Christmas Books

Now I'm late and no one will want to read about Christmas books.

After The Country Child, the other Christmas book I wanted to read this year was Christmas Stories, an Everyman collection of short stories. They're arranged approximately chronologically, starting with Charles Dickens and ending with some modern selections. I particularly enjoyed stories by Trollope, Tolstoy, Willa Cather, and O. Henry (not the Magi one, a cowboy story), and I wasn't so wild about the modern ones.

If you'd like to know about my favorite Christmas books that I always like to read in December, they are both children's books. The Children of Green Knowe is part of the classic-but-forgotten series by L. M. Boston--I think it's really the first one. Tolly goes to visit his great-grandmother at her old manor house of Green Knowe and starts to meet the many inhabitants of the place, but some are ghosts. My husband read this aloud to our kids last year and thought it was completely weird and creepy, but it's really good! If you're an Anglophile and like old stories and legends, this series is necessary for you to read.

My other favorite is The Dark is Rising, which is the second book in Susan Cooper's series of the same name. Will turns 11 on Midwinter Day and is sent on a quest for 6 ancient signs that he must collect over the Christmas season. This is a great series for a kid who enjoys fantasy, and another good selection for anyone who likes old British legend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, as we did. The best part was that everyone in my extended family is employed, so that all by itself made it the best Christmas ever.


  1. Children of Green Knowe is one of my favourite books ever. It's been that since I was 7-ish: I still have my copy & it's still magical! The rest of the series is wonderful too, but this one if my very, very favourite.

    Sounds like I'll have to try the Cooper then!

  2. I completely agree! Though "The Stones of Green Knowe" may be my second-favorite.

    If you've never read Susan Cooper, you should definitely put her on your list right now. "The Dark is Rising" is a 5-book set and a little odd because the 1st book was written 20 years before the rest of them and has a very different tone--it's kind of Enid Blyton, while the rest are quite strange fantasy. My other favorite Cooper book is probably her least-known, "Seaward." It's strange too. Let me know what you think!

  3. I'm one of those who enjoys Enid Blyton, so the tone of the Dark is Rising shouldn't put me off. I'll have to go ahead and put in a holds request!

  4. Wait wait, the Dark is Rising is the *second* book! I know, weird. The first one that is more Blytonesque is called "Over Sea, Under Stone." Enjoy!


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