was one of those kids.  She had these questions and more.  "My Dad was smart enough to buy me a book about Silver Spurs, one of Santa’s elves.  This tale, written by Robert R. Knigge, answers those nagging questions that trouble logical children like myself.  I found that I as a parent had to answer those same questions and thus I passed my beloved book on to my children.  I suspect one day I’ll be reading it to my grandchildren because logic like the force is strong in this family."  Melody is taking a look at favorite Christmas toys, old and new, for the 12 Blogs of Christmas!


One Marie Patchen's fondest Christmas memories of books was the year that her grandfather bought her the entire boxed set of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series. "I read those books until they fell apart, and each book contained a special Christmas story, from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to the open plains of Kansas. That original boxed set is long gone, but a few years ago, my sister surprised me on Christmas morning with a new set.  She had searched the internet far and wide until she found the exact same set that I'd first received from my grandfather so many years ago.  Christmas was always an interesting affair in the Ingalls' household, and thanks to my sister, I got to re-live the experience." For the 12 Blogs of Christmas, Marie takes us down memory lane with Classic Christmas Cartoons...


These are some of our favorite books. What are yours?

11 comments:

Raine Thomas said...

Yay for Christmas books, Kelly! Let the merriment begin. ;)

Anonymous said...

The wife claims if I like a book, most people will want to kill themselves (same goes for movies) ... so maybe not holiday cheerfulness but just real good writing ... Revolutionary Road, Grapes of Wrath and The Friends of Eddie Coyle remain top contenders for multiple rereads ... today I'm reading Hitch 22 (once I heard Christopher Hitchens passed, I had to get his memoir). It's as good as I expected thus far.

I'd also suggest any collection by Andre Dubus ...

And I'm about to reread this fella Merle Drown, The Suburbs of Heaven. I really liked that one a lot. Mitch Weiland's God's Dogs rocked me pretty good too ...

Holidays, right ... stick with the classic Christmas Carol.

zencherry said...

I will be reading ALL of these books for Christmas. Fantastic suggestions guys! :D

Erica Lucke Dean said...

OMGosh...I need to get some of these books. I have several already, but what wonderful suggestions. I've read the Shining though, and I never would have thought of it for Christmas, but yes...it does have a scary Christmas vibe to it.

Marie Patchen said...

I think I should probably re-read The Shining! Lol. Thanks for all the suggestions for my holiday reading list!

D.C. said...

Great suggestions. If I could've picked two, I would've also picked Holiday On Ice by David Sedaris. It is such a good, short read.

Karen DeLabar said...

I love all these recommendations! I am definitely checking out DC's choice, "You Better Not Cry," that sounds like a book that will brighten anyone's holiday. :) lol

JustinBog said...

Wonderful list of Holiday recommendations, Kelly :-)

What can I say? I was raised by a horror film and book Dad -- He also wanted to take us all to The Exorcist when it came out but that didn't fly with his better half!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I haven't read The Shining yet. Too many King books in my TBR list. Will have to get to this one soon. Never thought it had any kind of Christmas connection!

Natalie Kenney said...

I am going to snuggle up with this book list on Christmas night. Thanks Kelly for organizing our 12 Blogs of Christmas (and for including me). I had a blast!

Nancy Lauzon said...

I loved Little House on the Prairie books! I bought the set for my children. My favorite Christmas book was called `The Wolves of Willoughby Chase`by Joan Atkin. I loved it.

Happy Holidays!