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Caro

Your Christmas reads

Your Christmas holidays are much shorter than ours (though I am working three full days next week at the information centre) but maybe you have specific reading ideas for it.

I have been reading about the formation of the Royal Society, which is very interesting but I think for Christmas I will have a lighter read.  I am thinking of Flashman at the Charge, which I got out the library yesterday - but it is another period of history which might confuse me.  The alternative is Henning Mankell's Italian Shoes or a light crime thing by Amy Patricia Meade - not someone I have read before.  Maybe Christmas Day I could have that one, and read Flashman round it or after it.

What about your plans for Christmas reading?  

Cheers, Caro.
Marita

Iím reading Gothic Short Stories at the moment. Itís a collection of stories from well known and totally unknown authors. Iíve enjoyed some and found others not so interesting.   I might continue with some ghost stories or go for Dickensí Christmas books. Or perhaps Santa has brought something interesting from the North Pole.

Marita
Evie

I have Susan Hill's The Man in the Portrait from the library - don't know it at all, but it's apparently a ghost story - I picked it up when I was looking for more novellas, having enjoyed Chibiabos' novella challenge.

I also brought home Ian McEwan's Solar from the library, which I have been wanting to read for ages, and Dona Nicanora's Hat Shop by Kirstan Hawkins, recommended by KlaraZ, so those three will be my reading over the holiday period.  Maybe Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson will creep in too...I do like something Nordic at Christmas!
Ann

I'm reading Alexandria by Lindsay Davies, one of the Falco series. I like her books very much as they are a Roman inspired detective with strong nods to Philip Marlowe! The relationship between Falco and Helena Justina, his upper class wife is both funny and tender. Nothing very Christmassy about it, though.
Gul Darr

I'm hoping to finish The Brothers Karamazov and then maybe start The Sweet Shop Owner by Graham Swift.
I'll be interested to hear what you think to Solar, Evie. Another one on my TBR.
Chibiabos83

I expect to be doing next to no reading over Christmas. I've been reading nonstop for all of 2010, it seems, and I will be busy playfully insulting my brothers. But normal service will be resumed in January.
TheRejectAmidHair

I finished The Brothers Karamazov on Christmas Day. (Well, I thought it would be an hour better spent than watching the stuff that was passing for festiove cheer on the television!) Mainly I was reading ghost stories. I had packed with me the Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories - about as fine an antholology as there is - and I had a whale of a time reading through them.
Evie

Just resurrecting this thread from last year.  I haven't yet decided what my Christmas reads will be - though no reading on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, sadly!  But Boxing Day will be a different story (no pun intended!).

Anyone got a particular read in mind?  I am quite excited, because for once I will be getting a book for Christmas - I am part of the secret Santa thing at work, and we all wrote lists of what we would like - all mine were books, so even though I won't know which one I'm getting (nice surprise element) I know it will be a book, so that's wonderful!

I have recently received Marghanita Laski's The Victorian Chaise-Longue from Persephone in the post, and that is short and mysterious, I believe - very scary, apparently - so a good one for a dark winter's day.  I expect that will be my Boxing Day treat, with a box of chocolates and something nice to drink!
TheRejectAmidHair

I'll be reading The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories and The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories ("modern" referring essentially to the 20th century) both edited by Peter Haining.
Sandraseahorse

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
I'll be reading The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories and The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories ("modern" referring essentially to the 20th century) both edited by Peter Haining.


Interesting.  The problem I find is, that having read a few ghost story anthologies, the same stories tend to crop up time and time again.

I'm reading "The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories"by Gertrude Atherton, which Mike Harvey mentioned on this board a little while ago.  She was a friend of Henry James but so far I'm finding her stories a pale reflection of Henry James'.
Apple

This Christmas I will be mostly reading...

I don't have the bloody foggiest!

I have my photography books which my husband has bought me for christmas even though they have been in the house for a few weeks now I can't have them till christmas which I think is a bit harsh really!

Apart from that, I'm not sure as I have said on another thread I have cleared my TBR pile this year and don't have anything left, at the moment I am reading the Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens, which I picked up from the charity shop last week, I'm not sure why though but I have just found out  it doesn't have the story Himadri mentioned in his post amongst them, there are 3 stories A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth
Gul Darr

And it's Dickens for me too; not one of his Christmas works but rather the Mystery of Edwin Drood. I'd like to read it before the BBC adaptation is screened in the New Year. Other than that, I'm not sure. I do have an Orhan Pamuk novel on my bedside shelf, "The Museum of Innocence", so that may well be next.
Mikeharvey

EDWIN DROOD is a great read, but inevitably frustrating.  I read it in an edition completed by Leon Garfield.  Excellent.
I saw rather a good musical version with Ernie Wise a few years ago. It asked the audience to vote on who they thought 'did it' and then performed it.  
Musicalised Dickens crop up from time to time. Apart from the ubiquitous OLIVER I've seen a musical of HARD TIMES, PICKWICK (with Harry Secombe) and an opera of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. There are probably more...........
chris-l

I think 'The Old Curiosity Shop' will take me up to Christmas and beyond. By the time I have finished that, I shall have received my Kindle, so the next 'book' may well be one of the many things I plan to load onto my gadget! There will be a few recent publications that I have in mind, but also lots of George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, Henry James and many others that appear in the free download list. Almost like visiting a really good charity shop (or library, even) where one is spoilt for choice.
Chibiabos83

This week, I'll be trying to finish Russell Hoban's fascinating Riddley Walker (hopefully by the end of Thursday), then on Friday I'm going to London to see One Man, Two Guvnors (James Corden's finest hour, I believe, which may not be saying much, but everyone claims it's the funniest play they've seen in years) and hoping not to take a bag, so I will need something small enough to fit in my coat pocket. Perhaps back to the Maupin (I have Tales of the City 4 and 5 out of the library). I am also going to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's on Christmas Eve (again - six years in a row, I think that makes it - which may make me the envy of many), for which you need to arrive in plenty of time, so I may be reading more of the same while I wait for the carols to start. And then over Christmas, not much, I expect. So I won't make it to the 100 books I managed last year (or was it the year before?) but I think I'm somewhere in the 80s. Not that it's a race.
Evie

I am planning to go to IKEA tomorrow, so will definitely take a book to read in the queue - might be the longest reading stint I have over Christmas!  Hope the play is good, Chibiabos.  I have ordered an omnibus edition of TOFC 4, 5 and 6 from the library.
Jen M

I have just started my next Reading Group book, The Help, so shall probably be reading that, but if I finish it I may treat myself to something from my Kindle wish list.  As it is not possible to "gift" for the Kindle, I am hoping for an Amazon voucher at Christmas so I can choose something from the list.  

Nine Lessons and Carols is lovely, Chibiabos - we often go to one at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, but didn't make it this year.  It is usually held during the second week of December which starts off Christmas for me.
Vita

As I started reading The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric yesterday I am pretty sure that will be my over- Christmas read. Of course I haven't ruled out receiving books as presents or vouchers for my Kindle. Himself commented that my choice at the library didn't look a very jolly read for Christmas - I had gone in to stock up on 'dip into' books on gardening, photography, etc. - and my reply was 'It is Michelle Lovric - I will read it!' I have already blown a surprise gift he had lined up for me - a copy of Georgette Heyer's These old Shades which I first read 50 years ( oh help!) ago and was my first GH regency read. Shopping at the same online store at this time of the year is a problem. Very Happy
Green Jay

I was hoping/aiming to give The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters another go. Was it last winter of the one before that I read it by the fire with snow outside? I heard her speak last year and it made me want to reread it with my eyes/ears wider open to Dr Faraday's deliberate moves...

I thought I would see if I still have a volume of M R James stories about the house, and then there were one or two books on my Xmas list, including the latest Kate Atkinson and some art books.

I am getting a Kindle but I am convinced that my darling OH has not the wit or skill to actually pre-download any books for me. Finding out how it works will be like building the Lego castle on Christmas day, and Boxing Day and the day after, when the kids were small!
Ann

I'm borrowing The Hare with the Amber Eyes over Christmas and very much looking forward to reading it
Green Jay

Ann wrote:
I'm borrowing The Hare with the Amber Eyes over Christmas and very much looking forward to reading it


I gave this as a present, hoping the recipient who hasn't come across it at all will enjoy it,  but haven't read it yet myself - or got a copy!  Sad
Castorboy

Apart from Proust and Fiennes I am reading a 1936 James Barke novel Major Operation which examines the industrial system in Glasgow from a worker's and a businessman's point of view.
Barke edited the works of Robert Burns Ė I would think one of many such editors - and was responsible, with Sydney Goodsirsmith, for the definitive edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia according to his website.
MikeAlx

Not been reading much fiction, as I am currently engrossed in Andrew Chaikin's "A Man on the Moon" - an engaging account of the Apollo programme. Fascinating not only from a technological point of view, but also in its exploration of the different personalities, attitudes and backgrounds of the astronauts.
Evie

I read Marghanita Laski's short novel The Victorian Chaise-longue on Boxing Day - a sort of ghost story, have written a bit about it on the December reads thread.
Castorboy

Unless I am given more books for Christmas I will settle for the two I am currently reading, a memoir by the 2nd Lord Tweedsmuir and the short stories of Eduardo Halfon, plus English Hours by Henry James which is a compilation of travel writing, a Peter Robinson which although it features a murder is not an Inspector Banks novel. I wasnít planning on reading Before the Poison but the OH said it was different from his crime ones in that it was more a family narrative one with more characters and mystery than usual and a house that may be haunted Ė ideal for this season!
My final choice is a re-borrowing from the library of the Eric Karpeles art book on the paintings in Proust so I can now catch up with those mentioned in both The Guermantes Way and Cities of the Plain. This should prompt me †to finish the last three novels in the sequence in the New Year.
Vita

Sounds like you have some good reads lined up there but nevertheless I hope you find some more under the Christmas tree. For me a good book has been the ultimate reward for putting on the Christmas dinner over the years - along with the peace and quiet to enjoy it while all the washing up goes on! I shall be checking out what is on my Kindle as I know I have stocked up over the last year, due in part to a generous voucher last Christmas. I really must sort out all the sample reads from the books and have a general tidy up!
Green Jay

Green Jay wrote:
Ann wrote:
I'm borrowing The Hare with the Amber Eyes over Christmas and very much looking forward to reading it


I gave this as a present, hoping the recipient who hasn't come across it at all will enjoy it, †but haven't read it yet myself - or got a copy! †Sad


Oh, dear - this present was not a great success. Found it in relative's spare room with the gift bookmark a few pages in and the whole thing looking very pristine. I think I will "de-gift" it (my version of re-gifting since it's not actually mine) and sneak it back with me next time I visit. Judging by the layer of dust it will not be missed!

As for my Christmas reading, not sure. I'm very slow reading at the mo, too busy and as we are about to move I have been sloughing off books like nobody's business, havign thought I could never do so. Oddly enough, it's the non-fiction and reference books I'm keeping. I can always get fiction from library if i want to read them again. Always supposing the †local library is not axed. I know I have a couple of books under the tree (not that the tree is bought yet! That's how slow I'm being) but in theory. Hope for an art book or two as well. But nothing obvious curl-up-and-read so I will look to the TBR which has not been dismantled.

My idea of heaven is Boxing Day with no engagements, go for a walk, do nothing else, lie on sofa and read a book and eat chocs. In past years it has been a beautiful "picture book" like a gardening book, or a good wintry novel.
Marita

For the Christmas period I'll be sticking to short stories. Currently I'm reading 'Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales'. Not by Angela Carter though, she's the editor.
There is always Dickens of course and I've also got some collections of ghost stories.


Vita

I've just finished The Snow Child by Eowin Ivey. A good fireside read! And with less than a week to go it is high time I took down The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems - a remnant of my teacher's library - and dipped into that for some old and new favourites.
MikeAlx

I'd sort of promised myself I'd use the Christmas break (I've actually got 10 clear days this year, first time in about 15 years!) to finish reading Crime & Punishment. However, I have a crop of lovely books from my birthday, so may get distracted! These are: Heart Shaped Bruise (Tanya Byrne), Jar City & Silence of the Grave (Arnaldur Indridasun), and The Yellow Birds (Kevin Powers).
Apple

This year I don't have any spare time to read, the amount of overtime has as always dramatically increased in the last haul to christmas and then as soon as christmas is over its the run up to new year and the parties and stuff for that, so I'm guessing reading will be the last thing on my list of things to do for the next few weeks and if you will excuse me I am now off to work!
county_lady

I usually have less time to read at Christmas and haven't read much at all in 2012. I will have to sort out a little something to tempt me.
Joe McWilliams

I'm making a resolution to add something to this thread within the next three weeks. I have a feeling there will be books under the tree this year and I can hardly wait! (Pardon the enthusiasm.)
Castorboy

My list of short stories, Joe, includes Olive Kitteridge the one you mentioned. I feel fortunate to have received it from the library waiting list so soon Ė obviously the American writer Elizabeth Strout is popular around here. Then there is a collection by Stan Barstow, based in and about a fictitious West Riding town, called The Desperadoes plus the NZ love stories. As for novels, there is Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald about working at the BBC in 1940, The Damned United by David Peace about the football manager Brian Clough which was made into a film with the same name. Finally I have one from my own shelves The Good Companions, a famous best seller, by J B Priestley, a long novel of the adventures of a theatrical group in 1920s England.
Joe McWilliams

You've certainly set yourself up nicely for a few weeks of reading there, C-Boy. I have nothing on my list. Perhaps I'll visit the library before it closes for the holidays. Being caught bookless would not be a good idea.
Caro

I've managed to get out the library some rather heavy reading - a biography of Matthew Flinders, who was the first person to circumnavigate Australia, and a book called Indonesia, Exploring the Improbable Nation. I know next to nothing about Indonesia, but it really quite close to NZ, and important to its future in some ways at least.  I might start this today, but for actual relaxing Christmas reading I think it will be a crime novel, perhaps another library book - Bricks and Mortality by Ann Granger "A Cold-Blodded Killer Stalks a Cotswold Village".  She's written a lot of books and I thought I read her before but none of the titles or series rings a bell.

It would be nice to start 2015 with a classic of some sort - Great Expectations is still waiting, but my son has not long finished The Luminaries, so it would be good to be able to discuss this with him.  We'll see.
Joe McWilliams

On the way into the library this morning, I met a friend coming out; she said she's reading The Luminaries and finding it hard going, but thinks it will be worth it. Had I not spoken with her, would I have come out of there a few minutes later holding copies of East of Eden and Martin Chuzzlewit? I have no idea, but it's more than possible that chance encounter sparked a slight change in the way I was thinking.
Anyway, I think those two, judging by their thickness alone, should be enough to tide me through the holidays.

By the way, I found those titles in the 'Classics' section, something I hadn't known existed. One of the books in that fairly small selection was called Android Karenina. Makes me wonder about the definition of 'classic'.
TheRejectAmidHair

This Christmas, I'll mainly be readng...

...ghost stories!

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