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Dec 01, 2023

Top 10 Christmas Books of All Time

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There is nothing quite like curling up in front of the fire with a good book during the Christmas holidays, with the smell of turkey and roast potatoes in the air.

The only tricky thing is choosing what book to read over the festive period. Knowing this dilemma all too well, we have put together a list of some of our top picks for the best Christmassy books for you to lose yourself in. So, in no particular order let’s get right into it.

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

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This Christmas tale, loved by all, tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a spiteful, unhappy, and simply horrid old man with a deep running hatred for Christmas. The story tells of how, one year Scrooge is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas that take him on a journey to help him discover the joy of Christmas again.

Letters From Father Christmas – J.R.R Tolkien

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This book is a beautiful collection of letters written by J.R.R Tolkien himself to his children, each letter in this collection tells many grand and exciting stories about the goings on in the north pole; about the ridiculous endeavours of the clumsy polar bear, the tales of Ilbereth the elf and of course the man himself, Father Christmas. Inside the book you will find the marvellously illustrated drawings and sketches to accompany the letters themselves.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

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Not a Christmas story by nature but encompassing all of the joys, love and eventfulness so enjoyed by all at Christmas, Little Women follows the story of the March Sisters as they endeavour to Survive in New England as the Civil War Rages on. No doubt based on the early childhood years of her own upbringing, Alcott charismatically weaves the timeless tales of love, death, war, family and so much more into this masterpiece that will certainly live on for years to come.

The Little Match Girl – Hans Christian Anderson

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This tragic and short story may not be the most heart-warming Christmas tale there is but tells an important story that is one to remember. The tale is one of a young girl who wanders the freezing streets having failed to make a single penny selling her matches. While most are tucked away in their homes sitting down to sumptuous meals, warmed by crackling fires and sharing splendid gifts, the little match girl stares into the small flame of her tiny matches that she had lit in a feeble attempt to try and warm herself, but with every stick she lights she begins to witness glorious visions of wonderful food, great stoves and even her lost grandmother.

The Tailor of Gloucester – Beatrix Potter

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If you are looking for a wonderfully gleeful read this Christmas then look no further than The Tailor of Gloucester. Described as her favourite all her books Beatrix Potter writes about the story of how a tailor left a half-finished garment in his shop over night over to find the job complete in the morning. In actuality the job had been completed by the Tailors apprentice but the role of mystery helper was occupied by tiny brown mice in this true classic piece of literature.

Skipping Christmas – John Grisham

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Looking for something a little alternative and quirky or simply want to stop thinking about Christmas just for a short while? Well, this book may be the perfect escape. The book follows the futile attempts of a couple that, just this once, want to see what would happen if they skipped Christmas all together, that means no gifts, no tree, no decorations, nothing. Come the 25th of December the pair are prepped to set off on a Caribbean cruise but escaping the festive season turns out to be a little harder than expected…

The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories: From Hans Christian Andersen to Angela Carter – Jessica Harrison

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This extraordinary collection of fabulously written short stories are bound together to become a real must read for all Christmas lovers. Let the pages transport you all over the world from the sparkling frozen Nordic forests to the hustle & bustle of the streets of Rio. Featuring work from names such as Shirley Jackson, Dylan Thomas, and Truman Capote. Get lost in the idea of Christmas as imagined by some of the worlds greatest short story writers.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas – Agatha Christie

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In the mood for a classic murder mystery? Then one can never go wrong with a notoriously grasping Poirot novel. When the festive period comes around for our Protagonist family, the particularly fastidious father invites his four sons, and their wives home for the big day. However, this invitation quickly reveals its malicious reasoning, as the father is quick to barrette each son individually before unveiling his intent to cut off their allowance and change his will. Ultimately Christmas comes crumbling down when a murder takes place, and with motives in abundance, it all begs the question; who did it?

The Gritterman – Orlando Weeks

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A heart-cradling story to bring those that work over the holidays, into the spotlight and to give them the recognition they deserve. As the world sleeps, the Gritterman is hard at work and fast approaching retirement, which begs the question; what comes next? This Beautifully illustrated picture book for adults is sure to stir the hearts of all those that open its pages.

The Twelve Birds of Christmas – Stephen Moss

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Crisp, frost glazed leaves, soft white blankets of snow, and flamboyant Robins singing in the trees; if treating your senses to these marvels while wandering the hills and gardens of the countryside speaks of Christmas to you then this book by Stephen Moss is the perfect reading companion for you this Christmas. This book about the 12 birds of Christmas delves into the culture and history surrounding these eloquent creatures.

Should none of the above Christmas books take your fancy here are some honourable mentions that we couldn’t quite fit onto our list:

  • Twelve Nights – Urs Faes
  • Christmas Days – Jeanette Winterson
  • A Maigret Christmas – Georges Simenon
  • Hogfather – Terry Pratchett
  • An Almost Perfect Christmas – Nina Stibbe

We hope that we have offered some help in your search to find the perfect Christmas book to accompany you through this festive period. Merry Christmas!

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