For those of us who love books, reading and writing, a Christmas without books would be unthinkable.
While others make lists of food and cards and Things To Do I make mental lists of books to read over the break. The Christmas break. The no work break ( who am I kidding??).
I keep wanting to add more and more and more books but I am trying to learn realistic time management – you know, where you actually plan for what is possible and not for superhuman, Wonder Woman Leonie who can cram 48 hours into 24. Or so she thinks.
These are currently on my booky Christmas want-to-read list:
- No Holly for Miss Quinn by Miss Read. An oldie but a nevertheless an easy to read, feel-good Christmas story by that quintessential British author, Miss Read. Miss Quinn enjoys her singleness but has become a trifle smug. One Christmas jolts her from such smugness.
- The Twenty Four Days of Christmas by Madeleine L’engle. What can I say? This children’s book inspired me many years ago. As a young teen reader, I knew what sort of mother I wanted to be, one day. I learned, through literature, of Christmas traditions. This shaped my mothering and my Christmases. I have to re-read it.
- The Conscience Pudding by E. Nesbit. Another classic and another children’s book. The Christmas after the death of their mother, the Constable children (Five Children and It) want to give away their Christmas. As is usual for the children, their endeavours end in situation comedy scenes.
- The Sign of Jonas by Thomas Merton. The sequel to the book much loved by me and many others – The Twelve Storey Mountain (or Elected Silence) – and a book I have wanted to read for long time. I found an original 1953 edition in a library. Treasuring his own story of conversion while looking at contemplation in my own life.
- Selected Writings of Dorothy Day. Dorothy Day may just be one of my modern day heroes. Her story of abortion, affairs, picking men who would not love her back and then, her love for her daughter, her life as a single parent, her love of Christ and her love-hate relationship with the Church, her writing of peace and compassion, especially for the poor and forgotten, the influence of Kropotkin and St Therese – these are the stuff of narrative lived in an authentic life.
- Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Parenting, relationship, movies, told from a father and son point of view.
- Bridget Jones’ Baby by Helen Fielding. This is my fluff reading. What can I say? Bridget makes me laugh! I love, too, how the baby becomes the donor in Bridget’s life – very Joseph Campbell.
- Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. A modern re-telling of The Tempest, set not on an island but in a Canadian prison. What Shakespeare buff could resist?
- Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. I am a big Nick Hornby fan. I love his style of writing, the semi-autobiographical tone. I love his movies. The movie of this book, with a very young Colin Firth, is a story of family and community, of love and despair, and with the usual Hornby character who doesn’t quite fit in (cue story of my life). I love the movie and look forward to the book – a cheap, market find book for me.
- All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. My book club book. It is not yet in my library but I Have to read it for book club. I am scared – will it make me cry?
- The 48 Hour Startup by Fraser Doherty. Yes. I am always wanting to start a book business. But I am reading this more like fiction than as a how-to book. The best way to read is through the lens of narrative.
So that is my booky Christmas. I have a smattering of unfinished books lying around, which are my pick up now and then books. Perhaps I will list them in another post. But for now these are my Christmas books. Will I read them all? Probably not – but then, there is January and reading on the train to work!