Every year I like to post my favorite holiday reads in case anyone is looking for a little seasonal joy. My December joys largely involve AGAs and mince pies and–occasionally–a bit of murder. Here are some from my shelf that get a frequent reread this time of year:
*NIGELLA CHRISTMAS. The definitive holiday cookbook with options for every possible kind of feast. Worth buying for the snappy prose and utterly perfect roast potato recipe alone.
*MARTHA STEWART’S CHRISTMAS. A throwback to be sure, but I love flipping through the pages to remind myself exactly how much labor I’m saving by NOT making my own potpourri and wrapping paper.
*WHITE CHRISTMAS. I love color too much to ever be able to pull off a white Christmas myself, but Tricia Foley does it in elegant style.
*JANE AUSTEN’S CHRISTMAS. Full of charming Georgian traditions and snippets from Austen novels. A lovely gift for an Austen devotee as well.
*THE SANTA KLAUS MURDER. A snow-bound country house, a dead body during the holiday celebrations. What more could you want?
*COMFORT & JOY. Contemporary and stylish family upheaval. Just the ticket if you like playing Peeping Tom on other people’s chaos.
*CHRISTMAS AT COLD COMFORT FARM. NOT to be attempted unless you are a diehard Gibbons fan and have read CCF at least three times. It’s not her best, but it does still have charm.
*EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY CHRISTMAS POEMS. Perfect for dipping in and out of during the season and absolutely essential if you end up stuck with people who demand you sing for your supper. Whip this out of your pocket and recite something seasonally appropriate.
*JANE AND THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. This has become my compulsory annual re-read and the season hasn’t properly started for me until I’ve plunged into Jane Austen’s world and the delights of a corpse at Christmas.