Tuesday, 22 December 2015

My Favourite Festive Reads

It's no great surprise that I love a festive read. After all, they combine my two great passions: books and Christmas. However, a book being Christmas-themed is no guarantee I'll like it; I recently tried one of Jenny Colgan's Rosie Hopkins books and it was the biggest pile of bollocks I've ever read. These books, though, are guaranteed to be good reads and festive as all get-out.

Let It Snow is a collection of three novellas by three YA authors, each one related to the other by location. It's romantic and funny and extremely festive without laying it on too thick.

“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” When Lily - egged on by her brother and his boyfriend - leaves a red notebook on the shelves of a Manhattan bookstore, it's picked up by cynical Dash, and they begin a correspondence that takes them on an adventure around a festive New York. You'd have to be as hard-hearted as The Grinch to dislike Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares.

I'm actually saving Matt Haig's new book, A Boy Called Christmas, for Christmas Eve, but it comes garlanded with amazing reviews so I have high hopes.

Moving away from children's and YA literature, Comfort & Joy follows main character Clara across three years worth of Christmas Days. Witty and, yes, comforting and joyous, I re-read this almost every Christmas.

My True Love Gave To Me is a lovely collection of YA short stories which, appealingly, doesn't limit itself to just Christmas but has stories for those who celebrate Hannukah or Solstice as well as New Year's Eve. It's also sumptuously designed: I have the fabulous pink-edged hardback but the paperback cover is lovely, too.

Landline isn't explicitly a Christmas novel, but taking place in December and having a somewhat It's A Wonderful Life-ness about its plot qualifies it as a festive read for me.

Finally, a number of novels are sort of accidentally festive: the final sections of two of my favourite YA novels, To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell's Carry On, both take place over the festive season, and I always associate Bridget Jones's Diary with Christmas, as it both opens and closes in December.