In a collection of holiday themed books that are funny, nostalgic, scary and even a bit sexy, there’s a book here to get everyone into the cheerful holiday spirit. So give this list a read-through, then put your feet up, settle into your comfiest chair and get reading this holiday season.
1. Holidays on Ice: David Sedaris
David Sedaris’ writing is all at once hilarious, relatable and heartbreaking. His stories speak to his readers in a very personal way, touching on the insecurities within all of us while still making us laugh the entire time. His book Holidays on Ice is a collection of holiday-themed short stories that follow a similar style to his other books. In Holidays on Ice, Sedaris recounts working as a “full-time elf” for Macy’s, dealing with overly-cheerful neighbors with overly-zealous holiday spirit and going with his sister to rescue a prostitute from an abusive boyfriend on Christmas night. If you’re looking for a book to help you survive the upcoming season, this book is for you. It will put the insufferable holiday cheer into perspective with sarcasm, wit and humor.
2. A Christmas Carol: Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol is a book for the more traditional crowd. It has been retold countless times in a variety of different mediums including theater, film, television, radio and even opera. Some of the more famous film versions include the 1992 Muppets version starring Michael Cain and the 1951 version, which delves a little bit deeper into the dark past of Ebenezer Scrooge. Everyone knows the basic plot of A Christmas Carol, but how many people have actually read the original Dickens version? Take this holiday season to relax, drink some hot apple cider, and read the book that started it all. It’s a classic that has never gone out of print and has withstood the test of time with flying colors.
3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Polar Express is for those looking to bring back childhood memories of hot chocolate, cookies and still believing Santa is real. It comes packed with an overload of nostalgia and happiness. It may be a picture book intended for children, but I’m putting it on this list for a reason. The art is incredibly vivid and unique, and the story brings alive the magic and wonder of the holiday season that we all experienced as kids. It’s about a skeptical young boy who gets taken on a train ride to the North Pole, where he meets Santa Claus and is gifted one of the bells from the harness of a reindeer. As it turns out, the bell can only be heard by those who truly believe in the magic of Christmas, and through the years the bell grows quiet for everyone except the boy. I know it sounds cheesy, and I guess it is a little bit, but it will only take you 10 minutes to read.
4. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
For you scary book lovers out there, Joe Hill’s supernatural horror novel NOS4A2 might be just the thing to scare you silly this holiday season. It’s about a man named Charles Manx who takes children for rides in his old car, bringing them into an other-world he calls Christmasland, filled with “an astonishing playground of amusements.” Nobody ever escapes the twisted, evil Manx except for Victoria McQueen who is now grown up and has a son of her own; a boy suddenly caught in the cross-hairs of a vengeful Manx. Set in a world that leaves reality behind, this book is dark, scary and immensely thrilling. NOS4A2 is a fun read which will have you forgetting all about the department store versions of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” in no time.
5. All I Want for Christmas by Liliana Hart
To be honest, this book doesn’t look very good – at all. Yet, it has somehow made it towards the top of one of the reader-chosen holiday book lists on Goodreads. It’s currently, proudly, sporting a nearly 4-star average rating, so that means people must like it, right? I was going to give you a short synopsis of the book, but to be honest, the description from the Goodreads website is simply way too good to paraphrase: “A blizzard leaves Kate Carson stranded in Chicago on Christmas Eve. When she finds she’s without a place to stay for the night, billionaire Derek Worth tempts her with an offer she can’t refuse, and she finds out it’s a lot easier to stay warm being naughty instead of nice.” The cover features a dazzling set of bronzed 6-pack abs artfully draped with a red and white Santa robe. So, if you’re thinking about getting a little saucy this holiday season then maybe All I Want For Christmas is for you.