The amount of things I think I’m going to do (and not do) during my break at Christmas is so out of sync with any sort of reality it’s hilarious. That doesn’t stop the fantasy though. In my mind I’m going to spend a full week on the couch in my pajamas. Somehow I’m also going to organize all of my drawers and closets, visit friends, probably learn to snowshoe and post on social media about how I’m taking a week off of social media. Complete with a cute little picture of my feet relaxing in front of a fireplace. #imhopeless
I’m going to go on runs in the snow (if it ever snows), cook hotdogs on the fireplace, wear slippers, accomplish everything and accomplish nothing in the span of one week.
I’m also going to read hundreds of books. Nevermind that it takes me over a month to get through most books because I only read in bed and usually fall asleep before I finish a chapter. Nevermind that the very same thing will happen if I try to read during the day on the couch. Nevermind that I’m not even sure there are hundreds of books I want to read at the moment. I’m. Going. To. Do. It. In my imaginary life I get a lot more done, plus I’m 4″ taller.
Earlier this year I introduced you to my list of summer reads. Books that are perfect for sitting by the pool or on the beach. Books you can curl up with in a slightly musty cottage. Summer books differ from winter books in that they’re a bit lighter, quicker paced and easier to read. WINTER books are like the season, slow, heavy and almost never ending. They’re the kind of books with some heft that more often than not have won some sort of literary award. The one time this doesn’t hold true is in the month of December.
A time when even the most austere of readers has been known to bundle under the covers with a hot chocolate, a shortbread cookie and secretly crack open a Christmas romance novel.
Romance novels. The literary world’s most sneezed upon genre. It’s also the most profitable. Romance novels make more money for the publishing world than any other books. By a lot.
- Romance & Erotica – $1.44 billion dollars
- Crime & Mystery – $728.2 million
- Religious & Inspirational – $720 million
Now that I’ve sort of legitimized romance novels I will now confess that although I’ve never read a “regular” romance novel, I had a period in my life when I was absolutely obsessed with Christmas themed romance novels. Which I read of course around Christmas. When I was in University a friend and I would start buying these books around the month of October and we’d read them nonstop until Christmas. I said it was a way to avoid writing papers. But I liked those books. I actually liked them.
They just made me feel cozy, happy, relaxed … all the things one normally doesn’t feel while trying to avoid writing 2,000 word papers. They’re all the things we all want to feel 100% of the time actually which probably explains why romance is indeed the most read genre in the world.
So while they aren’t normally what I reach for when I’m looking for a book I’ve included a couple of romance novels on this list of Christmas reads.
What makes a good Christmas book? It has to be short, satisfying and of course have something to do with the holidays.
Top 10 Christmas Books
Click on any of the book titles to learn more about them.
Visions of Sugar Plums – Janet Evanovich (Christmas/Crime Novel/Humour)
A Redbird Christmas – Fannie Flagg (feel good)
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (juvenile fiction)
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie (mystery)
Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris (humour)
A Cowboy Christmas – Vicki Lewis Thompson (romance)
The Christmas Mystery – James Patterson & Richard DiLallo (mystery)
An Irish Christmas Feast – John B. Keane (Short Stories)
Trading Christmas – Debbie Macomber (romance)
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (classic)
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming – A Christmas Story – Lemony Snicket (Children’s book)
My personal favourites on this list are Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris which is absolutely hysterical and A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg because she’s such a good storyteller. I haven’t read Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot’s Christmas but I’ve ordered it and can’t wait for it to arrive. A Christmas Christie mystery! And how could a book titled The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming be anything but fantastic?
I tried very hard to find a couple of gay and lesbian holiday themed romance novels but not a single gay or lesbian friend would admit to ever having read one. Feel free to add them to the list if you have a recommendation.
I’ll leave you now for the weekend with a little homework. Pick a Christmas book to read this month. I don’t care if it’s one from my list or one you’re going to read to your kids. There’s only a month long window where this kind of book will feel magical and we’re already 8 days into that month.
Get that book, go to bed early with a mug of hot chocolate, a plate of shortbread cookies and settle into some holiday rest, relaxation and reading. It’s not just for University students trying to avoid writing papers.
It’s for anyone trying to avoid anything.
Have a good weekend!