Books it wouldn’t be Christmas without

Christmas is undoubtedly one of my favourite times of the year – the anticipation, the excitement, the scent of festive cooking, the bitterly chilly days and the warm evenings curled up by the fire. I also love the period between Christmas and New Year, when the mayhem slows and you might find time to lose yourself in a book or two. Take your pick from any, or all, of the following:

1. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Illustrated by Sanna Annukka.

This classic children’s fairy tale is reinvigorated by the stylish illustrations of Sanna Annukka, a designer for Marimekko. This is a sumptuous, beauty of a book, and Annukka’s ornate artwork and Finnish influences jump off the pages. A book to treasure.

2. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Tolkien does Christmas … what more could you possibly ask for? This magical book features letters that Tolkien sent to his children every year from the 1920s to 1940s. He pretends to be Father Christmas and provides richly detailed anecdotes, with a delightful Tolkien twist, on life at the North Pole and his preparations for the festive season aided by a somewhat clumsy polar bear.

Letters from Father Christmas - Khoollect Reads

3. Round the Christmas Fire by: Various.

Get yourself into the Christmas spirit with this delightful collection of festive writing from a host of classic authors. Enjoy being snowed in with Laurie Lee, amused by Adrian Mole’s attempts to woo Pandora with non-precious metal and Christmas tidings at Cold Comfort Farm. This is an eclectic collection of extracts, short stories, poems and diary entries that showcase the classic cheer of the festive season. A lovely book to dip in and out of.

Round the Christmas Fire - Khoollect Reads

4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

It truly wouldn’t be Christmas without a dash of Dickens’ heartwarming festive novella that reminds us it’s never too late to change our ways. Opening this book feels like welcoming old friends in for some yuletide cheer; the miserly Scrooge, the hardworking Bob Cratchit, the heartbreaking Tiny Tim and of course the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. This Christmas classic always leaves behind a strong sense of hope and charity. This edition’s cover design by Coralie Bickford-Smith is so stylish too!

A Christmas Carol - Khoollect Reads

5. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore.

The infectious rhythm of this classic children’s poem captures the anticipation and magic of Christmas brilliantly. Clement C. Moore originally wrote this version as a Christmas present for his children, and it’s an absolute delight to read. And the beautiful, colourful and whimsical illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith ensure the words dance off the page and will certainly help you get into the holiday spirit.

Night Before Christmas - Khoollect Reads

6. A Snow Garden by Rachel Joyce.

A collection of seven short stories that expertly capture the emotional intensity of the festive season, in all its joy and sadness. Rachel Joyce has a keen eye for observation and an exceptional skill at expressing the subtleties of relationships. These loosely connected short stories span from the end of the school winter term to New Year’s Eve, and remind that even though everything may not be picture perfect at Christmas, there is still humour and hope to be found.

A Snow Garden - Khoollect Reads

What did you read during the holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.

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Caroline Woodward-Court

Caroline is Khoollect's resident book reviewer. This lady has had her noses in books since she can r...

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If you’re an avid reader and want more great book recommendations, check out Caroline’s review of Happiness by Design, her books to curl up withand her all time favourite reads.

You can also find out more about Khoollect book reviewer Caroline Woodward-Court here.