Ben Loftis Contributing Columnist
December 11, 2013
Need a break from Christmas shopping or end of the semester school projects? The Union County Carnegie Library has many books about Christmas and other holidays.
Quite a few popular adult authors write books specifically about Christmas, either as a spinoff of a series or as a standalone book. Authors such as Anne Perry, Andrew Greeley, Debbie Macomber, Mary Higgins Clark, Janet Evanovich, Thomas Kinkade, and Donna VanLiere, as well as many others, have written one or more Christmas books. However, some Christmas books stand out. Here are a few for all ages that can be found at UCCL (and remember, SCLENDS provides many more titles available to be put on hold).
A few great Christmas novels for adults:
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham: Later made into a movie (Christmas with the Kranks), this book tells the story of a couple who attempt to avoid Christmas, but are forced into it with friends and family.
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci: Forced to take a train home to spend Christmas with his girlfriend, journalist Tom Langdon sells a story about a Christmas train ride to finance the trip.
On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts: Tired of doing all the work to prepare for Christmas, Joy, Laura, and the rest of their knitting circle decide to go on strike and force their husbands to wrap presents, decorate, and throw parties. Soon the boycott takes on a life of its own.
The Christmas Box trilogy by Richard Paul Evans: Three Christmas books about a widow and her family, a couple in love, and a small child. UCCL has the books individually or together in a single collection.
Wishin’ and Hopin’: A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb: Wally Lamb returns to the city of Three Rivers, Connecticut to tell the story of Felix Funicello’s Christmas in 1964.
There are plenty of great Christmas books for children as well. Many popular children’s series feature one or more Christmas books, including Maisie, Spot, Baby Mouse, Magic Treehouse, and more, while other popular children’s authors also have great Christmas titles, including Eve Bunting and Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express). Here are a few others to consider:
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore: UCCL has several different copies of this classic Christmas poem, as well as fun re-writes such as Dinosaur’s Night Before Christmas (by Jim Harris).
When Mother was Eleven-Foot-Four: A Christmas Memory by Jerry Camery-Hoggatt: The tale of a mother teaching her children the true meaning of Christmas and how to give good gifts.
A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder: A collection of holiday stories from the Little House books.
The Angel Tree by Helena Clare Pittman: A picture book telling the story of how Jake celebrates Christmas with normally reserved Cyrus McCafferty who is about to move away.
The Christmas We Moved to the Barn by Alexandra Day: A story told entirely through pictures of how a family evicted on Christmas Eve celebrates the holiday.
And a few holiday books for non-fiction and classics readers.
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy: Popular juvenile non-fiction author Jim Murphy tells the story of the Christmas truce along the trenches in 1914. (The story is also told in the 2005 film Joyeux Noel, available on hold through SCLENDS)
The Spirit of Christmas: A History of Best-loved Carols by Virginia Reynolds: A short history of 16 classic Christmas carols.
Christmas in America: A History by Penne Restad: Restad traces the growth and changing nature Christmas throughout American history.
Christmas Remembered by Tommie DePaola: Popular children’s author Tommie DePaola shares stories of Christmas memories.
Southern Christmas: Literary Classics of the Holidays: Christmas stories and essays by authors ranging from Mark Twain and O. Henry to Truman Capote and Rick Bragg.
Celebrations of Light: A Year of Holidays Around the World by Nancy Luenn: One of several books available discussing holiday traditions in other parts of the world, and how other regions celebrate Christmas.
Christmas Tales of Charles Dickens: Charles Dicken’s best known Christmas work is A Christmas Carol, the story Ebeneezer Scrooge’s change of heart after being visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve. However, Dickens wrote four other Christmas novels and quite a few other short stories about the holiday available individually or in collections (available either at UCCL or in SCLENDS).
For those interested in the story behind A Christmas Carol, author Les Standiford wrote The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirit (available at UCCL).