The Five Best Christmas Reads
Settling down in front of the fire, with a cup of tea or mulled wine, there is never a better time to indulge in some reading. But what to choose? You don’t want to risk something too sad or scary, in case it ruins your calm. Why not pick one of these five festive reads…
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is the ultimate Christmas read! Even if you’ve never read Dickens’ classic tale of Mr Scrooge and how he discovers his Christmas cheer, you will no doubt have seen one of the many film adaptations… including the Muppets one. As an extra treat, indulge yourself a buy a beautiful clothbound Penguin Classics copy of A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings, £14.99 – the cover is exquisite.
The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman
Who hasn’t dreamed of their toys coming to life at least once? This story, first published in 1816, has delighted generations, as a young girl follows the Nutcracker in to a fantastical land in which she has to defeat the evil Mouse King. There are lots of versions, so it’s up to you which illustrations you prefer, but I personally love the 1999 edition illustrated by Renee Graef, £12.34.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage
Okay, so maybe I was a bit pre-emptive when I said not scary. Based on the 14th Century poem, Sir Gawain heads off on a Christmas quest to find the recently beheaded magical Green Knight. This story was hugely influential in Tolkien’s work, and this particular edition is part of the reimagined Legends from the Ancient North series. I love the intriguing cover! And for £6.99, who can say no.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This story made me fall in love with Turkish Delight. The tale of two brothers and two sisters, who discover a magical world through a wardrobe, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is set in Narnia, a land ensconced in Winter, but it never reaches Christmas. This is a gorgeous tale whatever your age.
The Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies
You might know the film, but you may not know that there is a book version. Now is the time to discover the novel of The Miracle on 34th Street – as deliciously heartwarming and gorgeous as the film. Go completely nuts and watch the film straight after (I recommend the 1994 version with Richard Attenborough or the very original 1847 version with George Seaton and Maureen O’Hara).