‘Tis the season for goodwill on earth, giving (mostly presents), and regrettable kisses that you will later blame on the combination of mistletoe and mulled wine. The Christmas season is also a fantastic excuse to eat Roses and drink wine to your heart’s content (and your liver’s discontent).
But for some, ’tis mostly the season to read. It’s the perfect time to catch up on reading having just finished the first semester of college and right before starting into your panicked January exam studying marathon. Those few days of holiday bliss before New Year’s give you a tiny shred of sanity to get you through your exams.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I can’t quite pinpoint why this book is so associated with Christmas. Perhaps it’s the fact that the amazing TV serial is shown around that time (that lake scene is probably the only time breeches will ever be sexy. Its social commentary is witty, it had a badass heroine in Elizabeth Bennet, and has one of the greatest romances in history. Possibly better than Kanye and Kanye. It’s on the first year of English course syllabus, but hopefully that won’t have ruined it for you. Elizabeth Bennet’s headstrong ways and general brilliance coupled with Mr. Bennet’s hilarious lines will keep you coming back every year.
Harry Potter anything by J.K. Rowling
It’s difficult to escape the many showings of Harry Potter on TV at Christmas (though, in fairness, why would you possibly want to escape them?). The perfect accompaniment to Harry Potter movie marathons is a little bit of light. Plus, Christmas is so wonderfully described by Ms. Rowling that you can’t help but drift off into imagining yourself being warmed by the Gryffindor common room fireplace with the snowy Hogwarts grounds outside.
Young Adult Fiction
Young Adult fiction is having a major moment on the literary scene right now. This means there’s plenty of Christmas-themed YA fiction on the market, perfect for switching your brain off and enjoying light-hearted teenagers having some adventures. Regardless of your age, YA can be enjoyed by anyone – we all remember the heartaches and fun that we had back in the day.
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
From the writers of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (another wonderful book), this is a cute little whimsical read. At only 260 pages, it’s a short & sweet book that’d be ideal for an afternoon spent cosied up under a blanket with some cold December day. Yes, Dash is a little (okay, a lot) pretentious, and Lily is quite childish. But this isn’t trying to be Pulitzer material. It is what it is: an adorable Christmas story about two silly characters with a fair bit of heart to it. It’s fluffy and light and just what you need at Christmas when you want to escape from the pre-exam season dread. Plus, there’s a sequel – Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, if one is not enough.
Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle
This book is so cute and Christmassy that you won’t be able to help but get super excited for Christmas while reading it – even though it was more than a couple of weeks away. The book contains three short stories: The Jubilee Express; A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle; and The Patron Saint of Pigs. All three are funny and festive, but the first story, Maureen Johnson’s The Jubilee Express, is especially festive. It’s a really lovely story with some adorable characters, with a sweet ending. All three stories take place in the same town in the same 24-odd hours. There are character crossovers which really tie nicely together at the end of the final story, The Patron Saint of Pigs.
These books are an excellent combination of humour and personality from these well-known celebrities. They’re not ghost-written and they don’t read like a 15 year old wrote them.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
This is pretty standard comedian memoire fare. In the tradition of Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, this book combines Anna Kendrick’s life experience, growing up, as well as humourous essays on working on the acting industry. It’s pitch perfect the Anna Kendrick fan in your life (whether that’s you or someone else).
Talking As Fast As I Can: Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham, the actress who played the coolest mom ever in Gilmore Girls, is quite the writer as it turns out. This is her second literary offering, follow the 2014 release of her first novel in 2014 (Someday, Someday, Maybe). If you’re recovering from a Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life induced hangover, this is the perfect literary Bloody Mary to get you through the rest of the season. It has plenty of Gilmore Girls related reading, plus Graham’s own experiences as an actress and through life. You’ll feel like you’re besties in no time after finishing this book.